How to Lock Apps on iPhone & iPad with Touch ID (2022)

If you have an iPhone or iPad with a Home button, you can lock apps with your fingerprint using Touch ID; here's how!

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. We’ll go over how to set up Touch ID apps below. 

Related: How to Turn On Face ID for Apps on iPhone

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. Once you've set up Touch ID on an iPad or iPhone, 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.

But, if you have any of the iPhone generations or iPad generations with a Home button, including 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 and unlock apps on your iPad or iPhone. However, there are still plenty of apps that don't work with Touch ID. Let's get started learning how to put a fingerprint lock on apps. For more great iPad and iPhone privacy tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day

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

How to Lock Apps on Your iPhone & iPad

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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, Apple Pay, iTunes, and App Store purchases 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.  

    touch id for ipad apps

How to Lock Apps with Touch ID 

Now, 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, 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. Some apps ask you to set up Touch or Face ID as part of the setup process.

  1. If you've already set up Messenger, open it, and tap the icon with your face in it.
  2. Tap Privacy.

    add touch id to facebook messenger
  3. Tap Privacy, or something similar depending on the app.

    tap app lock
  4. Toggle on Require Touch ID.

    toggle on require touch id

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

    tap notes, then tap password to enable touch id
  3. If you have more than one account, tap the account you want to add Touch ID to. 

    choose notes app account to lock with fingerprint
  4. Add a password, verify it, add a hint, toggle on Use Touch ID, and tap Done.

    how to lock apps with a password - 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:

  1. On an iPhone updated to iOS 15, swipe right across the first Home screen to open the Today View.

    iphone today view
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Edit.

    tap edit in today view to remove widgets
  3. Tap the red circle to the left of the app name and then tap Remove to confirm.

    tap the minus sign, then tap remove
  4. Repeat for any other apps whose widgets you don't want to see.
  5. Tap Done when you are finished.

    tap done

For even more privacy, you can even 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!

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Dropbox
  • Some banking apps
  • 1Password
  • Dashlane
  • Evernote 
  • Mint
  • Day One Journal
  • Momento
  • Memoir
  • Amazon
  • Document 5
  • Scanner Pro
  • PayPal
  • eHarmony
  • Bumble
  • Google
  • 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 Facebook, Photos, and other apps with our fingerprints.

  • iOS Photos
  • iOS Messages
  • iOS Health
  • Tinder
  • 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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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 / Shutterstock.com

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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 abbeydufoe.com.