How to Set a Passcode on iPhone and iPod Touch

Setting Up and Using a Passcode to Protect Your iPhone and iPod touch

Phone security
Setting Passcode on phone. artpartner-images Creative #: 183094766

Setting a passcode on your iPhone or iPod touch is a security measure that all iPhone and iPod touch users should take. The passcode protects your personal information and your bank account when the mobile device is lost or stolen. A passcode is required if you use TouchID on your iPhone, but it is recommended for all users.

Setting Up a Passcode

To set a passcode on your device, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app on the Home screen.
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode. 
  3. Tap Turn Passcode On.
  4. Enter a 6-digit passcode (or 4-digit passcode for iOS 8 and earlier). Choose something you  can easily remember. Here's how to deal with forgetting your passcode)
  5. Confirm the passcode by entering the same passcode again.

That's all it takes! Your iPhone is now secured by a passcode, and you'll be asked to enter it when you turn on your iPhone or iPod touch or wake it from sleep. The passcode makes it impossible for unauthorized users to access your phone. 

Setting an Advanced Passcode for iOS 8 and Earlier

IPhones with iOS 8 and earlier used only 4-digit passcodes, instead of the stronger 6-digit codes. On these iPhones, Apple includes the option to set a longer passcode. If you want stronger security than the 4-digit passcode offers, you can make your passcode any combination of letters and numbers you want.

To do this:

  1. On the Touch ID & Passcode screen (or just Passcode Lock screen in phones without Touch ID), move the Simple Passcode slider to the Off/white position.
  2. Enter a new passcode/password in the field provided. You aren't limited to numbers only. 
  3. Re-enter the new passcode to confirm it and tap Next.

    Touch ID

    Beginning with the iPhone 5s, all Apple iPhones and other mobile devices are equipped with Touch ID. Even after you set up the built-in Touch ID fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone, you are prompted to enter your passcode when you restart the device. Although Touch ID is sufficient to serve as your Apple ID when purchasing items from the iTunes Store and App Store, if you use ApplePay with credit cards in the Wallet app, you may be asked to enter your passcode for additional security.

    Passcode Options

    When you set a passcode on your phone, you are asked to choose from a number of options for what you can or can't do without entering the passcode. If you also have Touch ID, an option to add a TouchID fingerprint is displayed: The passcode options include:

    • Require Passcode - This setting controls how long your iPhone remains unlocked when you're not using it. The faster the screen locks, the more secure your phone is from people looking to snoop. The trade-off is that you may have to enter your passcode more often.
    • Voice Dial - Move this slider to On/green to allow you to tell the iPhone to make calls ("Call mom at work") without unlocking your phone. You may not want this, though. Many people have "home" or "dad" or something similar in their Contacts. A thief who has your phone wouldn't need the passcode to tell the phone to call one of those contacts.
    • Siri - On the iPhone 4S and up, you can access Siri from the lock screen by holding down the Home button. This allows someone to access some features of your phone even if it is protected by a passcode. You can block Siri from operating without a passcode by moving the Siri slider to Off/white.
    • Reply with Message - This feature allows you to send a text message from the locked screen to someone who is calling you—often something like "Call you in 10 minutes." This is something you might not want a thief to be able to do. Move the slider to Off/white to disable the Reply with Message feature.
    • Home Control - iOS 10 introduced the Home app. This setting prevents anyone with your phone from sending instructions to your HomeKit security and lighting devices.
    • Wallet or Passbook - If you use the Wallet (Passbook in earlier iOS versions) to store etickets, gift cards, credit cards and other personal data, you may want to move this slider to Off/white to require you to unlock your iPhone with the passcode to make this information visible.
    • Erase Data - This is ultimate means of keeping your data out of the hands of unauthorized people. Move this slider to On/green and when someone enters an incorrect passcode 10 times on your device, all the data on the device is automatically deleted. Not a great choice if you forget your passcode regularly, but it can be a powerful security tool.