How to Lock Your iPad with a Passcode

Wrong Passcode—try again

If your iPad was misplaced, lost or stolen, would you want your information (email account, notes, photos, contacts, etc.) in someone else’s hands? If not, you should make sure your iPad is locked – not physically, but with the built in Passcode Lock. The feature requires a passcode to be entered when you first turn on your iPad.

To enable the feature that will password lock your iPad, do the following:

Turn On Passcode – Simple v. Not

Tap – Settings > General > Passcode Lock. — Before you tap “Turn Passcode On”, note the “Simple Password” switch below.

The default passcode is a “simple” four digit code of your choosing. However, you can choose to enter a more complex; thus, less guessable code by sliding the Simple Passcode switch from the default “ON” to off.

Simple Passcode
Not so simple

After you have decided whether you want the simple or not passcode, tap “Turn Passcode On.” And enter your passcode – Don’t forget it…! More importantly, consider what your 4 digit code will be in light of a recent article about an app developer that recorded over 200,000 passcodes and found a pattern seen below. Thus, before you enter a “simple” password, think about whether it is a guessable pattern.

Enter Time When Passcode is Required

Next, select when you want to require the passcode to be entered. The default is immediately. You should keep that default. Why would you want the passcode to be entered after several minutes of authorized use?

Erase Data Following Improper Code

At first, this feature sounds cool and you would want this on. Depending on your work, it may be a great idea to select the feature “erase all data” after 10 failed password attempts.

But – do you have kids who can’t read, don’t care or do you really want to have your data erased if you forget your password? You need to make that call based on your own comfort level.

Forgot your Passcode – What to Do?

According to Apple, “If you cannot remember the passcode, you will need to restore your device using the computer with which you last synced it. This allows you to reset your passcode and resync the data from the device (or restore from a backup). If you restore on a different computer that was never synced with the device, you will be able to unlock the device for use and remove the passcode, but your data will not be present.” Read that last part again, you can unlock your device for use, but – your data will not be present.


If you travel, take your iPad out of the house, or have sensitive data on your iPad, you should strongly consider locking it with a passcode to ensure your data stays safe.


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