Security

How to create a stronger passcode in iOS 9

Security-conscious iOS 9 changes let you secure your devices even more. Cory Bohon shows you how it's done.

Passcode in iOS 9
Image: Cory Bohon

iOS 9 includes a lot of new security-conscious changes. One of these new changes is the ability to create a stronger passcode than in previous versions of iOS. Let's take a look at how this new feature works, how to enable it, and how to make your iOS device even more secure.

In previous versions of iOS, Apple only required a 4-digit passcode. However, with the advent of Apple Pay and other financial-sensitive data being stored on our mobile devices, Apple has finally made the default choice for passcodes 6-digits instead.

This is all good and well, but if you recently upgraded to a new iOS 9 device and restored from an iCloud backup, then you didn't get a chance to enter a new 6-digit passcode. Instead, you must set this up manually in the settings.

Here's how you can easily make this change to your iOS 9 device:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select Touch ID & Passcode
  3. Enter your existing device passcode
  4. Select Change Passcode when the Touch ID & Passcode options are available
  5. Re-enter your existing passcode
  6. When you see the prompt to "Enter your new passcode," it will prompt you to change it to a 6-digit passcode (Figure A)
  7. Enter your new passcode, then re-enter it for verification purposes.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Cory Bohon

Entering your passcode and verifying it will ensure the 6-digit code is set as your new device passcode.

Your new 6-digit passcode will be saved, and you'll use that passcode from that moment forward when unlocking your device without Touch ID.

Security-conscious users will be happy to know that Apple's iOS 9 has even more passcode options, including the ability to use an alphanumeric passcode, a numeric-only code, and switching back to the old 4-digit passcode that was prevalent on previous iOS devices (Figure B). To see these options, tap the button labeled Passcode Options when you're entering the new passcode.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Cory Bohon

Selecting Passcode Options lets you choose between additional passcode settings.

What additional security measures do you take to secure your mobile Apple device? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

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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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