Use iOS's Guided Access to disable Photos delete and other app features

Control what features a user can access using Guided Access.

ios guided access

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I recently answered a reader’s question about whether deleting an image or video in Photos for OS X and iOS with iCloud Photo Library meant the photo was gone forever. (The answer is: Not immediately unless someone then also deletes it from the Recently Deleted special album.)

I said there was no way to prevent someone using your iOS or OS X device from using the delete feature, but Ralph van Doorn wrote in with an excellent suggestion!

I would recommend that you set the iPhone or iPad on Guided Access and disable the delete button. You set it once, and whenever I give my iPad to my son, I start Photos, and triple-click the home button to start Guided Access, and I don’t have to worry about photos being deleted.

mac911 guided access setting

Enable Guided Access to create a locked app view with restricted areas.

Guided Access lets you enable a single-app mode in iOS:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access.
  2. Tap Guided Access to on.
  3. Launch Photos.
  4. Navigate to a photo view that includes the Delete (trash can) button.
  5. Triple-press the Home button.
  6. Now you can circle areas you don’t want someone to have access to, like the Delete button.
  7. Tap Start.
  8. Enter a passcode that lets you unlock Guided Access later.
  9. Hand to the other person.
mac911 guided access selection

A Guided View prevents areas in an app from being used.

You can disable the mode by triple-pressing Home and entering the passcode you set.

Parental Controls in OS X don’t offer a similar restriction, so you still need to be wary there. Check out our slideshow for more Accessibility features that can come in handy for everyone.

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