How to Set the Passcode on Your iPod Touch

You can set a passcode for the iPod touch or iPod classic to lock it and thereby prevent others from navigating through your content (not available for the iPod nano or iPod shuffle). Setting a passcode also turns on data protection for an iPod touch, which uses your passcode as the key for encrypting mail messages and their attachments. (Data protection may also be used by some apps.)

An iPod touch locks itself when it goes to sleep, and as you already know, you have to slide your finger over the Slide to unlock message to unlock it. But you can also set a passcode to keep the iPod touch protected from access — so that you need to supply the passcode to unlock it.

If you’re playing music when your iPod classic is locked, the music continues playing — and you can even use the Play/Pause button to pause and resume playback — but if you set a passcode, no one can navigate the iPod classic or even change the volume without providing the passcode.

To conserve power, you can force your iPod touch to go to sleep by pressing the Sleep/Wake button — but you still need the passcode (if you set one) to use it after waking it up. Similarly, you can force an iPod classic to go to sleep by pressing the Play/Pause button, but you still need the passcode to unlock it. When the iPod awakens, it remembers everything — including its passcode.

Don’t bother to call Apple to see whether the company can unlock your iPod for you. If you can’t enter the correct passcode or attach it to the computer you set it up on, your only recourse is to restore the iPod.

To set a passcode for your iPod touch, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Settings→General→Passcode Lock from the Home screen.

    The Passcode Lock screen appears with the Simple Passcode and Turn Passcode On options.

  2. To use a four-number passcode, leave the Simple Passcode option turned on; if you want to use a more complex alphanumeric password as a passcode, tap the On switch for Simple Passcode to turn it off.

  3. Tap Turn Passcode On at the top and enter the passcode.

    If you left the Simple Passcode option turned on in Step 2, you see a telephone-style keypad — enter a four-number passcode by touching numbers in the keypad.

    If you turned off the Simple Passcode option in Step 2, you see a full keyboard — enter an alphanumeric password as a passcode using the keyboard. If you change your mind, tap the Cancel button to cancel the operation.

  4. Enter the same passcode again to confirm the passcode.

    After reentering the passcode, the Passcode Lock screen appears with passcode options.

  5. Choose Passcode options.

    • You can choose Turn Passcode Off to turn it off or choose Change Passcode to change it. You need to enter the passcode to do either.

    • You can set the Require Passcode option to Immediately, After 1 Minute, After 5 Minutes, After 15 Minutes, After 1 Hour, or After 4 Hours.

    • You can turn the Siri, Passbook, and Reply with Message options on or off. These options are normally on so that you can talk to Siri, show items in your Passbook, and reply to a message without having to enter a passcode.

      As a security measure, you may want to turn it off, so that the iPod touch must be unlocked with the passcode first before using Siri, using Passbook, or replying to a message.

    • You can turn the Erase Data option on or off. This option erases all the information and content on the iPod touch after ten successive failed passcode attempts.

  6. When you’re done, tap General to return to the General menu.

The passcode screen appears immediately after you slide the Slide to unlock message. After correctly entering the passcode, the iPod touch unlocks.

To unlock a passcode-locked iPod touch, you must enter the same passcode or restore the iPod touch to its original factory settings. Restoring erases everything — this is, of course, a measure of last resort. You may want to perform the restore operation on the computer you synced the iPod touch with, so that you can resync it to your iTunes library.

To set a passcode (combination lock) for your iPod classic, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Extras→Screen Lock→Lock.

    The Screen Lock icon appears with your combination lock set to zeros.

  2. Select the first number of the passcode by scrolling the click wheel.

    While you scroll with your iPod, the first digit of the passcode changes. You can also press the Previous/Rewind or Next/Fast Forward button to scroll through numbers.

  3. Press the Select button to pick a number.

    This sets your choice for the first number and moves on to the next number of the passcode. Repeat this step for each number of the passcode. When you pick the last number, the message Confirm Combination appears.

  4. Confirm the passcode.

    Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for each number of the passcode to confirm it. After confirming, your iPod is locked.

On a locked iPod classic, the lock icon appears if you press any key. To unlock the iPod after locking it, press any button and repeat Steps 2 and 3 to enter each number of the passcode. After correctly entering the passcode, the iPod classic unlocks and returns to the last viewed screen.

To reset the passcode, unlock the iPod, choose Extras→Screen Lock→Reset Combination, and then repeat Steps 2 through 4. To turn off the lock, reset the combination to all zeroes.

If you don’t know the passcode, attach the iPod classic to the computer you used to set it up and synchronize it with iTunes. When you disconnect it after synchronizing with iTunes, the iPod classic is no longer locked with a passcode.

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