Allow USB and other accessories to connect to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

You might need to unlock your passcode-protected iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to connect it to a Mac, PC, or accessory.

Unlock your device

You might need to unlock your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for it to recognize and connect to some accessories:

  • USB accessories

  • Thunderbolt accessories

  • Smart Connector accessories (like Smart Keyboard) for iPad

  • Mac or PC computers

After you unlock your device, your accessory remains connected, even if your device is locked again.

If you don't first unlock your passcode-protected device — or you haven't unlocked and connected it to an accessory within the past hour — your device won't communicate with the accessory or computer, and in some cases, it might not charge. You might also see an alert asking you to unlock your device to use accessories.

If the accessory is still not recognized after you unlock your device, disconnect your device from the accessory. Then unlock your device and reconnect the accessory.

Even if you don't unlock your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, your device still charges as usual when it's connected to a USB power adapter.

Allow access to USB, Thunderbolt, and other accessories

You can allow your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to always access accessories. For example, if you use a USB assistive device to enter your passcode on your locked iPhone, many assistive devices automatically turn on the setting to allow USB devices the first time they're connected.

If you don't connect to accessories regularly, you might need to turn on this setting manually.

In Settings, go to Face ID & Passcode or Touch ID & Passcode, and turn on Accessories under Allow Access When Locked.

In Face ID & Passcode Settings on iPhone, the Allow Access When Locked option is turned off by default for Accessories

When the Accessories setting is off, you might need to unlock your device to connect accessories.

Administrators can control the Accessories setting on supervised devices using Apple Configurator or mobile device management.

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