Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guided Access Feature for iPads

One of the greatest features about the new operating system for iPads (and ipodtouchs/iphones) is the new Guided Access feature. Basically Apple has finally listened to educators everywhere who have been screaming for restricted access. We can finally lock a child into the app that we want them to use. 

Gone are the days where you can't leave a student with your iPad for more than 2 minutes before they have changed your background, rearranged all of your app folders and changed your password. It seems like this would happen especially when I was using the device for AAC. Why would the kid bother if they knew that somewhere on this device there was Angry Birds?

You do have to have one of the newest devices to be able to have access to this feature along with all of the other iOS 6 features. The oldest iPad that you can update is the iPad 2 (sorry all of you iPad 1 users, time for an upgrade?), the iPodtouch 4, and iPhone 3GS. Sad, because some of our old devices could have really used this feature.

So, here is how the Guided Access Feature works.

How to set it up (assuming you already have put iOS 6 on, if not go here).

Open settings -> General -> Accessibility

At this point you'll see some options, basically you can then turn on Guided Access as well as set a password. I would strongly suggest that you do set the password.

And that's it, you are all set up. Now when you want to turn on Guided Access you triple click on your home button and it will open up to give you several options (see picture below).

You can turn off "touch" and/or "motion" or you can just leave them on. I can see this being useful if you have some kind of video you are having your students watch and you don't want them to easily interrupt it. I'm not so sure about the motion feature, but I know many apps have motion functions. 

If you want to get back out, triple click again and then you can enter your password to exit Guided Access mode.

And there you have it. You can now lock down your iPad so that a student cannot go messing around with everything else on your iPad. 

If your iPad is stuck in Guided Access mode.

There is a bug out there where sometimes you are unable to triple click your home button and you are seemingly stuck in guided access forever! 

Or.... you have forgotten your password and there is no apparent way to get out, there is no "forgot my password" button.

This is what you have to do. 

Hard Reset (hold down both buttons down for about 5 seconds). You have a few seconds after the iPad comes back online before the Guided Access turns back on (which is will). You can then go to your settings and turn off the feature.

This is pretty important to know. I've already had to do this twice, good times.

I love this feature, I can see how this will make a huge difference when working with students. If you haven't already played with this, then get to it and tell me what you think.



  1. "Hold down both buttons": which buttons? There are 3 of them.

  2. I have put Guided access on my iPad and am completely stuck in an app and will not let me out at all.I have forgotten my password, I have tried everything everyone is saying todo and still wont let me get back out..
    Please help I am getting really frustrated!!

  3. There is a glitch where sometimes your ipad gets stuck in guided access mode, but its easily corrected just with a soft reset, just hold the on/off button on the top of your ipad and the button on the front bottom of your ipad at the same time for 5 seconds. I've had to do this several times.

    Let me know if that works for you.