Guided Access helps students with disabilities such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. – Apple

Guided Access, one of many new features found in iOS 6, allows you to put your device in Kiosk mode, limiting access to other apps on the device. This feature can be useful for secure testing, keeping students on task, and more. In this post, we’ll take a look at how to setup and use Guided Access on your device to limit access to a specific book in the iBooks app.

guided access screenshots

  1. Access the Settings app. Then, tap General | Accessibility | Guided Access.
  2. Use the slider at the top of the screen to turn on the service.
  3. Tap Set Passcode. You’ll need to remember the passcode you set here to exit Guided Access mode later on.
  4. Launch the iBooks app (or any other app of your choice).
  5. Triple-tap the Home button. Once the Guided Access screen loads, use your finger to draw circles around the parts of the interface that you don’t want to students to be able to access. Since we’re limiting access to a specific book, we remove access to the Library button.
  6. Tap the Start button to launch Guided Access.

That’s all there is to it! Once finished, simply triple-tap the Home button and enter the passcode to exit Guided Access mode. As you can see, there are all sorts of potential use cases for this feature in classrooms and labs. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!

Posted by Brandon Ballentine

My name is Brandon and I'm an iOS developer and instructional technology consultant based in Los Angeles, California.

  1. I’m glad to learn about Guided Access. It’s good to see Apple handy approaches to improve education level effectively. I’m currently using iOS 5 but looking forward to move on version 6. In the mean time I wanted to use this tool on my iOS 5, please let me is it available on my version of OS. Thanks.


    1. Hey Tony,
      Unfortunately, I believe Guided Access is an iOS6 feature. When you do upgrade to the new version, you may also want to check out Apple Configurator (for your Mac). You can use that tool to limit access to apps and features on your iOS devices.


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