iPad: Lock Settings - dummies

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

The iPad’s General Settings area contains certain locks and restriction settings, including auto-lock, passcode lock, and cover lock. Here’s a closer look at these iPad lock options.


Tap Auto-Lock in the General settings pane, and you can set the amount of time that elapses before the iPad automatically locks or turns off the display. Your choices are 15 minutes before, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, or 2 minutes. Or, you can set it so that the iPad never locks automatically.

If you work for a company that insists on a passcode (see the next section), the Never Auto-Lock option isn’t in the list that your iPad shows you.

Don’t worry about whether the iPad is locked. You can still receive notification alerts and adjust the volume.

Passcode Lock

If you want to prevent others from using your iPad you can set a passcode by tapping Passcode Lock and then tapping Turn Passcode On. By default, you use the virtual keypad to enter and confirm a four-digit passcode. If you’d prefer a longer, stronger passcode, tap the Simple Passcode switch to Off.

Now provide your current passcode, and then enter and confirm your new passcode, which can be almost any combination of the letters, numbers, and symbols that are available on the standard virtual keyboard.

You can also determine whether a passcode is required immediately, after 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 4 hours. Shorter times are more secure, of course. On the topic of security, the iPad can be set to automatically erase your data if someone makes ten failed passcode attempts.

On a lighter note, you can choose to turn the Picture Frame setting on or off.

You can also change the passcode or turn it off later (unless your employer dictates otherwise), but you need to know the present passcode to apply any changes. If you forget the passcode, you have to restore the iPad software.

Cover Lock/Unlock

The iPad 2 and the third-generation iPad give you the choice to automatically lock and unlock your iPad when you close and open the clever iPad Smart Cover (and some other covers) accessory. If you set a passcode, you still have to enter it to wake the iPad from siesta-land.