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How to Use Guided Access on iPad

16th May 2024

Jacob Woolcock


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In this QuickTips video, I demonstrate how to use the Guided Access feature on an iPad to enhance your teaching experience by controlling how learners interact with the device.

You’ll learn how to enable Guided Access, set a passcode, and restrict access to specific apps, ensuring that students remain focused on their tasks without accidentally navigating away.

Additionally, I’ll show you how to disable certain screen areas for a more tailored user experience. This tutorial is invaluable for educators looking to maintain control over their classroom devices and enhance student engagement.

The Guided Access feature for iPad gives you control over how your learners access the device, meaning you can lock them into a specific app and even disable parts of the screen so they can’t accidentally leave and go somewhere else.

To enable Guided Access, we’re going to jump into the Settings app and then scroll down until we find Accessibility. Here, at the bottom of this page under the General section, you’re going to tap on Guided Access. It’s a very simple toggle at the top to enable Guided Access, but before we leave this screen, I’m going to go into Passcode Settings and ensure I’ve chosen a passcode that I can remember. I’ll go with ‘1 2 3 4’ for now, but I’m guessing you might want something a little better than that.

At this stage, we can open any app on our device and enable Guided Access simply by pressing the Home button or the Lock button three times quickly. When you do that, your screen will change to look like this, and now we can fine-tune how Guided Access works.

If you want to just restrict users to this particular app, you can simply press Start in the top corner, and that’s it – done! You can’t press the Home button, and you can’t leave; you’re in that app until you choose to end Guided Access.

But on this screen, before you press Start, you can also drag a box around parts of the screen that you want to disable, maybe the address bar in Safari or, for me, the assignment list on the left-hand side in Showbie. Then, when I press Start, I can use the rest of the app as normal, but I can’t leave the app, and I can’t interact with that sidebar.

When I want to end Guided Access later on, all I’m going to do is tap the Lock button or the Home button three times again, put in my passcode, and then I can press End on this screen. That will return the iPad to normal operating mode, meaning you can jump between different apps and interact with everything you like.

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