Set a passcode on your iOS device to help protect your data. (If your device supports Touch ID, you can often use your fingerprint instead of your passcode. If your device supports Face ID, you can use face recognition instead of your passcode). Your device will require your passcode when you do the following:
- Turn on or restart your device
- Press the Home button or swipe up to unlock your device (you can change this)
- Update your software
- Erase your device
- View or change passcode settings
- Install iOS Configuration profiles
Set up a passcode
- Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode. If you have an iPhone X, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
- Tap Turn Passcode On.
- Enter a six-digit passcode. Or tap Passcode Options to switch to a four-digit numeric code, a custom numeric code, or a custom alphanumeric code.
- Enter your passcode again to confirm it and activate it.
Change your passcode or passcode settings
Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode. If you have an iPhone X, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
You'll find several settings and options:
- Turn Passcode Off: Tap this option to turn off your passcode.
- Change Passcode: Enter a new six-digit passcode. Or tap Passcode Options to switch to a four-digit numeric code, a custom numeric code, or a custom alphanumeric code.
- Require Passcode: By default with this setting, as soon as you lock your screen, you need to enter your passcode to unlock. If you don't want an immediate passcode requirement, change this setting. (For your security, if you use Touch ID or Apple Pay, you can't change the immediate passcode requirement).
- Allow Access When Locked: Use this option to allow access to some features when your device is locked, including Today View, Recent Notifications, Siri, Reply with Message, Control Center, and Wallet.
- Erase Data: Choose whether to erase your device automatically after ten failed passcode attempts. If you don’t enable this option, your device will need to be restored in iTunes after ten failed attempts.
Follow the steps in this section for help with things like passcode settings, alerts, and forgotten passwords.
If an alert says to change your passcode or you can't adjust your passcode settings
Configuration profiles and email accounts based on Microsoft Exchange (common with business or education devices) sometimes have passcode policies that cause issues like this:
- You can't turn off your passcode.
- You can't change passcode settings because they're unavailable, gray, or dimmed.
- You see an alert about a Passcode Requirement. For example, you might see a message that says you must change your iPhone unlock passcode within 60 minutes.
Contact your IT administrator for help. If you don’t use a configuration profile or Microsoft Exchange account, or if your device is personally owned, make sure you update your device to the latest version of iOS.
If you forgot your passcode
If you or someone else enters the wrong passcode too many times, your device will disable itself temporarily. If so, get help with a forgotten passcode or disabled device. Or, if you forgot your Restrictions passcode, learn what to do.