How to lock your iPad with a passcode, fingerprint, or facial scan, and make it nearly impenetrable to strangers

It's a good idea to lock your iPad when you're not using it.

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It’s a good idea to lock your iPad when you’re not using it.
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Business Insider

  • To lock your iPad, you simply need to press the lock button on the side of the device. However, before you do this, you should set up a security method.
  • You can set a passcode on your iPad, which you’ll need to enter whenever you want to unlock it. You can also set up Touch ID or Face ID (depending on your iPad model), which scan your fingerprint or facial features.
  • Best practice is to set up both forms of security for your particular iPad.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Think about all the personal data you have on your iPad: emails, texts, account passwords, and more. If you’ve set up Apple Pay, you even have credit cards saved on your device.

With all this data stored on one device, it makes sense to use any security you can to lock your iPad when you’re not using it. Pressing the lock button on the side of your iPad will turn off the screen and lock it – but unless you’ve set a security method, anyone will be able to unlock it.

All iPad models will ask you to set a passcode. Newer iPads also have more sophisticated options, like Touch ID and Face ID, which let your iPad scan your fingerprint and face.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPad (From $329.99 at Best Buy)

How to lock your iPad with a passcode

If you didn’t set up a passcode when you set up your new iPad, here’s how to do it. You can also change your current passcode using these steps.

1. In your Settings app, go to “Passcode, “Touch ID & Passcode,” or “Face ID & Passcode,” depending on which iPad you have. If you’ve previously set a passcode, you’ll be asked to enter it before you can access this security menu.

2. Tap “Turn Passcode On” to create your first passcode. Tap “Change Passcode” to change your existing passcode.

This is also where you can turn the passcode off if you want.

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This is also where you can turn the passcode off if you want.
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Laura McCamy/Business Insider

3. A window will pop up that allows you to create or change your passcode. The default is a six-digit code, but there are two other options for setting your iPad passcode. Tap “Passcode Options” and a menu will pop up where you can choose a shorter four-digit code or an alphanumeric code (letters and numbers).

Some older iPad models might not be able to use advanced passcodes.

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Some older iPad models might not be able to use advanced passcodes.
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Laura McCamy/Business Insider

4. Once you turn on a passcode, you can turn it off, but you’ll also be taking away your iPad’s security, as well as your access to Apple Pay.

You won't be able to save Apple Pay data without security.

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You won’t be able to save Apple Pay data without security.
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Laura McCamy/Business Insider

Note that if you’re changing a previously set passcode, you’ll need to enter it again before you change it.

Also remember that the longer and more complex your passcode is, the harder it will be for others to figure it out.

How to lock your iPad with Touch ID or Face ID

Most newer iPads support either Face ID or Touch ID.

Touch ID allows you to unlock your iPad by scanning your finger with the Home button, rather than using the passcode. Face ID will scan your face with the camera when you try to unlock your iPad.

In both cases, if your iPad doesn’t recognize your fingerprint or face, it won’t unlock. You’ll then need to enter your passcode instead.

Here’s how to set up Touch ID on your iPad.

1. Open your Settings app and tap “Touch ID & Passcode.” If you don’t have this option, your iPad can’t use Touch ID.

2. Tap “Finger 1.”

3. You’ll be asked to place your finger on the Home button repeatedly. Keep lifting and placing your finger until your iPad has built a complete picture of your fingerprint.

You can add multiple fingers to make it easy to unlock your iPad with either hand.

Here’s how to set up Face ID on iPad.

1. Open your Settings app and tap “Face ID & Passcode.” If you don’t have this option, your iPad can’t use Face ID.

2. Tap “Set up Face ID.”

3. Turn your iPad to portrait orientation (short side on top) then tap “Get Started.”

4. Make sure your face appears on the screen.

5. Slowly move your head in a circle. When the iPad has enough information, the circle will blur and you’ll get the message that the first scan is complete. Tap “Continue.” Then you’ll be prompted to repeat the process.

6. When you get the message that Face ID is now set up, tap “Done” to exit.

You can choose which features you want to use Touch ID or Face ID for. In addition to unlocking your iPad, these security measures can be used for iTunes, the App Store, Apple Pay, and more.

Some third-party apps might also ask you if you'd like to use Touch or Face ID.

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Some third-party apps might also ask you if you’d like to use Touch or Face ID.
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Laura McCamy/Business Insider

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