Use Guided Access And Safely Hand Your iPhone or iPad Over To Anyone [iOS Tips]

Guided Access

We’ve all done it. Passed our beloved iPhone handset to a young child or clumsy friend, in hopes that they’ll play a game for a bit and let the grownups continue drinking talking. Then the youngster in question ends up hitting the Home button, dropping into that secret stash of photos, or looking at our web history. Or even worse, playing some splatter-horror game that you forgot was even on the dang thing.

Guided Access is part of iOS 6’s accessibility options, but it can be useful for folks without the need for that specific adaptation. Here’s how to enable it for use.

First, head into the Settings app, and tap on the General tab. Then scroll down to Accessibility, and drop into that with a tap. Scroll down to the Learning section, and tap on Guided Access to, well, access those preferences.

Toggle Guided Access to ON at the top there, and you’ll be asked to set a Passcode. Use something different than your device passcode, unless ou haven’t given that to the children you’re passing the device to. If nothing else, it will freak them out when they get too precocious and try to hop out of Guided Access with your iPhone password. You can also enable Screen Sleep here, to put it to sleep on a different schedule than otherwise.

Tap the Accessibility arrow in the upper left to back out to the Accessibility preferences, and scroll down to Triple Click Home. Tap there and set Guided Access as one of the options that will pop up when you hit the Home button three times in rapid succession.

Now pop into any app you want to have the kids in your life use. One of my personal favorites is The Blockheads, by Majic Jungle Software. Triple click the home button, and the image will shrink down and give you some options. Tap–obviously–the Options button, and then set Hardware Buttons to OFF, Touch to ON, and Motion to ON, so that they can play the game, at least. If you’re using an app that has buttons or areas of the screen you don’t want the kiddos to be able to touch, draw a circle around that area on the screen with your finger.

Then, and this is the important part, tap the Start button at the top right of the screen. You’ll enter a passcode if you didn’t do the step above, and then the game will start. The parts of the screen you circled will be greyed out, covered by diagonal stripes.

To get out of Guided access, triple-click the Home button again, enter the passcode you created, and you’ll be out and using your iPhone as per usual. This works for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, so have at it!

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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