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How to lock your iPhone screen when your kids watch videos

Don't let that angelic little face anywhere near your stored Visa card details!
March 9, 2023

A smartphone or tablet is a nice thing to keep kids occupied, but at the same time, the potential for them to wreak havoc is huge. Prank-answering your text messages or phone calls, reading your social media updates, and running up a huge credit card bill at the App Store are just three of the things they could get up to behind your back. So if your kid or kids want to watch videos on your iPhone or iPad, here is how to lock the YouTube screen to prevent your child from exiting the app.


If you want to lock the iPhone screen (or iPad screen) while your kids are watching videos, or some other approved activity, go to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access. Enter a passcode to stop your child exiting Guided Access and state how long it should be till auto-lock kicks in. Then open the app in question and triple-click the power button on the right side of the device. Select Guided Access and that locks the child inside the app.

How to lock your iPhone screen when your kids watch videos

The set-up process is very simple to limit your child’s access to a single app on your iPhone or iPad.

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Guided Access.
  • Toggle on Guided Access. This then makes more options appear.
  • You can set a passcode under Passcode Settings to stop your kid from exiting the app without your permission. You can also use Face ID if that is more convenient.
  • Display Auto-Lock will allow you to specify a time period before your iPhone display auto-locks.
  • Go to the app that you would like your child to use. In this example, we will look at how to lock the YouTube screen for your child. Triple-click the power button on the right side of the device. This opens a menu. Choose Guided Access.
  • The YouTube app is now locked and your child can use it. If they try to exit from it, they will be asked for the passcode. You can also draw circles on the screen with your finger — everything inside the circle will be temporarily deactivated, such as buttons and links.
  • To end Guided Access, tap the screen or triple-click the side power button. Then enter your passcode.


Yes, just follow the tutorial shown here and activate Guided Access. Then go to the Home Screen and use your finger to draw circles around the home screen buttons. They will be deactivated.