Stuck in Guided Access with iOS 6? Here’s How to Escape

Sep 26, 2012 - 107 Comments

Guided Access stuck on some apps

Guided Access, or what we to call “Kid Mode”, is a fantastic addition to iOS that lets you lock an iPhone or iPad into a single app. Well, great when it works as it’s intended, but it appears there’s a pretty frustrating bug that makes the feature work a little too well once it’s enabled in iOS 6 with some apps: triple-clicking the Home button doesn’t summon anything and you’re stuck in an app! This leaves you unable to leave Guided Access mode, but here’s a workaround to get out of it until the bug is resolved:

  • Hold the Home and Power button together for 15 seconds until a reboot is forced on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
  • With the device rebooted, go back to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access > and turn OFF as necessary

Because just about everything is disabled when the feature is on, even Force Quit won’t work. Yes that means you’ll have to reboot to escape from Guided Access in certain apps for the time being.

The stuck app bug doesn’t appear to impact any native Apple apps, but it does affect many popular third party apps. Expect a resolution soon that doesn’t involve rebooting with iOS 6.0.1 or a similar incremental update.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

107 Comments

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  1. Adam says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS PAGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was stuck in it and forgot my password and then I found this, thank you guys SOOOOO Much I was soo scared I’d never use my phone again lol

  2. Anny says:

    The bug just turned up for me today while watching a video. i had used it in the app before with no problem but it got stuck on today

  3. Dominic says:

    This happened to me in Safari

  4. Jason says:

    Happened to me in “Photos.” I’ve used guided access a lot for my kid in the past weeks, but only had this problem once so far.

  5. Mayor says:

    I got stuck in temple run and when I rebooted I went back to it but I could triple click :)

  6. Johnny says:

    happend to me in appstore app..sigh!!

  7. Samuel says:

    Got stuck in Pages..trying to find out how guided access worked.

  8. This happened to me in a Fisher Price colours/shapes app. Thank god there’s a solution!

    • Ashley says:

      That is were mine froze! OH well, at least it’s a thirty second fix… I can deal with that if it means I don’t have to take my phone from my daughter every ten seconds to put her back in her apps lol!

  9. Ally says:

    SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME! im on it right now and my lock/power button is jammed i have no clue what to do!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m having the same issue. My lock button doesn’t work so I can’t reboot and the guided access option to make part of the screen unresponsive makes it so that I can’t reset my settings (can’t type in my passcode) or even change my passcode. What did you do?

  10. NewSMB2 says:

    I got stuc k on iPad with the Guided access in Settings. Restored. But, again, I got stuck in iMessage, for error. So, it DOES affect a few native apps.

  11. chopp says:

    That was scary – I just found out about the guided access, and thought it was amazing – until I couldn’t get out of the app! I did the hard shut off and then when it started back up it was automatically in the app I had been stuck in… but then when I tried the triple click it asked for my password and then I was able to get out of it. PHEW.
    Very cool function once the bugs are out :o)

  12. mod says:

    i got stuck in music… so much for not affecting native apps. this feature could be so good if only it wasn’t for this bug.

  13. Sian says:

    Thank you!!

  14. Darko says:

    Thank you for the tip, I got stuck and as I didn’t knew about the 15 second press, I reseted the iPad :D

    Actually, I got stuck in Garage Band, so yes, it also affect Apple apps.

  15. Thankful says:

    Thank you so much! I didn’t know what to do.

  16. shaker says:

    Thank you so much

  17. Ren says:

    Haha I thought this was the best feature for the first two times I used it, then my phone got stuck in ‘phone for kids’ and for several hours I was alarmed as my phone was reduced to a phone for kids! As I was out I asked a friend to call – straight to voicemail – so I popped into the nearest phone shop and they showed me this reboot. it is a bit scary when it happens!

  18. Paige says:

    Thank you so much!!!!!

