I have a two year old at home and, as those of you out there who are also parents know, sometimes a little screen time can turn a bad mood around or at least buy me a few minutes to make some coffee to fortify me for the rest of the day. I don’t want my son to use my computer but thanks to my sturdy Hammerhead Jacket Case and AppleCare+ protection plan I am willing to let him use my iPhone. However, there are only certain apps that I want him to use and he has already figured out how to use the Home button and then open different apps. What to do?
Fortunately, I have discovered a great tool to restrict his use to a single app and disable buttons within that app: Guided Access. This is one of the assistive features built into iOS. To turn this on, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access and enable this service. There is also an option to set a passcode and/or use Touch ID to prevent Guided Access from being turned off.
Once enabled, Guided Access can be started while in any app by triple-clicking the Home button. You will then have the option to circle areas of the screen to disable (such as buttons that control features of the app that you want to shut off), as well as an Options menu where you can disable the Sleep/Wake button, the Volume buttons, Motion, the keyboard, turn off touch control completely, as well as set a time limit. Once you have it set the way you want, press Start and the Guided Access begins.
To turn it back off, triple-click the Home button again and enter your Guided Access passcode. Make sure to get it right, as the first time you get it wrong you have to wait 10 seconds to try again, the second time you have to wait a minute, and I don’t want to find out how long it locks you out if you get it wrong thrice!