How to Enable USB Restricted Mode to Protect Data & Improve iPhone Security

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Learn how to protect your data and limit your iPhone's Lightning port to charging only with USB restricted mode. If you lose your iPhone, or even lose sight of your phone in a public place, like plugged into the wall of the coffee shop, your data is susceptible to USB hacking tools such as keyloggers, even if it's locked. USB Restricted Mode is an iPad and iPhone security setting that can help secure your data by disabling access to the Lightning port after your device has been locked for an hour. After USB Restricted Mode turns on, your iPhone's USB/Lightning port is disabled, and you'll have to use Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode to unlock your iPhone so you can use USB accessories. Let's go over how to enable restricted mode, and how to turn off or disable restricted mode.

Related: My iPhone Won't Charge! Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks to Get Your iPhone Charging Again

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How to Turn On or Disable USB Restricted Mode on Your iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode. If you have an iPhone X or later, tap Face ID & Passcode.

    iphone settings appface id and passcode settings
  3. You'll be prompted to enter your passcode.
  4. Under Allow Access When Locked, set the toggle for USB Accessories to OFF.
  5. This will lock the Lightning port and prevent USB-related accessories from obtaining your data after your device has been locked for one hour.

    toggle usb accessories off

This feature helps to protect your data, but can interfere with USB accessories you like using, such as CarPlay hubs after the one-hour lockdown. To regain access, just unlock your phone with your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID as you normally would. To disable USB Restricted Mode, go back into your Touch or Face ID settings and toggle USB Accessories back on. 

Check out our free Tip of the Day for more Apple device tutorials.

Top image credit: George.Bali /

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Author Details

Hallei Halter's picture

Author Details

Hallei Halter

Hallei is a 2018 graduate of Maharishi University of Management with a BFA in Creative & Professional Writing. She's currently working on a novel about people using witchcraft to clean their houses.