  19. Rasmus says:

    thank you, i was afraid that i was stuck

  20. Bob Patterson says:

    THANK YOU!!! Better job than apple support! Its been a LONG day but happy all around thanks to your post here. My 11 year old autistic son lost his voice… and we lost our access to the whole ipad2. So your post here saved me tonight, thanks so much…. Bob, Vancouver, WA

  21. RIKA says:

    Great. Better support than with Apple. This solved my problem. Bookmarked your site. Thank you so much!
    You should name it Apple support for Dummies.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much!!! I thought I was stuck for good or worse that I was going to have to restore my Iphone to factory settings. THANK YOU!!!

  23. Tasha says:

    As the most technically illiterate person I know, this site is a God send! THANK YOU!!!

  24. santhosh says:

    i have updated ios 6.0 but i can’t access my sim with this ios 6.0.how should i can access my phone

  25. jimmy says:

    locked myself into the guided access part of settings… ironic… Thanks for the help!

  26. sarah says:

    My home button is jammed so I have to use assited touch. I accidently put on Guided Acess and now I cannot get out of it and the home button function is pretty much out of the question. This is for my iPod touch and it is stuck on the settings page for my kik messanger. Help anyone?

    • ANONYMOUS!!! says:

      I had the same home button problem for a while. I got the button fixed at an AWESOME store, which we go to quite a lot for repairs.

      All you can do is wait for the battery to run out.

      The bug still exists in IOS7

  27. john says:

    thank god i found this, i got stuck in the guided access page so i couldn’t do anything

  28. G says:

    Even using the power and home button to reset didn’t help mine BUT I was able to enable lock mode from my “Find my iPhone” app from my iphone to iPad and apply a lock code then it went to my home screen and asked for the password and closed out the app that was stuck..Hope they get a bug fix SOON!

    • Papa Bear says:

      When the “Find my iPhone” found your iPad, was the iPad “offline” or “online”? I ask because despite my iPad being connected to the internet, it showed up as “offline” in the “find my iPhone” app.

  29. Saroosh says:

    For me too it happened to be, it was very scary…and thnks a lott for sorting it out..Hope they fix the bug soon..

  30. Jossy says:

    Happened to me in native iphone photo app.
    So it’s not just 3rd party apps that are affected.

  31. Kelly says:

    Thank you! I had an alarm set that went off while my phone was in guided access. I couldn’t turn off the alarm because of the guided access, and I couldn’t turn off the guided access because the alarm needed to be turned off before anything else could be pushed. I would triple click the home button, and the passcode screen would come up, but the phone wouldn’t allow me to enter anything until the alarm was off. It was so frustrating! This reboot trick worked. Many thanks.

  32. Nolan says:

    Got stuck in mail, not fun

  33. Del says:

    Stuck in iBook, and this helped thank you so much i totally forgot about reboot!!!!!

  34. Joakim says:

    My 4S got stuck in Wifi-settings. So it does affect native Apple Apps.

  35. Ellie B says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! My phone was frozen on my baby’s app and I thought my phone was a gonner! You’re a life saver :) Thanx again!

  36. dan says:

    this happened to me i the settings menu.

  37. jeremy says:

    i was stuck on settings, playing around with guided access and the triple home wasnt working, i couldnt hit the turn off guided access button in settings because i had conveniently blocked off that part :)

  38. levi says:

    Worked Perfectly!

  39. Gab says:

    Got stuck with this setting either, from the Safari app. I had to share how to solve my issue as it was more complicated than the one in this post.

    1/ Reebooted as well as mentionned but after a few seconds was sent back to Safari and locked again, with the GA still active..

    2/ So I rebooted again and rushed to the Settings BEFORE it goes to Safari then got locked again even if I turn Guided Access off.

    3/ I let it GA ON, but also making sure that the trip-click default action is set to “Guided Access”. (option also in accessibility settings)

    4/ Then the triple-click back to GA worked again so I could just disable it. Until I realised it required a password, that I never created !

    5/ So I had to go back to GA settings and define a password, then disable it.

    What a mess !

  40. annonymos says:

    I was in zoom AND guided acsses so it took me fifteen minutes to find this, THANK YOU

  41. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a million for this page. Apparantly, i got stuck in notes, so there is a bug even with the native apps. I would have destroyed my home button if not for this.

