I'm planning on getting an iPad, but it very much needs to be childlockable - that is I need the ability to lock it so only one app can be used unless a user has a pincode or password. I'm presuming I'll have to jailbreak to get the functionality but I'm not sure where to go from there - any ideas?

This is the only feature I'm looking for - the app I'm wanting to access is likely 'prologue2go' but that's the only reason to purchase - I'm presuming I'll be getting an iPad2 simply because they are, and will be (I pressume) more stably jailbroken.

  • Is locking the entire iPad not an option?
    – Gerry
    May 3, 2012 at 11:39
  • That's doesn't address the requirement to allow access to 1 app. Unless that 1 app is the camera app ;)
    – stuffe
    May 3, 2012 at 11:59
  • Turns out that one doesn't have to jailbreak at all. :) stackoverflow.com/questions/5011774/…
    – Joe
    Oct 28, 2012 at 19:21

3 Answers 3


This is now a feature in iOS 6 by using Accessibility. You can enable this feature by opening Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access. Here you can set a Passcode, enable Guided Access, and choose whether to allow the device to sleep or not (in this case you would want that enabled). After that, triple click the home button after opening the app, and configure the remainder of the settings.

One Caveat: The only way to get out of Guided Access (without entering the passcode after triple clicking the home button) is to reboot the iDevice. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on the scenario. Obviously one could put a passcode on the device itself which would prevent the user from accessing everything else.

  • With iOS 6 and guided access, you no longer need to jailbreak a device to get this sort of controlled kiosk mode as it's baked into the OS now.
    – bmike
    Nov 13, 2012 at 20:38

Indeed. This behavior is not included by default in iOS. You'll have to jailbreak the iPad. Once you've jailbroken the iPad, install LockDown by using Cydia. It's from the BigBoss repository and it's free. It will allow you to do exactly what you want, lock one (or several) application.

Since you're planning to buy an iPad 2, you'll have to wait until there is a jailbreak for 5.1 available (unless you bought one with maximum iOS 5.0.1). Rumors has it the jailbreak will be available within 2 months.
Or if you have 5.0.1, you can take a look at this tutorial.


When you get a jailbroken iPad, I'd recommend installing IncarcerApp - here's a review of it. It's a free tweak compatible with iOS 5 and iPad that lets you disable the home button and use an alternate volume-button-pressing method to access the homescreen. It also has extra features designed for parents helping a kid use an iPad successfully - rotation lock, alert blocking, etc.

You might actually consider getting an iPad 1, since it can be jailbroken on any iOS version due to jailbreakers having a bootrom exploit (very low-level exploit) available for it. The current jailbreak for iOS 5.1 on iPad 1 is only a tethered jaibreak, which means you need to boot the device by plugging it into a computer and running your jailbreaking tool, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem if you usually have a laptop nearby. Jailbreaking the iPad 2 depends on jailbreakers figuring out a totally new jailbreak for it each time a new iOS version is released, so if you have to restore the device, you might be waiting indefinitely for a new jailbreak to be released.

There are also special cases available for iPads that block usage of the home button - searching for "childproof iPad case" brings up a bunch of options.

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