How to Lock Notes on iPhone

Password-protect your private notes

What to Know

  • On the note you wish to lock: Tap the three dot menu, and then tap the Lock icon.
  • If you have not previously set a password for notes, you'll be prompted to create one, and then tap Done.
  • Individual notes cannot have different passwords; one password is applied to all the notes you choose to lock.

This article will show you how to lock notes on an iPhone running any version of iOS.

How Do I Lock My Notes?

A locked note is one way to keep confidential information on your iPhone from prying eyes. And locking a note is fairly simple, but you'll need to setup a password for your Notes app to lock notes. You can do this before you try to lock a note in the app, but it's easier just to setup the password the first time you choose to lock a note.

During this process you will set a password for your Notes app. This is the only password used to lock notes, so regardless of how many locked notes you create, the password will remain the same. It will also be the same on other devices where these notes are synced.

  1. Open or create the note you want to lock in the Notes app.

  2. Tap the three dot menu.

  3. Tap the lock icon.

  4. If you have not previously set up a password for the Notes app, you'll be prompted to do that. Type the password in the Password field, then in the Verify field, and then type a hint for the password in the Hint field.

  5. If desired, tap the toggle to the right of Use Face ID to turn on the Face ID unlocking.

    Screenshots showing how to lock notes on an iPhone.

    If you're using an older model iPhone with a Home button, you may also have the option to unlock your note with the Touch ID function. If that's your preference, you can set that up now.

  6. Tap Done.

  7. The setup process will close and you'll be returned to your note. Notice there is an open lock in the top of the note. When you've finished editing the note, tap the open lock. This locks your note so that the password you set will be required to open it again.

    Screenshots showing how to lock notes on an iPhone.

    The next time you want to lock a note, you'll only need to open the note > tap the three-dot menu > tap Lock > enter the password you set for the first note to lock the new note > and then tap the open lock icon at the top of the page when you finish editing the note.

Although the password you set above is used for all locked notes, all notes are not locked automatically. You must choose to lock a note before the password is applied to it. Once you do, however, you must use the password (or Face ID or Touch ID if you set one of those methods up) to unlock the note.

To unlock a note: open it > tap View Note > type the password you created above. When you've finished viewing or editing your note, you'll need to re-lock it by choosing the open lock icon on the tap toolbar.

Why Can't I Lock My Notes on iPhone?

If you are having trouble locking notes on your iPhone, it may be you haven't enabled passwords in Notes in your Settings. To do so, open Settings > Notes > Password. If you haven't previously set a passwords for the Notes app, use the fields provided to create one, and then tap Done.

Notes with video files, audio files, or PDF or other file attachments cannot be locked. You can, however, lock notes with pictures attached.

  • How do I share a note on an iPhone?

    From the main list of notes, swipe left on the note you want to share, and then tap the icon that looks like a person with a plus sign next to them. You can share notes via Messages, Mail, and some social-media apps. Sharing lets you and the people you invite see changes to notes as they happen.

  • How do I print a note from iPhone?

    In the note you want to print, tap the More (three dots) menu in the upper-right corner. Print should be an option in the menu that opens. If it isn't, select Send a Copy and then choose Print.

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