Mobility

How to password protect notes in iOS 9.3

Keep sensitive information secret by protecting your notes in iOS 9.3 with a password and/or Touch ID.

Image: Cory Bohon/TechRepublic

iOS 9.3 added a considerable number of new features for iOS devices, including the ability to use Night Shift to shift the screen hue from a blue tint to a warmer tint to better aid in sleeping at night.

A new hidden feature makes the Notes app more secure by protecting notes behind a password and/or TouchID. This tutorial covers how to enable and use this feature.

SEE: Despite the bugs, iOS 9.3 is more stable than Android 6.0 (ZDNet)

Enabling password protected notes and setting the initial password

To begin using password protected notes, you need to configure Notes with the password that will be used to lock the notes from prying eyes. Follow these steps.
  1. Open Notes.
  2. Open a note that you'd like to password protect.
  3. Select Share | Lock Note (Figure A).

Figure A

iospasswordprotectnotesfiga041316.jpg
The Lock Note feature is available from the iOS Share Sheet when attempting to share the note.
Image: Cory Bohon/TechRepublic

If this is your first time locking a note, a modal dialog will appear allowing you to set the initial password used to lock this and all future notes on all of your iCloud-enabled devices (Figure B). To configure the password, enter it once, and then verify it by re-entering the password; finally, provide a password hint. On this same screen, you'll also be able to configure whether Touch ID will unlock password protected notes. Note: If you forget this password, you will not be able to unlock your notes.

Figure B

iospasswordprotectnotesfigb041316.jpg
Select whether to use Touch ID to unlock notes using the set password.
Image: Cory Bohon/TechRepublic

Whenever you navigate to a password protected note on iOS or OS X, you'll be prompted to enter your password or use Touch ID to open the note and view its contents.

SEE: 3 new iOS 9.3 features business users will love

Reset your password for notes

From time to time, you may want to change your password. Follow these steps to change your password.

  1. Open Settings | Notes.
  2. Navigate to Password.
  3. Tap Change Password (Figure C).
  4. Enter your existing password, enter the new password, and then verify the new password.

Figure C

iospasswordprotectnotesfigc041316.jpg
Select whether to use Touch ID to unlock notes using the set password.
Image: Cory Bohon/TechRepublic

If you forget your password and already have locked notes, tap the Reset Password button. This will leave already locked notes unchanged, and ensure that the new password is used on any newly locked notes in the future.

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About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

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