iOS 4: Setting Secure Passcodes

Apple doesn’t limit iPhone and iPod touch passcodes to four digits in iOS 4, finally putting to rest one of the complaints about limited security features. Even better, secure passcodes are easy to setup.

Using a passcode on your iPhone or iPod touch locks the display so the only way to use apps or see the contents of your device is by first entering the correct code. In prior versions of the iPhone OS, those codes were relatively easy to guess because they were limited to four digits. In iOS 4, however, secure passcodes let you use any combination of letters, numbers and punctuation.

Turn off Simple Passcode to enable Secure Passcodes

Here’s how to enable secure passcodes on your iOS 4 iPhone or iPod touch:

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Passcode Lock.

Enter your Secure Passcode

  • If you have already enabled a passcode, you’ll need to enter the code to continue.
  • Simple Passcode is enabled by default. Tap the slider to disable simple passcodes and enable secure passcodes.
  • Enter the new passcode you want to use.
  • Tap Next, renenter your new passcode, and then tap Done.

The Secure Passcode dialog

Now when you unlock your iPhone or iPod touch you’ll be presented with a full keyboard instead of a numeric keypad. Since you can create passwords with more than four digits, you’ll make it much harder for anyone to guess your code and get into your private data.