Use different Passcodes for Restrictions and Lock Screen on Kids’ Devices

Recently I received the same question from two different readers, so thought others might have this question.

“My daughter got an iPad mini for Christmas and I’m wondering, is it possible to have two different passcodes on it? We have a passcode on the front screen to keep her brother out; however it uses the same passcode for restrictions.  It won’t be long before she figures that out and can remove the restrictions I’ve set up.  Any ideas?”

It is recommended to use a different passcode for restrictions than the one used on the lock screen.   The child who owns or uses the device should know the lock screen passcode so he or she can keep prying younger siblings out, and for protection if the device is lost or stolen.  Make sure that YOU know the lock screen passcode too!

The restrictions passcode is different.  This should be a passcode that YOU set and only the parents know.  Make it something you’ll easily remember, but that would be hard for the kiddos to guess.  For example, don’t use the last four digits of your phone number!

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to change the restrictions passcode to make it different than the lock screen passcode.  This example assumes that you’ve already set restrictions, but you now want to change the Restrictions passcode.

1. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions.  You’ll be prompted to enter the current passcode.

Enter your restrictions passcode

2. Click Disable Restrictions.

Disable Restrictions

3. You’ll be prompted to enter the Restrictions passcode again here. (This is what you are trying to prevent; if you know the passcode you can disable restrictions).

Turn off Passcode

4. Now restrictions are disabled, and you can re-enable them.  Just click Enable Restrictions at the top.

Enable Restrictions

5. Now choose a NEW and DIFFERENT passcode than before.  Again, be sure to use a 4-digit passcode that you will remember and your kids will not guess.  Re-enter the same code to confirm.

Set passcode  Re-enter passcode


Now, here’s the only bad part – any restrictions you had in place before will be wiped clean.  You will have to put all the restrictions back in place.  (You can see the difference between step #2, where installing and deleting apps were restricted, and step #4, where they were reset to the default.  In my case I would need to remember to turn those off once more).

The only exception is that Location Services seems to remember which apps can use location and which can’t.  (Good time to review that too!)

Now you can rest a bit easier knowing that the restrictions passcode is tougher to crack!


From Apple – iTunes restrictions

iOS restrictions –


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  1. Krikor Jehmezian says

    I have forgot what is my restriction passcode & I have 24 failed attempt, what should I do?
    Can you advise please?
    Thank you

    • Jean says

      Hi Krikor, unfortunately the only recourse is to reset the device back to the factory defaults. If you restore from a backup, you’ll just restore the forgotten passcode.

  2. Cael says

    Hi I’m 12 and I think parents just shouldn’t get there kids these devices if they don’t trust them most parents do trust there kids with internet safety so if you have to turn on restrictions for them they don’t need it you have to trust them to be safe online there is no need to set up millions of password parents worry to much about there kids on the internet just monitor them daily if they don’t do anything bad on it for the next week or so let them have freedom

  3. Ginny says

    So I’ve set the restrictions up numerous times with the same passcode. Every time I disable and then re-enable them the restrictions are gone and I have to reset them. What am I doing wrong?

  4. Jean says

    I mention that above – if you remove restrictions, and then set them up again even with the same passcode, any restrictions you had in place before will be wiped clean. You will have to put all the restrictions back in place.

    • Jean says

      Hi, sorry I can’t really help with that one. I believe that runs Android operating system and these directors are for iOS.

  5. Jonathan863 says

    I have type in my passcode alot of times around 45 times and i had forgot my restrictions code what can i do need help as soon as possible

    • Jean says

      If you have forgotten the restrictions passcode, the only thing you can do it restore your device back to factory settings.

  6. Jen says

    Thank you SO MUCH!
    This is just what I needed!
    All other help sites had me backing up and soon a full reset, etc…..
    Just needed to know which “buttons” to click!

  7. Jazmine says

    Plz help i forgot the restrictions passcode on my iphone 4 im at 2 failed attempts how many more attempts do i get?

    • Jean says

      Hi Jazmine, I’m not sure exactly how many attempts you would have if you are not able to recall the restrictions passcode, unfortunately you have to reset the device. Or just leave the current restrictions in place. If this is for the device passcode however then that would be different.

  8. says

    Hi Jean, I am a 72 year old adult with an Iphone 5s. Its about two years old. I went to do something the other day and was prompted to disable my restrictions. Well I never put in any restriction code and have not been able to find the factory default code either. I am about ready to move away from apple products.

    • Jean says

      Hi James,
      Sorry to hear you are having trouble with this. There is no default code, as the device doesn’t come with Restrictions in place. They would have to be added by someone. Did someone else previously use this iphone? In any case, if you don’t know the Restrictions passcode, the only way to remove it is to restore the device back to factory defaults:

  9. Tara says

    my savvy teen 12 has worked out how to hack the restrictions passcode thanks to youtube what can I do about getting one he can’t hack or seeing when it is hacked.

    • Jean says

      Hi Tara,
      To my knowledge there is no way you would know if the passcode has been hacked, changed or removed from the device. Have you checked on the Apple support site about that?

    • Jean says

      Hi Annie,
      Good question, I’m not aware of a way to recover or view a private browser history on the iPad.

  10. Tim Neville says

    I still don’t get how resetting the parental control pass code does not also reset the entry/access passcode you use after you turn on the ipad mini.

    I managed to reset the passcode and then reset restrictions and get out just fine, but it also reset the access/entry passcode that I have to use when I turn my ipad mini on.

    So to me, if my child knows the access/entry passcode, my child is going to also know how to get into the restrictions using my parental passcode and then the change my restriction

    • Jean says

      Hi Tim,
      It’s because they are two completely different things. There is the lock passcode for being able to open/view the device. This is set from Settings – Passcode. Then there are Restriction settings for being able to manage parental control restrictions on the device, and this is set from Settings – General – Restrictions. You can have both of these on a device, and my suggestion in this article is to use two different passcodes, one for device lock (that the child can know) and a different one for Restrictions (that the child doesn’t know).

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