Secure your iOS apps without inbuilt Passcode or Biometric Authentication

Santosh Botre
5 min readFeb 7, 2023

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Disclaimer: This article is for (iPhone/iPad) iOS users …

Copywrite @ safetydetectives

The built-in feature to lock apps behind Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode is not widely available for all the iOS and iPadOS, some developers have incorporated this feature into their apps.

As a user, we aim to secure certain applications with a unique password, known only to you, so that even those who have access to your phone passcode are unable to open these apps.

A solution using Shortcuts to lock other apps.

Shortcuts

Securing your apps with a lock is crucial for enhancing the security of your device, especially if it is shared or does not have a passcode set.

Some well-known apps, such as Messenger, Outlook, Signal, and WhatsApp, have this feature built-in. But not application have it.

On top of that, all apps using platform Biometric/Passcode 🔒 features will open by same passcode not safe for shared device.

For others, Shortcuts can be a viable alternative.

Let’s set the custom password to Instagram app.

Step 1: Open Shortcuts applications. In case, it is not installed, install from here.

Step 2: Launch Shortcuts App and go to Shortcuts tab and See all shortcuts listed. And tap on ‘+’ Button highlighted on right top.

Step 3: It will ask you to add new shortcut. Lets top on ‘New Shortcut’ to give the name to our shortcut. In this case ‘Instagram’

Step 4: Choose icon to the shortcut. Its important as it will be shown on our homescree.

Icon and app name is ready :)

Step 5: Click on the Add Action and it will open a Search Screen. Search for ‘Ask for Input’ and tap on it.

Step 6: Change default ‘Text’ to ‘Number’ by tapping on blue ‘Text’.

Then tap on ‘Prompt’ and add your prompt text like ‘Enter password’

Step 7: From ‘Next Action Suggestions’ and tap on + of ‘If’ action.

Tap on “Condition” select “is”

Tap on “Number” and enter the password/number you want to use as password. In this example ‘123’

Step 8: Now tap on Search bar at bottom of the screen and search for Open App

Step 9: Hold the Open App menu and drag this below the “If” condition section. It will call this action only if condition is meet. i.e., password entered by users matches to ‘123’

Step 10: Tap on ‘App’ and it will present the list of apps installed on the device. You can search for specific application. In this case ‘Instagram’ and tap on it.

Step 11: Now you shortcut will look like this.

Step 12:

a. Now Again tap on top shortcut name we have provided and it will open a drop down menu.

b. Tap on ‘Add to Home Screen’ menu. It will show you the preview of the shortcut which will be placed on home screen.

c. Tap on ‘Add’ button on right top to add the preview shorcut.

Now you can see the Shortcut on home screen.

Step 13: Tap on the App Icon and it will prompt you to enter password.

Done. It’s pure MAGIC!!!

Every time you try to launch the application using this shortcut it will ask for password.

Wait wait… but still user can use the original application icon from home screen to launch the application.

Don’t worry we can delete the application icon from home screen.

  1. Touch and hold the app.
  2. Tap Remove App.
  3. Tap Remove from Home Screen

Finally, happy ending…

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Santosh Botre

Take your time to learn before develop, examine to make it better, and eventually blog your learnings.