How to Lock Apps on Your iPhone & iPad with Touch ID

How to Lock Apps on Your iPhone with Touch ID

Enabling Touch ID for use in apps means that you can lock apps with your fingerprint on your iPhone and iPad. Using Touch ID as an app locker allows you to protect sensitive information such as private documents or personal finance information, instead of setting a password that you might forget. However, other apps such as Facebook don’t allow you to use a fingerprint lock. Once you have Touch ID enabled on your iPhone, you can use your fingerprint to open the Touch ID apps of your choosing. We’ll go over how to set up Touch ID apps below. We’ll also cover which popular apps are Touch ID apps and which ones offer the fingerprint lock screen feature. Since setting up a fingerprint lock on your iPhone often requires a passcode, we'll also cover how to put a password on apps. Here’s how to lock apps on your smartphone or tablet. 

Related: How to Lock Apps on Your iPhone & iPad with Face ID

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Setting up Touch ID on your iPhone takes a little time, but the reward is definitely worth it. From using Touch ID to pay for purchases on your iPhone to locking apps and using Touch ID to unlock them, there are a ton of functions beyond simply unlocking your iPhone that you can use with Touch ID. Whether you have an iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6, an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, or later, Touch ID can help you lock apps on your device. While lots of apps allow you to use Touch ID to lock them, there are still plenty that don't. Regardless, the tips in this article are essential for any iPhone user with Touch ID. 

The above video is a preview of an iPhone Life Insider Daily Video Tip

How to Lock Apps on Your iPhone & iPad

Table of Contents

How to Turn on Touch ID on Your iPhone or iPad

If you use your fingerprint scanner to unlock your iPhone or iPad, you already have Touch ID enabled. If not, to turn on Touch ID:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Touch ID & Passcode.

    iphone settings appiphone touch id and passcode settings
     
  3. Enter your password to continue.
  4. Toggle Touch ID on for any or all of the following: iPhone Unlock, iTunes & App Store, Apple Pay (for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus or later), and Password AutoFill.

    iphone passcode screentouch id settings
     
  5. If you are setting Touch ID up for the first time, follow the instructions on your screen to enroll fingerprints.

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How to Turn on Fingerprint Lock for Apps

Now, to lock apps with your fingerprint, you will need to enable Touch ID within the app you want to use. I’ll use the app Mint as an example. Regardless of the Touch ID app you want to enable fingerprint app lock for, the ability to turn it on will most likely be found in the settings of that app.

To Set Up Touch ID in an App & Put a Password on the App:

  1. Some apps ask you to set up Touch or Face ID as part of the setup process. If you've already set up the app, open it, and navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap Passcode & Touch ID, or something similar depending on the app.
  3. Enable the Passcode setting and choose a passcode.


     
  4. Then toggle on Touch ID. You may have to re-enter your passcode.


     

  5. Now you can use your fingerprint instead of a password to unlock the app. Just place your thumb (or whatever finger you've enrolled in Touch ID) on the Home button to use Touch ID.

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How to Enable a Fingerprint Lock for Apple Notes

If you've set a password for one or more notes and can't remember it, you'll need to reset your Notes password. We have a tutorial on how to reset the Notes password and turn on Touch ID at the same time, so follow those steps if that's your problem. If not, follow the steps below. 

The Notes app is finally able to be protected with Touch ID. This allows you to use the Notes app to its fullest while feeling secure that just anybody can’t view what you’ve written. To enable Touch ID for the Notes app, you have to turn it on within your iPhone's Settings. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Notes.
  2. Tap PasswordYou’ll be prompted to create a password with a Hint. 

    iphone notes settingspassword for notes
     
  3. Toggle on Use Touch ID

    use touch id for notes app

How to Lock Individual Notes 

With the Notes app, not all notes are automatically locked. You must choose which notes you want to lock. To lock a note on iPhone:

  1. Open the Notes app.
  2. Create a new note or navigate to one you want to lock.
  3. In the upper right corner, tap the Share icon.
  4. Tap Lock Note.

    tap the share icon in notestap lock note
     
  5. If you have password protection enabled for the Notes app, you'll need to enter your password to lock the note.
  6. Tap OK.

    password protect notesconfirm lock note
  7. Once a lock has been added, you still need to tap the lock icon at the top of the screen to officially lock the note.

    tap the lock icon to lock note

     

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How to Make Sure Your Locked Apps Are Really Private

For some reason, locking an app on your iPhone (and all the sensitive information that app contains) doesn't always prevent that app from displaying that same private information in the widgets on the Today View on your iPhone. If you've protected apps on your iPhone with Touch ID, but those apps have widgets, you'll need to disable the widgets in order to prevent your journal entries or other private information from appearing there. Here's how to make sure your protected apps are really private:

  1. Swipe right across the first Home screen to open the Today View.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Edit.

    open the today view on iphoneedit today view iphone
     
  3. Tap the red circle to the left of the app name and then tap Remove to confirm.
  4. Repeat for any other apps whose widgets you don't want to see.
  5. Tap Done when you are finished.

    tap the red circle to remove a widget  tap remove, then tap done when finished editing
     

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Best Apps That Use Touch ID

What are your favorite apps that use Touch ID? Let us know in the comments!

  • Dropbox
  • Some banking apps
  • 1password
  • Dashlane
  • Evernote Premium
  • Mint
  • Day One Journal
  • Momento
  • Memoir
  • Amazon
  • Document 5
  • Scanner Pro
  • PayPal
  • eHarmony
  • Google
  • WhatsApp

Apps We Wish Had Touch ID:

Wouldn't it be great if you could enable a fingerprint app lock for any app on your iPhone or iPad from within your device's settings? In the meantime, we'd settle for being able to lock Facebook, Photos, and other apps with our fingerprints.

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger 
  • iOS Photos
  • iOS  Messages
  • iOS Health
  • Tinder
  • Bumble
  • Evernote Free
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Did we miss any? What's on your Touch ID apps wishlist? Let us know in the comments!

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Top Image Credit: mama_mia / Shutterstock.com

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Abbey Dufoe's picture

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at abbeydufoe.com.