Guided Access – How to Safely Let Your Kids Use Your iPad or iPhone

With iOS 6, Apple introduced a feature called Guided Access, designed to let a parent open an app, then lock the iPad or iPhone so a child can’t access any other apps. There’s even a feature that lets a parent block certain parts of the screen from being tapped.

To enable Guided Access, open Settings > General > Accessibility. On that screen, about three fourths of the way towards the bottom, there’s the Guided Access option, which needs to be set to On. On the following screen, you will set a Guided Access passcode, which is important, as it is required to get out of the Guided Access mode.

Once Guided Access is enabled in settings, you need to launch an App you want to try it out with.  In my screen shot, I’m using Guided Access and configuring it for The Simpsons Tapped Out (which is hilarious).

This first image shows the Guided Access setup screen, which can be accessed by triple clicking the home button once you are in the App for which you want to set access.


Here, I set Guided Access to not allow access to the controls of the game, preventing unwanted button presses (and potential in-app purchases, too!).


And finally, when actually using the app, this is what the blocked screen sections look like.

In addition to blocking sections of the screen, Guided Access always deactivates the home button, so in order to get out of the app, the home button needs to be triple clicked, then the Guided Access passcode that was created when Guided Access was originally configured needs to be entered.

Guided Access is a God-send for parents, and even for people interested in a “kiosk mode” for iPads. There’s never been a way this elegant to keep the home button from being pushed, and the ability to block parts of the screen is brilliant. I’m interested to see how people start using Guided Access.

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