How to use Guided Access on an iPhone to set it up as a single-app device for kids or customers

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It's easy to use Guided Access on an iPhone to restrict the device to a single-app process for children or customers.

  • You can use Guided Access to limit your iPhone to only running a single, specific app.
  • Guided Access is useful for lending your phone to kids or using an iPhone at a kiosk in a business setting.
  • Before you can use Guided Access on an iPhone, you need to enable and configure it in Settings.
  • Once enabled, you can use Guided Access by starting the app you want to use and then triple-clicking the Home button (or Side button on certain models).
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Guided Access is a little-known iPhone feature that lets you limit use to a single app of your choice.

It's great for parents who want to make sure their kids only have access to a specific game or app, but it can also be a fast and easy way for a business to set up an iPhone or iPad as a single-app device at a kiosk or welcome desk.

After you turn on Guided Access, you need to set up a passcode (or turn on Touch ID or Face ID), which keeps users from leaving the designated Guided Access app. You can also set up a time limit for the app, after which the phone will go to sleep.

By default, Guided Access will put the phone to sleep after 20 minutes of use. If you prefer, you can set Guided Access to put the phone to sleep using the same timing as Auto-Lock.

For example, if you want the phone to not shut off so the Guided Access app is available all day long, go to the Auto-Lock control in the Settings app and change the lock time to "Never."

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone Xs (From $999.99 at Best Buy)

iPad (From $329.99 at Best Buy)

How to set up Guided Access on an iPhone

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap "General," and then tap "Accessibility."

3. In the Learning section at the bottom of the page, tap "Guided Access."

4. Turn on Guided Access by swiping the button to the right.

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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

When you turn on Guided Access, you can configure the tool according to your preferences.

5. Tap "Passcode Settings."

6. Tap "Set Guided Access Passcode" and then follow the instructions to set up a passcode to unlock Guided Access once it's running. You can also choose to turn on Touch ID or Face ID if you like. If you don't set up a passcode now, the iPhone will ask you to set one when you start Guided Access.

7. If you want the phone to go to sleep on the same schedule as it usually auto-locks, turn on "Mirror Display Auto-Lock" by swiping the button to the right.

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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

The Mirror Display Auto-Lock determines whether the iPhone goes to sleep after 20 minutes of inactivity or on the same schedule as the phone's Auto-Lock setting.

How to use Guided Access on an iPhone

After you enable Guided Access, you can choose an app and turn it on. Start the app you want to use with the feature.

1. Triple-click the Home button. If your phone doesn't have a home button (such as the iPhone X), triple-click the Side Button.

2. If you want to prevent users from pressing certain buttons or using specific parts of the screen, use your finger to trace around those sections. You should see grey shapes appear over those parts of the screen. If you make a mistake, you can resize a highlighted section or delete it entirely by tapping its Close button.

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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Designate any zones on the screen that users are not allowed to click, and then tap "Start."

3. When you're ready, tap "Start."

4. This app is now running in Guided Access, and users are restricted to this app.

5. To exit Guided Access, triple-click the Home Button or Side button and enter the passcode you set up earlier. Then tap "End."

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