iPads and Keeping Children on Task

Keeping children on task when using an iPad is difficult, there are so may apps, and they can become quite addictive to young and old.  This is the best way to lock your iPad to one app until you decide to change it.  I find it's great for my 6 year old, and my 9 year old too for homework.

Once it's set up, you just triple click the home button and press start.  When your finished, just triple click the home button again, and type in your 4 digit pin, and press end, or you can then also change settings.  This feature was built into the iPad from iOS6 onwards, so if your using an old iPad1 on iOS5 your out of luck I'm afraid, but there are manual home button covers available on the market if you wish to use them.

To restrict the iPad use, we first start with accessing SETTINGS > GENERAL > ACCESSIBILITY 


and then scroll down until you see LEARNING and underneath GUIDED ACCESS which will be off.


Click on the menu and you'll be taken to the Guided Access menu.  Turn on guide access, and the button will appear green as per this image.  Next set your Passcode by pressing "Set Passcode" and entering a 4 digit pin, and then repeating.  I use our postcode, keep it simple.  Something the children won't know, but you will.


You can set Accessibility shortcut on as an option.  It speeds up turning it on, my automatically activating when you triple click the home button, and you only need the passcode to turn off the guided accesses feature.  I have this feature turned on usually.

Now to use the feature.  Open an app, which for me is rED writing, a handwriting app and press the home button 3 times in quick succession.  It might take a bit of practice to get it right.

The guided access menu appears.  Top left is Cancel, Top right is start, bottom left is Hardware button options which means you can choose if sleep/wake button and volume buttons are active.  Next is touch On/Off (default is on), great if you want to play a movie and your 6 year old uses is so close his nose touches the iPad screen! :) and to the right is motion On/Off (default is on) which will turn the motion (shaking etc) off or on as required.


Press start, If you haven't set a passcode it will ask you to set on, and repeat it but if you've set a passcode it will display "Guide Access Started" on the screen and then appear as normal.  When you child presses home a notification appears at the top that guided access is running and instructions to turn it off.  To turn it off, triple click the home button again and enter the passcode.  The guided access menu appears.  You could make changes to settings and then press RESUME in the top right, or press END in the top left to turn off the feature.

How to restrict use of the iPad completely

So what do you do when you child sneaks down stairs in the morning to play Minecraft before everyone else is up?  Ahhh, then you need to enable passcode.  I have this set for my eldest because he don't know when to stop!  This facility stops they even accessing the iPad (but they can access the camera function) unless a passcode of 4 digits is entered.  You can also press the power off button if they aren't coming away nicely, which effectively locks them out the iPad.  It's cruel but effective.

So how to I enable this amazing new feature?  Go to SETTINGS > PASSCODE and Press "Turn Passcode On"


Enter a 4 digit passcode (I like to use our postcode to keep it simple for other adults to open it).


And re-enter the code again


Then you can change how the passcode works.  Require Passcode options are Immediately, After 1,5,15 minutes, 1 & 4 hours.  I have mine set to Immediately.


Make sure you turn off the erase data option.  We aren't trying to keep people out of our private data, we are just trying to stop out children accessing the iPad without our knowledge.  If you using this feature to keep confidential data/documents secure, if you enable this is will erase your iPad data on the 10th failed attempt.  Make sure you have a backup! :)

All settings correct?  Give it a go.  You'll notice that when you return to the SETTINGS > PASSCODE area you'll straight away be asked your passcode so your child can't access it to change or disable you passcode settings.

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