How to lock specific iPhone apps

Like it or not, our smartphones store an array of personal, sensitive data, so in order to secure your device properly, you may need to go beyond the traditional lock screen protections. Whether it’s safeguarding bank account apps or preserving the privacy of intimate conversations, an additional layer of protection on specific apps provides peace of mind against potential threats.

Some individual apps, like WhatsApp or Proton Mail offer this feature without requiring additional software. For Apple’s native apps, such as Notes, you can employ an extra security layer for individual notes. By tapping the three dots within a note, selecting Lock, and choosing either a custom password or Face ID/Touch ID, you can secure specific notes without affecting the entire app.

If the app you wish to lock lacks this feature, the Shortcuts app comes to the rescue. First, ensure the Lock Screen shortcut is in place. From the Shortcuts tab, tap All Shortcuts, then the + button to add the Lock Screen shortcut.

  1. To create an automation tap on New Automation or the + button,
  2. Select App
  3. Choose the app(s) you want to lock
  4. Set the conditions to “Is Opened” and “Run Immediately.”
  5. Search for “lock screen” in the search box, then set it when it shows up.

This automation ensures that when you launch selected apps, your iPhone automatically locks itself, requiring Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode authentication.

Beyond individual app security, the Lock Screen shortcut can be incorporated into other automations. For instance, your iPhone can automatically lock itself when leaving the house or enabling Do Not Disturb mode. By taking control of your phone’s security measures, you can ensure that your digital life remains private and protected against various potential threats.

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