How to Set or Change Your iPad Passcode and Fingerprint

Better safe than sorry: Keep your iPad secure

What to Know

  • Passcode: Open Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Choose Turn Passcode On to set up or Change Passcode to create a new one.
  • Touch ID: Open Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Choose Add a Fingerprint to add a new fingerprint or Delete Fingerprint to remove.
  • Choose what you want Touch ID to be used for: iPad Unlock, iTunes & App Store, Apple Pay, or Password Autofill.

Many Apple iPad models have the familiar passcode system and Touch ID, which requires a fingerprint scan to unlock the device. This guide shows you how to set or change your passcode and Touch ID fingerprint using the iPad Air 2 or later, the iPad Mini 3 or later, and the iPad Pro.

A few iPad Pro models support facial recognition and come equipped with Face ID rather than Touch ID as a security feature. The Face ID feature acts the same way it does on iPhone X and later.

How to Set Up Your iPad Passcode

To make a new passcode for your iPad:

  1. Open Settings on the iPad.

    The iPad Settings app
  2. Select Touch ID & Passcode.

    If you set a passcode on your iPad, you'll have to enter it to access the settings.

    The Touch ID & Passcode setting on an iPad
  3. To set up a passcode for the first time, select Turn Passcode On. To update your passcode, select Change Passcode.

    Select Turn Passcode Off to remove the payment cards you set up with Apple Pay.

    Passcode options on an iPad
  4. If you're turning on your passcode for the first time, enter it now and then confirm it. If you're changing your existing code, enter it on the next screen.

    Entering a passcode on iPad
  5. On the next screen, pick a new code. By default, enter a six-digit numerical passcode. Select Passcode Options to make a longer, shorter, or more complex one.

    Custom passcodes must be at least four characters long.

    • Custom Alphanumeric Code brings up the iPad keyboard and lets you create a passcode with both numbers and letters.
    • Custom Numeric Code lets you pick a number-based passcode.
    • 4-Digit Numeric Code is a less secure option. If you have trouble remembering longer codes, you can set a shorter one with this option.
    Passcode Options on an iPad
  6. Enter your new passcode and then enter it again to confirm.

How to Set Up or Add a Fingerprint to Touch ID

For extra security, set up Touch ID, which uses a fingerprint you save to the iPad to unlock the device and perform other actions. Here's how to set it up or add a new fingerprint.

  1. In the Touch ID & Passcode menu, select Add a Fingerprint.

    Add a Fingerprint option on iPad
  2. Follow the instructions to scan your fingerprint by placing it on the Home button.

  3. To rename the finger you just saved to the iPad, select its name on the menu and then type a new one.

    Tap a finger's name to rename it for Touch ID
  4. To remove a fingerprint from Touch ID, select its name and then select Delete Fingerprint.

    Delete Fingerprint option on an iPad
  5. You can use Add a Fingerprint to add more fingerprints to Touch ID. Use this option, for example, if you want to be able to unlock your iPad with either hand.

Before you set up security, make a backup of your iPad via iTunes or iCloud. That way, you can restore from this backup if you forget your passcode without having to restore the iPad as a new device.

Additional Options With Touch ID

Above the Fingerprints section, you'll see a heading labeled Use Touch ID For. The settings in this region control what your fingerprint can be used for.

  • iPad Unlock uses Touch ID instead of a passcode to open an iPad.
  • iTunes & App Store lets you verify purchases with your fingerprint before you buy an app, movie, or TV show.
  • Apple Pay uses your fingerprint to confirm purchases you make with the credit and debit cards you have stored on your iPad.
  • Password Autofill asks for Touch ID verification before you use one of the passwords stored in your iCloud keychain.
Use Touch ID For settings on an iPad
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