6 ways to lock down your iPhone’s lock screen

Just because your iPhone is locked with a passcode or Touch ID doesn’t mean it’s safe from prying eyes and fingers. From text message notifications to Siri, your phone’s lock screen is brimming with alerts, features, and settings that anyone can tamper with, even after you’ve locked your handset.

Luckily, iOS has plenty of settings that can help lock down your phone’s lock screen. For example, you can keep sensitive notifications hidden, disable controls that could put your lost phone in airplane mode, turn off lock-screen access to Siri, and more.

Turn off lock screen notifications

You’d probably never dream of letting a stranger rifle through your text messages and email inbox, but that’s what could happen if you allow apps like Messages and Mail to put alerts on your iPhone’s lock screen. It’s even possible to reply to a text message or trash a mail message directly from the notification, even if your iPhone is locked.

Turn off lock screen notifications Ben Patterson / IDG

If you don’t want your latest text messages showing up on your iPhone’s lock screen, make sure to disable lock screen alerts for the Messages app.

If you’re worried about the wrong people seeing notifications from Messages, Mail, and other applications on your iPhone’s lock screen, consider turning off lock screen notifications for your most sensitive apps.

Tap Settings > Notifications to see a (probably massive) list of app the apps installed on your iOS device. Tap an app, then switch off the Show on Lock Screen setting to keep the app’s notifications from appearing on your lock screen. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn off all lock screen notifications at once.

Block access to Today widgets and Notifications

Swipe from left to right on your locked iPhone screen, and you—or anyone else who’s got your device—can see your Today widgets. That means, depending on the widgets you’ve installed, they could check your calendar, peek at your Mail inbox, speed dial your favorite contacts, and more. Some apps are sensitive about what they show when your iPhone is locked—Activity, for example, and Find My Friends, won’t show anything in their widgets until you unlock the phone. 

Block access to Today View and NotificationsBen Patterson / IDG

Your widgets will be accessible to anyone who has your iPhone until you turn off lock screen access for the Today View.

Also, if you swipe down from the top of the Today view, you’ll see a running tally of all your lock screen notifications, neatly organized by date. Essentially, it’s a history of your important app activity for the past week, all there for anyone to see.

If you don’t want just anyone to be able to view your agenda in the Today view or past app alerts in Notifications, you can tap Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, scroll down to the Allow Access When Locked section, then uncheck the Today View and Notifications View settings.