What Is Lockdown Mode on iPhone & How to Use It

The Lockdown Mode is a protection feature available on devices running iOS 16/iPadOS 16 and later. When you enable Lockdown Mode, it will limit the risk routes of zero-click, zero-day spyware to get your data and spread it on the Internet.

Myra updated on Mar 21, 2024 | Home > iOS & Mac Topics

What Is Lockdown Mode on iOS 17 Devices

Apple introduced Lockdown Mode in iOS 16, an advanced protection feature for iPhones and iPads. Lockdown Mode can protect your iOS devices from hackers who are trying to exploit the weaknesses in your devices and break through your private data.

Actually, Lockdown Mode is specially designed for a small percentage of individuals who are likely to be personally targeted by sophisticated digital threats because of their identity or what they do. When they enable Lockdown Mode, it will restrict some features on the iOS devices and limit who can contact the iPhone user so that it can reduce the attack surface that could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware, certain apps, and websites.

However, most people will not encounter this kind of cyberattack, and they can use core features such as texting, calling, and surfing daily and usually. Deciding whether or not to turn on the Lockdown Mode is easy. You should enable this feature if you are working as a politician, journalist, activist, or other career involved in potentially sensitive content; otherwise, there is no need.

How Does Lockdown Mode Work on iPhone

While Lockdown Mode provides an extreme way to safeguard iPhone security, it inhibits the functionality of certain apps and features. Here's how Lockdown Mode influences your Apple device:

  • FaceTime: All FaceTime calls will be blocked except those from people you have called. Some advanced features, such as SharePlay and Live Photos, are unavailable.
  • Messages: The Messages app will block all attachments except pictures, videos, and audio files. Links and link previews are unavailable.
  • Shared Albums: You can share photos, but the location will be removed. Besides, all shared albums in the Photos app will be removed, and the new shared album invitations will be blocked.
  • Web Browsing: The website will load more slowly since some technologies are blocked.
  • Device Connections: If your device is locked, your iOS devices cannot connect to a computer.
  • Wireless Connection: Your device will not automatically join or connect to a non-secure network.
  • Apple Services: Invitations sent by those who are not one of the people you've sent previously will be blocked.
  • Configure Profiles: You are not allowed to install configuration profiles or enroll your device in Mobile Device Management.

lockdown mode

How to Turn On/Off Lockdown Mode

Before you enable Lockdown Mode on your devices, remember to update your iPhone to iOS 17. Even though Lockdown Mode is available in iOS 16, additional protections are only available in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, macOS Sonoma, and later.

Turn on/off Lockdown Mode on iPhone or iPad:

Step 1. Go to Settings and locate Privacy & Security.

Step 2. Scroll down to find Lockdown Mode, and you can choose to switch it on or turn it off.

Step 3. Tap Turn On & Restart, then enter your device passcode.

turn on lockdown mode

Tip: If you wan to disable Lockdown Mode on iPhone, you should restart your device after you toogle it off in Settings. Restart and enter the passcode, PIN, or pattern when asked.

Enable Lockdown Mode on Mac:

Step 1. Open the Apple menu and select System Settings.

Step 2. Click Privacy & Security in the sidebar. Scroll down and click Lockdown Mode > Turn On.

Step 3. You might need to enter the user password. Click Turn On & Restart again.