How to Fix “Guided Access” Not Working on iOS?

Guided Access is a nifty tool that lets Apple users limit access to a single application and permit actions to be drawn out through gestures. It is useful when you want to hand over your device to a child. It requires a password to be enabled.

Guided Access not Working
Guided Access not Working

People experience issues with this feature where it doesn’t work as expected and fails to launch when enabled, or gets stuck. In some cases, the application freezes when prompted to enter the passcode. These issues usually occur due to glitches in the feature’s configurations or due to problems in the operating system itself. 

Below are the fixes to kickstart Guided Access back to action and to fix any bugs that it might be encountering. 

1. Force Restart the Apple Device

Before trying anything else, force restarting your device may fix the issue at hand. This will force all components to get restarted and fix any glitches that might be causing guided access to stop working

2. Disable and Enable Guided Access Feature

Guided Access may fail to work due to a glitch in its own operating configurations. Here, disabling and enabling the Guided Access feature in the device’s settings may resolve the issue. For illustrative purposes, we will go through the process of disabling and enabling the feature on an iPhone.

  1. Launch the iPhone Settings and open Accessibility.
    Open Accessibility in the iPhone Settings
    Open Accessibility in the iPhone Settings
  2. Now open and disable Guided Access.
    Open Guided Access in the Accessibility Settings of the iPhone
    Open Guided Access in the Accessibility Settings of the iPhone
  3. Then, without leaving that screen, force restart your iPhone (process discussed earlier).
    Disable the Guided Access Feature of the iPhone
    Disable the Guided Access Feature of the iPhone
  4. Upon restart, enable Guided Access and check if it is working normally.
  5. If that did not work, head to the Accessibility Shortcut Settings of the iPhone and uncheck every item except Guided Access.
  6. Now disable Guided Access and force restart the iPhone.
  7. Then enable Guided Access and afterwards, check if the Guided Access working problem is solved.

3. Update iOS

This issue can also occur if the iOS is not updated to the latest version. This can cause incompatibility between different OS modules and applications, leading to the following issue.

In this context, updating the iOS to the latest version may solve the problem. Before proceeding, make sure the device is charged to full, connected to a Wi-Fi network, and a backup is created. For illustration, we will go through the process of updating the iOS of an iPhone.

  1. Head to your iPhone Settings and navigate to General.
    Open General Settings of iPhone
  2. Now open Software Update and if an iOS update is present, download the update.
    Update Software of iPhone
    Update Software of iPhone
  3. Then install the update and afterwards, check if the Guided Access feature is working correctly.

4. Reset the Keyboard Dictionary

If a third-party keyboard is connected to your Apple device and the keyboard’s dictionary of the Apple device is glitched, then that can cause Guided Access to stop working. In such a case, resetting the keyboard dictionary of the Apple device may do the trick. For illustration, we will list the steps necessary to perform the technique on an iPad.

  1. Steer to the Settings of your iPad and open General.
  2. Now select Reset and tap on Reset Keyboard Dictionary.
    Reset Keyboard Dictionary of the iPhone
    Reset the Keyboard Dictionary of the iPhone
  3. Then confirm to reset the iPad’s keyboard dictionary and afterwards, check if the Guided Access problem is cleared.

If that did not work and you are failing to exit Guided Access but you have a Bluetooth mouse paired to the device (like a Bluetooth mouse attached to an iPad), then you can use that external mouse to enter the passcode and move out of the Guided Access Mode.

5. Change the Passcode of Guided Access

Changing the password of your Guided Access will force the entire module to reinitialize its authorization modules and could help fix the issue. 

  1. Force restart your Apple device and head to the device Settings.
  2. Navigate to Accessibility > Guided Access > Passcode Settings
  3. Now change the passcode.
    Open Passcode Settings of the iPhone
    Open the Passcode Settings of the iPhone
  4. Afterwards, check if the Guided Access is working normally.

6. Reset All Settings of the Apple Device

As mentioned before, you may not be able to access guided access if some settings are corrupt or not working as intended. Finding the exact settings that are causing the issue can be quite troublesome. In this case, resetting all settings of the Apple device to defaults will fix the issue. 

For illustration, we will discuss the process of resetting all the settings of an iPhone. Before proceeding, make sure you have backed up or noted down essential info required later (like Wi-Fi network credentials).

  1. Launch the Settings of your iPhone and tap on General.
  2. Now open Reset and press on the Reset All Settings option.
     
    Reset All Settings on Your iPhone
    Reset All Settings on Your iPhone
  3. Then confirm to reset all the settings of your iPhone and afterwards, check if the Guided Access issue is cleared.

7. Resetting to Factory Defaults

The Guided Access feature may fail to work if iOS is corrupted. This corruption might have occurred due to a poor application of the latest iOS update. Here, resetting the Apple device to the factory defaults may resolve the solve the problem.

For illustration, we will go through the process of resetting an iPhone to the factory defaults. Before proceeding, make sure the phone is charged to full and a backup is created.

Reset Through Settings

  1. Steer to the Settings of your iPhone and press General.
  2. Now select Reset and tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
    Erase All Content and Settings of iPhone
    Erase All Content and Settings of the iPhone
  3. Then confirm to reset the iPhone and afterwards, wait till the process finishes.
  4. Once done, set up the iPhone as a new device without restoring from a backup and hopefully, the Guided Access feature would be working fine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Muhammad Zubyan


Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with extensive experience spanning over 7 long years. Having worked on 1500+ computers, he gained many valuable insights and is currently able to detect and troubleshoot any Windows related issue/error no matter how complicated its root cause is. When he is not managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is working on his own Game Optimization program to facilitate both gamers and casual users alike.
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