  42. Grady says:

    I got stuck in kingly games Eden and had to force reboot

  43. Chris says:

    Thanks so much

  44. AA says:

    thanks bunches! pressing Home button did nothing for me, but pressing Home and Power for a lil made it reboot. just tried Guided Access for the first time, reading about the potential to kid proof somewhat, and got stuck in Angry Birds.

  45. Patrick says:

    Holding down the home button does not work!!!!

  46. Claudia says:

    THANK YOU! Scariest fifteen minutes of my life. That’s what I get for screwing around in my settings.

  47. Rob says:

    This page was a huge help! Thank you for posting it.

  48. Shelby says:

    Mine is a 4S-
    I put my phone on Guided Access, forgot the order of the digits, and I have been on here ever since. This worked- Thank you so so so much!!
    It was a new phone, and I am glad I found this, or I would have lost it. And you know, it should be called “Toddler Mode.” And lastly, for anyone who doesn’t have a reason for this, maybe you wanna show somebody a picture, and they like to go threw all your stuff. Not anymore!!

  49. Shelby says:

    Plus, mine was stuck in notes. I was joking with somebody, as I would do that and hand them the IPhone. But with this, it is fixed. Thanks!!

  50. Skywalker says:

    thank you for your help!!!!

  51. Thanks man!
    My iPhone stuck in Google Translate Web App and you fixed it! :p

  52. Renee says:

    Thank you soo much !

  53. rohit says:

    Thanks alot, saved my butt

  54. Larissa says:

    Thank you SO much! Apple tech support didn’t help…glad I found this

  55. Stanis says:

    Thanks! Really thanks! haha

  56. Val says:

    I am so technically illiterate. Good at Google though :) Thank you so much! My daughter was laughing too hard to help.

  57. Izzi says:

    Thank you so much- I didn’t even know what Guided Access was, I was just playing around with it, and then I accidentally got stuck in Settings with it when it said incorrect password when I tried to turn it off, even though I’m sure I made the password “1234”. Oh Apple.

    • Emily says:

      Exactly what i did! I went in it not knowing what it was and just started drawing these squares and then i got stuck in settings! And im pretty sure i put the passcode as ‘2222’ as it was something easy and it obviously wasn’t going to stay on for long!

  58. George says:

    Thanks a ton for this. I left Guided Access on so mu kids can’t go out of playing games on the iPad. I left it overnight and got up this morning and it wouldn’t go out of Guided Access. I went on line hoping and found this. So Thanks again!

  59. nick says:

    Thank You very much very much …this situation made me panic.. ive just experience just now and just found a way to escape … thanks a lot ..

  60. mona says:

    1. triple click home button
    2. if triple clicking doesn’t work: hold the power and home buttons in for 15 seconds to force shut down
    3. if lock button is jammed and you have Find My iPhone, use another device to lock the iPhone
    4. if none of the above work, further consult Google or wait patiently for the phone to die

  61. May says:

    Thank you for this I was so scared and thought my ipad is broken or something… I knew the pw but even if i triple click the home button it wouldn’t give an option to disable guided access. I’m glad this to find this info. God bless you!

  62. kelly says:

    Thank you so much!!! I use mine with my students with disabilities and it got stuck today. Luckily it was in an app that was useful to multiple students. I thought my home button was broken. SOOOOO relieved!

  63. Suzy says:

    I rebooted mine but right after it turns back on it goes to the sane app and its telling me that the password isn’t correct when it is!! Can’t get out of it. Please help!!!! I rebooted like 10 times and each time it goes back to the app

  64. Fatima Jones says:

    THANK UUUUUUUUUUUUUU SO MUCH. I JUST GOT MY PHONE & I WAS BEING NOSEY PRESSING ALL SORTS OF BUTTON. I WAS SO SCARED OMG THNKS ♥

    • Emily says:

      Exactly what i did this morning – being nosey! I was freaking out thinking that i was going to be stuck in settings forever!!

  65. Jacob says:

    Thank you a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I was stuck in settings just wondering what guided access was so i turned it on and went to go to my normal screen but it wouldn’t let me. I tried to turn it off but i didn’t work.

    Thanks A LOT!!!!!!

