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Some guy took my Son's iPhone and took 1,200 photos within 12 minutes. He was able to use the camera from the lock screen without having access to the locked phone.

These photos completely wiped our family's Photo stream (and replaced our vacation photos with nonsense). Also, the storage was filled and my son couldn't even make a phone call before we deleted the 1,200 photos.

Deleting the photos was even more annoying. Can you imagine the tedious process of deleting 1,200 photos on an iPhone?

This was very annoying, and also a usecase Apple may not have thought of.

Somebody mentioned that you can disable control center on lock screen. (Settings>Control Centre>Access on Lock Screen). To my surprise, this brings back a camera button on the lock screen. So that didn't work.

An old post suggested that the only possible solution would be to completely disable camera and FaceTime. But this is not really a solution (would be comparable to painting the camera lens black).

Back to the question: In iOS9, how do I disable camera access on the lock screen?

Related (but not quite the answer):

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  • Just a refresh that in iOS 14.7.1 this is still an issue. It's one of the things that annoys me the most, simply because of the many times I accidentally touch the camera icon from the lock screen and have to waste time to turn it off. Sometimes it has happened when I was saving the last few bits of battery. I've also found accidental pictures and videos when the phone was in my pocket. I don't understand why there isn't an option to just disable it. By the way, I'd be happy to keep it in the "drop down" control center, I just want the bottom right-corner button gone!
    – Nagev
    Aug 14, 2021 at 10:37
  • It's not just the button, swiping left on the lock screen also brings up the camera!
    – Nagev
    Aug 14, 2021 at 12:21

3 Answers 3

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It's looking like you cannot suppress the photo icon from the lock screen and iOS 9 has no difference in behavior from iOS 8 (so this really looks like a duplicate question to me since iOS 5 in fact...) unless you disable the camera entirely - lock screen or not using a MDM profile or restriction in the settings app.

The only countermeasure to that malicious behavior would be to not let the camera participate in iCloud photo stream so that once the camera had filled up the storage on the phone, the phone storage would be filled.

Bulk deleting images is something that's easy with a Mac and the Image Capture app.

In my opinion, this is a bug, and Apple should allow a restriction to prevent use of the camera from the lock screen. You could cut off the camera entirely using restrictions or an MDM profile, but that would prevent all use of the camera and not just from the locked state.

I would reach out to iCloud support and explain the data loss - they can point you to the upload restrictions and possibly tune them using your actual bad experience with Photo Stream.

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  • 1
    Thanks for your thorough description. Which I prefer not to accept (for now). I also totally agree that this is a bug and it should be easy to switch off camera access from Lock Screen. Also thanks for pointing out the Image Capture app, which I forgot all about yesterday (took me 30 minutes to delete 1200 photos from phone) Sep 30, 2015 at 11:03
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General> restrictions turn on restrictions and turn off camera

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Jailbreak there's a tweak that can disable it

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