All Tips to Fix Guided Access Not Working on iPad

Guided access not working on iPad

‘Guided Access’ allows you to restrict access to unwanted areas on your iPad’s (or iPhone’s) screen and prevents you from using anything else except for the app or any of its portions that you permit. Now, if you notice that guided access not working on iPad or if you feel that iPad is stuck in guided access, you can try a couple of solutions that are explained in the following sections.

5 Tips to Fix Guided Access Not Working on iPad

First of all, we would like to offer 5 tips that are usually used to fix this problem.

1. Make sure you are doing the right things

Things may go wrong if you have not followed the correct method to set up guided access. Therefore, it is important to follow the right process to get the task done in the first place to avoid any issues that may come up if things are configured otherwise.

You can check the details guide on how to enable and set up guided access and other features it offers at the end of this article. It is recommended to open the app you want to set restricted access to before enabling guided access. Some people say this is helpful.

So the correct process is opening the app, then going to Settings, tapping Accessibility and then choosing Guided Access and turning it on. After that triple-press the Sleep/Wake button and choose Guided Access. Now you can set up guided access on your iPad successfully.

2. Force Reboot iPad

If guided access not working on iPad even after you have configured and enabled it correctly, or your iPad is stuck in guided access and doesn’t allow you to end the session or do anything else for that matter, you can force reboot your iPad and start all over again. You can follow the process given below to do this on your iPad.

Force Reboot iPad with a Home Button

  • Press and hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons together.
  • Wait while your iPad turns off and the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • Release both the buttons.
  • Wait while the iPad boots.
  • Retry starting a new guided access session.
Force restart iPad with Home button

Force Reboot iPad without a Home Button

  • Press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold down the Sleep/Wake button.
  • Wait until the iPad reboots and the Apple logo appears.
  • Retry starting a new guided access session.
Force restart iPad without Home button

3. Disable and Re-enable Guided Access

You may face guided access not working on iPad even after setting up everything correctly. This may happen due to some conflicting configurations. Therefore, you can try disabling and then re-enabling the guided access feature on your iPad and see if it helps. The process to turn off guided access is given below:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access.
  • Turn off the Accessibility Shortcut switch.
  • Tap Time Limits.
  • Set Sound to None.
  • Turn off the Speak switch.
  • Get back to the previous screen.
  • Turn off the Guided Access switch.
  • Reboot your iPad.
iPhone Guided Access

Once the iPad restarts, you can follow the process explained in Solution 1 to set up guided access correctly, and then retry starting a new session to check if the issue is fixed.

4. Reset All Settings on iPad

If none of the above solutions works, you can always reset your iPad settings back to factory defaults. This makes sure that no conflicts among the configuration and/or apps are there, and that everything is as fresh as new. You can reset iPad settings by following the procedure given below:

  • Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPad > Reset.
  • Tap Reset All Settings.
  • Enter your iPad’s passcode.
  • Tap Reset All Settings.
  • Wait while all the settings are reset to factory defaults and the iPad boots normally.
  • Try turning on guided access again.
  • Try starting a new guided access session to check if the problem is resolved.
Reset all settings on iPhone

5. Update iPad Software

If you see that iPad is stuck in guided access or guided access is not working on iPad, sometimes the problem could be due to an older version of iPadOS. Because you may not surely know if this is the reason, it is always advisable to keep the operating system updated. You can follow the process given below to update your iPad software:

  • Make sure that your iPad is connected to a stable and consistent Wi-Fi network.
  • Ensure that the battery is at least 50% charged. If not, use the cable to connect the iPad to a power outlet.
  • Back up your iPad to your PC (with iTunes) or iCloud.
  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Tab Download and Install. Note: This option is available only if an update is available for your iPad.
  • Wait while the update is installed on your iPad.
Update iPad software

Full Guide to Set up and Enable Guided Access on iPad

You may know how to enable guided access on iPad, but you may not know all the details of how to enable and set up the features correctly. That’s why some people find guided access not working on iPad.

Enable Guided Access

The following steps explain how to enable guided access on iPad:

Step 1: Turn on Guided Access

On your iPad, go to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access, and then turn on the Guided Access switch that is present on the Guided Access screen.

Step 2: Set Up Passcode and Touch ID or Face ID

From the Guided Access screen itself, tap Passcode Settings, and then tap Set Guided Access Passcode. When iPad prompts, enter and re-enter a passcode that you want to use to start or end guide access sessions.

Optionally, you can also turn on the Touch ID or Face ID switch to terminate sessions using your biometric attributes.

Step 3: Define Time Limit and Accessibility Shortcut Settings

Tap Time Limits. On the next screen, tap Sound and then choose your preferred tone that you want to play before the guided access sessions are about to end. Optionally, you can also turn on the Speak switch to make iPad speak out the remaining time.

Next, if you want, you can also turn on the Accessibility Shortcut switch to make iPad show Accessibility Shortcut settings when you triple-press the Sleep/Wake button during an ongoing guided access session.

iPhone Guided Access

Setting up Guided Access

After enabling guided access on your iPad, you must also ensure that it is set up correctly so you don’t have to see the guided access not working on iPad issue. The process to set up guided access is explained below.

Step 1: Launch the Target App

If not already there, get back to the Home screen. Now, launch the app that you want to allow during the guided access session.

Step 2: Turn on and Define Guided Access Session Preferences

Triple-press the Sleep/Wake button and tap Guided Access from the menu that pops up. Next, tap Options from the bottom-left corner, and enable the options that you want to use during this guided access session.

For instance, tap Time Limit, use the Timer wheels to define the duration of the guided access session, and tap Done if the option is available. If it’s not, tap anywhere else on the screen to close the Options menu.

Optionally, use your finger to draw a shape around the area of the app that you want to remain inaccessible. You can even drag the shape to your preferred portion of the program and/or use the corner handles to resize it for precision.

Now, tap Start from the top-right corner, enter the passcode that you defined earlier, and start using the app with the guided access session normally.

Note: If you didn’t define a passcode while setting up guided access, iPad will prompt you for it before starting a new session.

Step 3: End a Guided Access Session

If you have already set up a timer, guided access will end automatically when the time hits its threshold. On the other hand, if you want to terminate a session manually, you can triple-press the Sleep/Wake button, enter the passcode, and tap End from the top-left corner.

Note: If you’ve enabled Touch ID or Face ID while setting up guided access, you can double-press the Sleep/Wake button and use your biometric attribute to end the session.

Tip: What can you do when your iPad is stuck in guided access and you forgot the passcode?

If your iPad is stuck in guided access and you even forgot your passcode, you can follow the process given in Solution 2 to force reboot the device, and then follow the guide under Step 2 of the Enable Guided Access section of the above part to set a new passcode. After this, you can start a new guided access session to see if the issue is resolved.

Guided access not working on iPad is not a common problem. If you ever face this situation, you can try the solutions given above for troubleshooting.

Michael Yang

Michael Yang

Michael is the founder of ClarifyHow and has also been a test engineer for phones and computers since 5 years ago. He gets various problems while working and fixes most of them by himself or his colleagues, so he would like to share his experience and knowledge.

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