How to Use Lockdown Mode on iPhone, iPad, and Mac to Secure Data

The latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS versions always introduce some handy new features. This year we have the ability to customize Lock Screen on iPhone and Stage Manager on Mac and iPad to name a few. Another feature that Apple has made available for its devices is the new lockdown mode.

Lockdown mode is part of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. As the name suggests, it locks some features of your iPhone to prevent misuse or external access. If you’re worried about your data being compromised on your Apple device, here’s how to use lockdown mode to prevent it. Before that, let’s start with the basics.

What is Apple lockdown mode and how does it work?

If you think your iPhone, iPad or Mac might be a victim of targeted threats and spyware, lockdown mode will keep your data safe. It does this by restricting as much extraneous interactions as possible between your device and an external device. It’s essentially a way to prevent any kind of cyber attack on your Apple devices.

While most regular users shouldn’t use this mode, it’s a nice feature if you want extreme data security at the expense of a few options.

Features not working in lockdown mode

Here’s what you’ll miss when lockdown mode is on:

  • Accessories and Connections: You can’t connect accessories or connect an external device to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  • Configuration Profiles: You can’t install configuration profiles on your Apple devices, which means if you want to install a beta profile to use iOS Beta, or if your job requires you to install a work profile on your phone, you can’t.
  • Attachments: Lockdown mode blocks all message attachments you receive except for pictures. This is to prevent viruses and malware from being sent to you via messages or emails.
  • Invitation to Apple Services: Only those users who previously sent you invitations to Apple’s services can do so again. It blocks all new invitations.
  • Surf the Internet: You can choose which websites to exclude from blocking mode and only those websites will work fully. You can refer to the Apple guide on how to get apps and websites out of lockdown mode.
  • FaceTime: You can only make and receive FaceTime calls to people you have previously contacted. However, calls from new users are automatically blocked.
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Now that you have a basic understanding, here’s how to enable this feature on all your devices.

How to enable iOS 16 lockdown mode on iPhone and iPad

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can enable the new iOS 16 lockdown mode as follows. Note that this feature only works on iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 and later. So update your device to the latest operating system and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Scroll down and navigate to the “Privacy & Security” section.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap Lockdown mode.

Step 3: Tap on the “Turn on lockdown mode” button.

To disable this feature: Follow the steps above and turn off the lock mode switch on your iPhone or iPad.

How to Enable and Use Lockdown Mode on Mac

More so than an iPhone or iPad, a Mac is an easier target for viruses or malware. For this reason, lockdown mode may be more beneficial when used on macOS. If you feel your data on your Mac is under threat, learn how to use it on Mac here.

note: The feature works on macOS Ventura and later; So make sure you update your Mac to the latest version.

Step 1: Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your Mac. Choose System Settings.

Step 2: In the left pane, navigate to the “Privacy and Security” section.

Step 3: Scroll down and click the Turn on button next to Lockdown mode.

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Step 4: Use Touch ID to allow the action. Your Mac will restart and go into lockdown mode.

If you want to turn off lockdown mode on your Mac, go back to the same screen and click the Turn Off button.

When to use lockdown mode

As mentioned, lockdown mode protects your device from malware or external attacks. However, you can also use it to keep your data safe when you lend your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to someone else. If you don’t want anyone to copy your files to an external drive, or you don’t want anyone to unknowingly receive email attachments that can be harmful, you can enable it before borrowing your device.

It can also be a good idea to enable this feature when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. It’s always important to make sure you’re secure when using a public network. So, enabling Apple lockdown mode can come in handy to prevent the sharing of sensitive data from your device.

frequently asked Questions

1. Can I activate lockdown mode remotely?

Unfortunately, lockdown mode cannot be activated remotely. So if your device is lost or misplaced, there is no way to activate it.

2. Does my Mac work normally in lockdown mode?

Your Mac suffers no performance degradation when Lockdown Mode is on. Aside from the features being disabled as mentioned above, there is no difference in the way your Mac or iPhone/iPad works in lockdown mode.

Protect your devices from malware

While you might not need to use lockdown mode all the time, it’s a nice feature if you find your devices vulnerable to attack. Use it to your advantage and prevent attackers from getting hold of your sensitive data.

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