How to Lock Apps on iPhone & iPad with Touch ID (iOS 16)

What To Know

  • Most Apple devices now use Face ID, but there are still iPhones and iPads with Home buttons that can use Touch ID.
  • Improve iPad and iPhone security by using Touch ID to put a lock on apps.
  • You can't enable Touch ID for all apps on your iPhone or iPad, but there are many you can lock with a fingerprint.
How to Lock Apps on Your iPhone with Touch ID

Want to learn how to lock apps on an iPhone or iPad with a fingerprint? Here's how to lock apps on an iPhone or iPad by enabling Touch ID. Below, we'll cover how to set up Touch ID apps for better iPad and iPhone security.

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

Before we go over how to put a lock on apps on an iPhone and iPad, you'll need to learn how to enable Touch ID on an iPhone and iPad. Now you can use your fingerprint passcode to pay for purchases on your iPhone, lock apps to protect private data, and use Touch ID to unlock them. If you have an iPhone or iPad with no Home button, you'll need to use Face ID instead. For more great iPad and iPhone security tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day

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Which iPhones & iPads Have Touch ID?

If you have any of the iPhone generations or iPad generations with a Home button, you can enable Touch ID for apps, and use it to lock apps on your iPhone and iPad. Here are the Apple devices that use Touch ID for security and privacy:

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  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone SE second generation
  • iPhone SE third generation
  • iPad tenth generation
  • iPad Air fourth generation and later
  • iPad mini sixth generation 

How to Put Touch ID on Apps

After you enable Touch ID on your iPad or iPhone, you'll automatically be able to unlock your iPad or iPhone, Wallet and Apple Pay, iTunes and App Store purchases, and Password Auto-Fill with your fingerprint. If you don't want any of these features to lock and unlock with Touch ID, you can disable them.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    ipad settings app
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode.

    touch id settings on ipad
  3. Enter your passcode if requested.
  4. Toggle off any item under Use Touch ID For that you don't want Touch ID enabled for by sliding the toggle to the left.  

    how to put fingerprint lock on apps iphone apple apps

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How to Lock Apps with Touch ID 

To lock apps with your fingerprint on your iPad or iPhone, you'll need to enable Touch ID within the app. I’ll use the Facebook Messenger app as an example. Regardless of the Touch ID app, the ability to enable Touch ID will most likely be found in the settings of that app. Some apps ask you to set up Touch or Face ID as part of the initial setup process.

Note: According to Meta, Touch ID is only available for the Messenger app on your iPad, not your iPhone.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app, then tap the three horizontal lines icon.

    how to lock apps on iphone with fingerprint facebook messenger
  2. Tap the gear icon.

    tap the gear icon to add touch id to messenger app
  3. Tap Privacy & Safety, then tap App lock.

    tap privacy and safety to add app lock on messenger with fingerprint
  4. Toggle on Require Touch ID, then select how long a time will elapse before the Messenger app locks with Touch ID. 

    lock app for set duration with fingerprint messenger app

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 Password

    how to lock apps on iphone with fingerprint notes app
  3. Toggle Use Touch ID from gray to green. If you have a locked notes password, enter it. If you have more than one account, tap the account you want to add Touch ID to. 

    how to lock apps on iphone with fingerprint notes app
  4. If you already have a Notes app password or a different Touch ID fingerprint on the Notes app, you'll need to tap Enter Password, then enter the old password or fingerprint to proceed. 

    tap enter password to block apps on iphone with touch id
  5. Add a password, verify it, add a hint, and tap Done.

    how to enable touch id for apps in notes app

Although you've now enabled Touch ID for the Notes app, not all notes are automatically locked. You must choose which notes you want to lock. Here's how to lock a note with Touch ID

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How to Make Sure Your Locked Apps Are Really Private

For some reason, locking an app on your iPhone or iPad (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 iPad or 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 remove widgets from the Today View on an iPad and iPhone to make sure your protected apps are really private. For further privacy, you can also remove widgets from your Home Screen, and remove apps from the Siri suggestions widget.

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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; here are some of ours.

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • WhatsApp
  • Dropbox
  • Some banking apps
  • 1Password
  • Dashlane
  • Evernote 
  • Mint
  • Day One Journal
  • Momento
  • Amazon
  • Document 5
  • PayPal
  • Grindr
  • eHarmony
  • Bumble
  • Google Drive
  • Dashlane
  • Documents by Readdle

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 Photos and other apps with our fingerprints.

Keep in mind that even if an app doesn't have Touch ID or Face ID, you can always log out of the app when you're finished using it to improve security. For Apple apps, your entire iPhone or iPad locks with Touch ID and/or a passcode, so you can lock your device when you're done using it to keep these apps and their data private.

  • iOS Photos
  • iOS Messages
  • iOS Health
  • Tinder
  • Twitter 
  • Instagram 

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

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If this iPad and iPhone privacy tutorial helped you, you might also want to learn how to set up Touch ID on a MacBook

Top Image Credit: mama_mia /

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Author Details

Abbey Dufoe's picture

Author Details

Abbey Dufoe

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