    Jacob

  66. Emily says:

    Thank you guys so much!
    I went onto the apple site and they said find your other device and use find my iphone, but i don’t have another apple device and i was freaking out thinking that im going to be stuck in settings forever. I only just recently got my iphone and still trying to figure out things so i decided i would explore the settings and it all went wrong. I tried turning it off, clicking out, taking out my sim and actually anything else you could think of…
    You do not believe how helpful you were! Thank you so much!

  67. iPad stuck says:

    I have the same problem when I got into a app that I just downloaded my iPad got stuck I tryed holding the power button but it still won’t work I tryed using four fingers to go to another app but till won’t work can some one please help me I’ve been wait for 1 hour and it’s still stuck I’m crying right now please please help

  68. Tanya says:

    Thank you so much. They had me on hold forever at apple then wanted to charge me $19.

  69. Lulu says:

    My sister was blaming me for it and it was so funny because I was winding her up about thanks soooo much this helped me and my sister.

  70. Jen says:

    OMGoodness! Googled this problem and find your post. Thanks for the fix. My iPhone was locked in YouTube, I could triple click and get the password screen to come up, but it would not let me type in any numbers. Meanwhile I had set an alarm so it was just sounding continuously! BeepBeepBeepBeepBeepBeep. Aaah!

  71. Nat says:

    I have been trying to reboot it but it continues to reopen the app and keep me out. What do I do?

  72. Anna says:

    Thank you so much!! This has helped me SOO much!!

  73. Josh says:

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

  74. Lana Witbeck says:

    guided access locked up in safari. tried reboot but puts me back to safari, and locked in guided access. other ideas?

    • Paul says:

      Yes, if you are locked into Guided Access mode, follow the instructions outlined above to forcibly reboot the iPad. If the force reboot is done successfully, you will restart back into the normal Home Screen and not into Safari.

  75. Vy Vy says:

    omg, i thought i’ll stuck here forever! thx so much!

  76. Jan ahmed says:

    This happened for the first time on the day that I was to travel with my toddler. I could not get it out of guided access and I would needit to alert family of my arrival and such. Thank goodness I found this tip!!!! I really needed to have my IPhone working before I got on the airplane! Thanks so much!!!!!!!
    My appreciation knows no bounds!!!!

  77. Gord says:

    Bless you!

  78. tegan attard says:

    Thank you so so so mmmmmmmuuuuuucccchhhh i’ve been trying to get off the guided access enabled for over half an hour

  79. Michele says:

    Thank you so much, my younger daughter some how turned on the guided access on my son’s iPod, and we had no idea the code or how to turn it off :)

  80. Becky says:

    Thanks for your help with getting me out of “guided access”.
    I went through the TSA check at the airport, and thought their xray machines did something to my iPad because it was working perfectly fine a minute before I went through their scanning machines. The iPad was on lockdown the entire flight.

    Thank God I found you. How frustrating the whole experience was for me………….No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get back to the home page, or even shut it off.

    It was such a simple fix. I’m feeling pretty stupid right now, but will know how to fix this if it happens again.

    Thank You – Thank You – Thank You………….:)

  81. ruli says:

    thank you man,you save my ipad

  82. Kim says:

    Help! The reboot won’t work, the area blanked out by guided access doesn’t allow me to select the cancel button to put in my password or select anything!

  83. Jee says:

    Thank You Very Much .. :)

  84. kiko says:

    okay right before I entered blindly into this guided access feature I removed my pass code for having to enter one at all and now I’m stuck in guided access and triple home takes me to the enter pass code popup screen. I don’t know what to enter since I removed and that one didn’t work either! I can’t hit any button on the number pad to proceed without having to enter numbers or the cancel button. soft reset did not work…HELP? PLEASE?!

  85. Euan says:

    Well I got stuck on this piece of bunk and I tried to enter my passcode several times. DOES ANYONE HOW TO DISABLE GUIDED ACCESS WITHOUT A flipping PASSCODE?!

    • petunia says:

      Enter your iPhone unlock passcode when it requests the passcode, it’s the same you use to unlock the screen. Or if you set a passcode for Parental Controls, use that passcode to exit out of of Guided Access.

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