How to Lock and Unlock Apps in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18

iOS 18 Require Face ID Featured Image

Apple introduced a handy new security feature that lets you put a Face ID before opening different apps in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18. The feature is quite easy to use, and you’ll learn how to do that in this guide. 

Keep reading to learn how to unlock and lock apps in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, along with the requirements for using this feature.

Requirements for Locking and Hiding Apps in iOS 18

To lock and unlock apps on your device, you’ll first need to download iOS 18 or iPadOS 18. Apple will release the official versions this coming fall, but until then, you can download the Developer and Public Beta versions. If you do, make sure that you back up your device in advance — bugs are common with pre-released software. 

Unlike some iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 features, such as Apple Intelligence, locking your apps isn’t limited to specific devices. The only requirement is that your iPhone or iPad supports the necessary software. 

Here are the iPhone models compatible with iOS 18 along with a list of iPad models that support iPadOS 18. If you aren’t sure whether your device is compatible, have a look at them first.

How to Lock and Hide Apps in iOS 18

Time needed: 30 minutes

Follow these steps to set up Face ID locks on iOS and iPadOS 18:

  1. Go to Settings > General and select Software Update.

    The Software Update option highlighted in the General screen on iPhone Settings.

  2. Wait for your iPhone or iPad to find updates.

  3. When the update appears, tap Update Now. If required, enter your Apple ID passcode.

    Download iOS 18 Beta

  4. Wait for the software to download.

  5. After the update, press and hold on to the app you want to lock, just as you would if you were going to delete something from your device. 

  6. When the Quick Actions menu appears, select Require Face ID. Alternatively, if you want to also hide the app, select Hide and Require Face ID

  7. Confirm that you want to hide your app by selecting Require Face ID in the pop-up window.

How to Unlock and Unhide Apps in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18

You always have the option to unlock apps should you change your mind, and you can also unhide them if that’s what you’d prefer to do. Just follow these instructions. 

  1. Go to your iPhone’s App Library. You can do this by swiping left. 
    The App Library Section on Last Slide of iPhone Home Screen
  2. Scroll down to the Hidden folder. 
  3. Use Face ID to gain access to your folder. 
  4. Select Don’t Require Face ID and Add to Home Screen (if you want your app to appear on your Home Screen again). 

You can hide and unhide apps as much as you want, and it’s also easy to lock and unlock them. Doing so will provide extra privacy; you can even lock the new Passwords app, for example. Regardless of your choice, doing both is very easy – and you can always refer back to this guide whenever you need it. 

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