How to Lock Your iPhone or iPad During FaceTime

How to lock your iPhone Controls for FaceTime

Updated for most recent iOS in November 2022

We talk to my parents almost every day via FaceTime and have since Cub was born in 2012. When Little Miss Cub was born last summer, I announced her arrival to my mother by showing her her first granddaughter’s face thanks to the hospital’s wi-fi!

There was a delightful honeymoon period with my firstborn, in which I was allowed to hold the iPhone or iPad, point it where I wished, reverse the camera as required and allow my family to fawn over their first grandson/nephew/great grandson/great nephew in all his inactive glory. It was probably pretty boring since he was mainly asleep. (I remember he would wake up and I’d immediately call my parents, and my mom would shout, “Hurry, Michael! He’s awake!”)

But it really doesn’t take long for baby to want to take control of the screen, whether you like it or not. Now, I’m not advocating giving your six-month-old games or Netflix: I’m talking about letting your baby and toddler have virtual visits with faraway family and friends without constantly hanging up on them. Even if you are the one holding the phone, it’s likely that chubby fingers will accidentally press that red button or flip the camera to reveal piles of laundry or dishes! I used to put Cub in his play pen to hang out with his uncle while I took a shower!

Cub talks to Uncle Sean

I think Cub was probably two when I stopped locking the screen during FaceTime. Now that Little Miss is at the grab-the-phone phase, I noticed that the phone-locking functionality on my iPhone and iPad had changed a bit, so figured I’d update my very popular “How-to” post!

How to Activate Guided Access

1- Go to your Settings menu and select Accesibility:

2- Scroll almost to the bottom to Guided Access:

3- Scroll to the very bottom of the screen and enable Guided Access:

On this screen you will also want to set a passcode for exiting Guided Acess, as well as enable the Accessibility Shortcut so that you can enter this mode by triple clicking the side button.


How to Turn on Guided Access during FaceTime

Once you’ve got Grandma on the line, triple click the side button, which starts up Guided Access. You will see Options at the bottom left of the screen and Start on the top right. On my iPad, these options are displayed at the bottom of the screen.

How to lock your iPhone or iPad for FaceTime

During Guided Access, you can disable whatever you need, depending on how actively your child likes to fiddle with your phone or iPad. You can disable the touch screen, the keyboard, the volume, the side button and even motion. You can also set a time limit, which would be more useful in a game.

How to lock your iPhone or iPad for FaceTime

More useful for playing games, you can also disable portions of the screen by leaving Touch enabled and circling the parts of the screen you don’t want your child to use, such as the exit button or the link to purchase game add-ons! (If you want to still control the camera direction, but disable the mute and end-call buttons, you can do it this way!)

Lock your screen for gaming

Press Start to begin using Guided Access, and let baby chat away:

Little Miss talks to Popo

When you’re ready to hang up, triple click the side button again and enter your passcode (or use your Face ID) to unlock the screen and end Guided Access.

Who are your children’s favourite folks to FaceTime with?

3 responses to “How to Lock Your iPhone or iPad During FaceTime”

  1. Victoria Ess

    Great guide! I love using facetime with my niece!

  2. Anel

    You have forever changed my life! And the length of my showers! ?? Thanks for this!

  3. Marie Singh

    Where is home button on iphone 10

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Welcome to my Wolf Pack!

My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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