How to Secure Your Notes with Touch ID on Your iPhone and iPad

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 21 Mar 2016

ios notes lock photos 3

With iOS 9 (and OS X El Cap), the Notes app finally became a truly powerful note-taking utility. Something that could convince Evernote and OneNote users in the Apple ecosystem to make the switch. If you still haven’t given it an honest shot, use our guide to get started. Now, with iOS 9.3 Apple has added a really important feature. The ability to secure notes.

And to the avid Notes user, who’s started using the app to store a lot of important things about their life, this feature will be a delight.

How to Secure Notes

Open the Notes app and select the note you want to lock down.

Tap the “Share” button on the top-right and from the bottom row, select “Lock”.

notes lock 1

As this is the first time you’re doing this, you’ll be presented with an option to create a password and provide a hint. You only need to do this once and any number of notes you secure will be opened by the same password (when you try to secure another note, all you have to do is enter the password or scan your finger using Touch ID).

notes lock 2

If you have an iPhone or iPad that supports Touch ID, you’ll see that the Touch ID option is already enabled.

Enter the password, the hint and tap “Done”.

The note is now secure.

How to Lock and Unlock Notes

Now that the note is secure, you’ll be brought back to it. You’ll notice that the note is still accessible.

To actually lock the note, tap the “Lock” icon in the top row. You can see it highlighted in the screenshot below.

lock notes 4

The note is now locked.

It’s important to note (no pun intended) that unless you tap this icon, the note will remain unlocked, enough though you’ve secured it.

To unlock a locked note, you’ll either have to enter the password or scan your finger using Touch ID.

ios notes lock photos 2

How to Remove the Lock on a Note

Let’s say you don’t want to password protect a note anymore. To remove the lock, open the note and unlock it.

remove lock

Now tap the “Share” button and from the bottom list, select “Remove Lock”. Just like that, the lock will be removed. No need to enter the password or anything like that.

Notes on Secure Notes

Here are the things you should consider while using secured notes.

  • Even though the contents of the note are hidden, the title is however visible in the list. Just a heads up.
  • If you don’t want to use a dedicated password manager like 1Password (iTunes link – Free with $9.99 upgrade), this can be a great way to securely hide things like photos of important documents and even passwords. Although we really don’t recommend you do that. But we know there are people who are never going to use a password manager and for them (maybe your relatives), this is surely a leg up compared to just leaving the notes unsecured.
  • Notes that you’ve locked on iOS 9.3 just don’t appear on the Mac Notes app. The Mac app still hasn’t been updated to make use of this feature. We hope it will be supported soon. Once the lock is removed from the note, it shows up again in the Mac Notes app.

Let me know how it goes in the comments below.

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