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iOS: Using passcodes

Learn about using passcodes and fingerprints with iOS devices.

You can use a passcode on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to protect your data. Each time you turn on or wake up the device, it will ask you for the passcode before you can access the device. With iPhone 5s, which has Touch ID, you can also use your fingerprint to unlock the device.

You can configure a passcode for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using Settings > Passcode Lock.

iPhone 5s only: To add a fingerprint, tap Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Add a Fingerprint… Learn more about Touch ID and fingerprints.

After it's enabled, you will be asked for the passcode whenever you:

  • Turn on or restart the device
  • Wake the device
  • Unlock the screen

You can specify the amount of time the screen must be locked before requiring a passcode.

Tips for using passcodes

  • Simple passcodes are four digits long. You can disable simple passcode to require a longer passcode, which can also contain alphanumeric characters.
  • You can configure your device to automatically erase all contents (Secure Erase) after ten failed passcode attempts.
  • iCloud users can remotely lock their device with a passcode using Find My iPhone.
  • If you enter an incorrect passcode too many times, the device will be disabled temporarily. This can happen if you forgot or can't remember your passcode. Follow the steps in this article to regain access to your device.

Additional Information

If you are unable to modify certain passcode settings, there may be a configuration profile that requires these passcode options. You can find out if a profile is installed by tapping Settings > General and looking for the Profile setting between VPN and Reset.

For additional information about profiles and mobile device management, contact your network or system administrator, or see iOS Enterprise Deployment Resources and the iPhone Enterprise Support site.

Last Modified: Mar 18, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Mar 18, 2014
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