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 –


About Jean

Hi! I'm a webmaster, technology educator and creator of Be Web Smart. I hope you found this article useful. If you are new here, you might like to sign up for e-mail updates, view Links and Resources on similar topics, and subscribe to the RSS feed.