How to lock your iPad or tablet into kiosk mode


Want to use tablets in a public environment, but need a simple solution to prevent users from changing settings or switching apps? Find out how here.

Are you preparing to use tablets in a public environment, but need a simple solution to prevent app switching or settings access so that users can fully focus on your content? Check out these frequently asked questions in our easy guide to securely setting up an iPad, Android or Windows device as a kiosk:


Security settings for iPads:

How can I lock down my iPad into just one app?

Designed with security in mind, Apple’s iOS 6 and above enables the use of ‘Guided Access’. This feature can be found in your iPad’s general settings, and limits use of the device to just one app of your choice. This is a simple way to prevent users from switching in and out of other apps, or accessing additional features on the iPad.


Try it out by following the steps below:

1. Select: Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access > On

2. Set Passcode (Tip: avoid choosing a combination like 1-2-3-4. A four-digit code that will be memorable, but not easily guessed works best)

3. Next, press the home button to return to the home screen. Open up your chosen app, and once loaded triple click the home button so that the Guided Access screen appears. Press Start.

4. Guided Access mode will begin, and your device will be locked down into one app.

5. If you need to disable touch on certain areas of the screen (e.g. on a webpage, to prevent users from typing a new URL into the address bar), access your Guided Access screen again by triple clicking the home button and entering your passcode.

6. Ensure that: Touch Option > On. You will now be able to draw a shape around any part of the screen, and adjust the position and size by pulling the corner circles. Press Resume (top right corner). This part of the screen will no longer react to touch.

To end Guided Access and regain full use of the iPad, triple click the home button again, enter your chosen passcode and select End in top left corner.


How do I restrict use of Home and Volume buttons?

Guided Access also allows you to enable or disable hardware buttons on your iPad, including the Sleep/Wake and Volume buttons. Once your app is opened in Guided Access mode, select Hardware Buttons Options. Switching off Sleep/Wake Button and Volume Buttons disables their use meaning these buttons will not respond if pressed by users.

For more advice on optimizing your iPad’s performance and stopping the screen from timing out after periods of inactivity, visit our tablet set-up and management guide.


Security settings for Windows tablets:

How can I lock down my Windows tablet into just one app?

With the launch of the Windows 8 operating system came the introduction of the ‘Assigned Access’ feature. Similar to Apple’s Guided Access, this allows you to choose a single app to be made accessible to the public. By creating a new user account specifically for kiosk use, this is a sure proof way to keep your Windows device locked down.


Follow the steps below to set-up Assigned Access:

1. To use Assigned Access, you must first set up another account (you will need to be logged in as an Administrator to do this: find out how here)

2. Swipe right to access PC settings and select: Settings > Change PC settings > Accounts > Other accounts > Add an account > Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended)

3. Under ‘Add a user’, fill in the details (user name could be ‘Kiosk’) and select: Next. Log out of your current account, and log in to your new ‘Kiosk’ account. Install the app you would like to use for Assigned Access and log out again

4. Log back into your Administrator account, open PC settings, and select: Accounts > Other accounts > Set up an account for assigned access > Choose an account > ‘Kiosk’ > Choose an app (select the app you would like your kiosk to be locked into)

The device will now be locked down into one app. To end Assigned Access, simply log out of the ‘Kiosk’ account and back into your own account.


How do I restrict use of hardware buttons?

Whilst signed into Assigned Access (see above), all hardware keys and other touch gestures will be automatically disabled, meaning settings cannot be toggled without signing back in to your own user account.


Security settings for Android tablets:

How can I lock an Android tablet down into one app?

For an equivalent to Apple’s Guided Access and Windows’ Assigned Access mode to lock down your Android tablet, there are many free apps available. This includes SureLock, Kiosk Browser Lockdown or Kioware (available to download on Google Play store). Follow the on-screen instructions to set your passcode and give users access to selected apps only.


How do I restrict use of hardware buttons?

Depending on your Android tablet, your device may or may not have a physical home button. Although the ability to disable hardware buttons may not be included in the tablet’s system settings, the above apps will prevent use of hardware buttons (this mode will only end after entering your passcode). There are also a number of apps available that can disable hardware buttons, such as Hardware Disabler or Kid’s Lock which will prevent users from accessing the home screen and settings such as the volume control.tablet-kiosk-mode-windows-lock-screen-bouncepad

For more advice on optimising your Android tablet’s performance and stopping the screen from timing out after periods of inactivity, visit our Tablet set-up and management guide.


These instructions work well on a device-by-device basis (for 10 tablets or less), but if managing a larger number of devices, check out our introduction to managing multiple tablets.


Physical security

If you’re introducing tablets to a public environment, tackling physical security is another element essential to making your project a success. Check out our secure range of tablet and iPad kiosks, with a number of  mounting options available.



Author bio

Specialising in digital marketing and content creation, Jenny Kay is Marketing Executive at Bouncepad. Find Jenny on Linkedin.

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