How To Kid Proof Your iPad Using "Guided Access"

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Children LOVE the iPad...or any touch screen device, for that matter. But especially the iPad. Something about the big, bright screen and Apple's GUI makes it a kid magnet. I often notice amongst friends the iPad is used as a short term digital babysitter when Mom or Dad needs a moment to breath or a bite to eat. But before you hand a $329+ tablet over to a child, be sure to change this setting for a little extra insurance...

Apple iOS 6 includes a feature called "Guided Access", which locks the iPad into a specific application and offers the option to disable the hardware buttons so the user (aka your child) can't switch out to other apps or settings. This option was developed for teachers and parents to quarantine children into a single application and prevent accidental settings changes or unapproved app purchases.

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How to Setup Guided Access in iOS 6

  1. Open Settings, then General.
  2. Under Accessibility and then Learning section tap on “Guided Access”
  3. Turn the switch to "ON" and then set a passcode using “Set Passcode”
  4. You'll then have the option to enable Screen Sleep, which maybe be handy if your kid is prone to leaving your iPad on after getting his or her fill of using your tablet.
  5. To access Guided Access mode now, launch your target app, then triple-click the Home button to bring up the Accessibility menu.
  6. From here you'll be able to choose whether hardware buttons are off, touch access is available, motion detection is on, and disable certain parts of the screen from being accessed (shown above). Unless your password is compromised, your iPad should be set for single app use only now.

Turning off Guided Access: Triple-click the Home button and enter your passcode. Now go back into Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access > and flip the setting to "OFF" after entering your passcode.


(Images: Gregory Han)

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