How To Video
Lock the iPad to a single appLearn how to use Apple's Guided Access feature in iOS to temporarily limit the use of your child's iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone to a single app.
Hey, I'm Donald Bell for CNET.com and I'm also the parent of a child who loves the iPad. We have one iPad in our house and it's loaded up with all kinds of fun and hopefully educational apps for him that is also loaded out with my Facebook account, my e-mail and all kinds of stuff I don't want him messing with. Now, Apple is kind enough to include some parental restrictions on the iPad under the General settings so that I can lock out some features and limit the damage my kid can do to my credit card and my reputation. Those are great tools. But when you really want some piece of mind, there's guided access. Totally separate from the parental controls, you'll find guided access by going to settings, general, accessibility and scroll down to guided access. As you'll see in the description, enabling guided access allows for the temporarily lock down the iPad to just 1 single app. The home button guess disabled. There's no multi-tasking. Your kid is limited just to the app that you choose for them. To get started, flip the switch and cap set passcode to create a four-digit passcode ideally one that your kids not gonna be able to guess. Next, find the app you want your kid to use. Launch it. And once it's up and running, quickly tap the home button 3 times. Now this is where it gets kinda cool. Before iOS locks down the app, it also give you a chance to mark out any areas on the screen that you want to disable, maybe as an App purchase button or setting menu, you just circle it and make any adjustments. You also have an options button down here at the bottom, which gives you a separate menu for disabling sleep/wake buttons or volume buttons, the touch control and motion control. By default, sleep and volume are disabled but touch and motion are left on. Works fine for me but if you want to put an episode of Barney in front of your toddler without them going to town on the playback controls, disabling touch might be the way to go. So when you're ready to lock the app in, press the Star button at the top right and if you disabled any areas on the screen, you'll find that those areas are grayed out and you'll notice that if you hit the home button, you'll just see a little banner reminding you that you're in guided access mode. At this point, you can hand this thing over to your kid who will probably grown about being stuck with the phonics app. Now when it's time to try the iPad away and put it back to normal, all you have to do is triple click the home button again, enter that four-digit password that you created and you're free again to use the iPad however you wish. Or if your kid has aced their phonics and you wanna treat them to a little game time, just open up a new app, triple click and turn that guided access on again. So there you go. That's how to take any iOS device and temporarily lock it down to a single app. For more How to's like this, head over to the howto.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell from CNET, giving kids everywhere a new reason to hate their parents.