How to Fix Guided Access Not Working on iPhone

Can’t lend your iPhone to your child since Guided Access is not working?

Guided Access is a great feature to have when you are lending your phone to your child. This limits your iPhone to a single app and lets you control which features are enabled. 

However, it’s quite inconvenient when the feature malfunctions, despite its benefits.

guided access not working on iphone

Today, we will show you a few solutions if Guided Access is not working on your iPhone. 

Let’s get started!

Why Guided Access Is Not Working? 

Here are some reasons why Guided Access is not working: 

  • Feature is disabled on your iPhone.
  • Accessibility shortcut for Guided Access is disabled. 
  • A bug or glitch in iOS causes Guided Access to malfunction. 
  • Hardware malfunction. The feature is triggered by the power button, so it’s worth checking if you have a working power button. 

Regardless of the cause, the solutions listed below should resolve the issue. 

1. Restart Your iPhone. 

If certain features are not working on your iPhone, restarting it’s a good practice.

This should reload your system resources, ensuring that everything is loaded correctly. Restarting your device should also clear corrupted data from the system memory. 

If you are using an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, or later, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For older models, follow the steps below: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
Restart iPhone w/ Home Button

Try using Guided Access again to check if the problem is solved. 

2. Make Sure Guided Access Is Enabled. 

Before performing advanced solutions, ensure that Guided Access is enabled on your iPhone. 

This feature is not enabled by default, so you need to set it up first. You also may have accidentally disabled it. 

See the steps below to enable Guided Access: 

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Next, go to Accessibility
guided access not working on iphone
  1. Tap on Guided Access
Guided Access Settings
  1. Now, enable the toggle switch next to the feature. 
  2. Find Accessibility Shortcut and enable it. 
guided access not working on iphone

Once done, you can activate Guided Access by clicking the side button three times. 

Related: How to Fix iPhone Won’t Send Text Messages

3. Check Accessibility Shortcut Options. 

By default, clicking the side button three times will enable Guided Access. If the feature doesn’t work, check whether the settings for the triple-click action have been changed. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Access Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Now, tap on Accessibility
  1. Find Accessibility Shortcut and tap on it. 
guided access not working on iphone
  1. Ensure that Guided Access is checked. 
guided access not working on iphone

Launch any app and see if Guided Access works. 

4. Update Your iPhone. 

The version of iOS installed on your device may have an issue related to Guided Access or Accessibility Shortcut. 

To rule this out, check for software updates and install them to patch bugs and errors. 

Here’s how you can update your iPhone: 

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Navigate to General > Software Update
  3. If there’s a new iOS version available, tap Download and Install
Update iPhone
  1. Once the new software is ready, follow the prompts to install the update. 


  • Your device can restart several times while installing the update. 
  • Make sure that your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions. 
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 14 to iOS 15).

After updating your iPhone, try using Guided Access to check if the update worked. 

5. Change Passcode for Guided Access. 

Changing the passcode for Guided Access should force the entire module to reinitialize. This can help resolve any issues that may have occurred on the feature. 


The passcode for Guided Access is different from your phone’s passcode. 

Here’s how you can change the passcode for Guided Access: 

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device. 
  2. Next, go to Accessibility and tap on Guided Access
  3. Tap on Passcode Settings
guided access not working on iphone
  1. Provide your old passcode when asked, and follow the prompts to continue. 

Try using Guided Access again to check if it works. 

6. Check Guided Access Options. 

If you encounter issues while using Guided Access, some features might be disabled. To customize your experience, tweak Guided Access options based on your preference. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Open Guided Access by triple-clicking the Side button
  2. Now, tap on Options in the lower right corner.
guided access not working on iphone
  1. Choose which options you want to enable: 
  • Side Buttons – disabling this option will prevent the side button from closing the screen. 
  • Volume Buttons – turning off this option prevents the volume buttons from increasing or decreasing. 
  • Motion – locks auto rotate when enabled. 
  • Software Keyboards – turns off any keyboard within the app. 
  • Touch – disables the touch screen to avoid accidental touches. 
  • Time Limit – sets a time limit for Guided Access.

Enter Guided Access mode afterward to test your configuration. 

Related: How to Fix iPhone Hotspot Keeps Disconnecting

7. Reset Your Settings. 

We recommend resetting your iPhone’s configurations if you continue encountering problems with Guided Access. 

Resetting its configurations will ensure no conflicts with any custom settings you have set or changed. 

Follow the guide below to reset your settings: 

  1. On your iPhone, go to the main menu and open Settings
  2. Now, tap on General
  3. Look for Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap on it. 
  4. Tap the Reset option and select Reset All Settings
guided access not working on iphone
  1. Follow the prompts to continue. 


  • Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your network configurations. 
  • It may appear to be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. 

Go back to settings to enable Guided Access and check if the problem is solved. 

8. Have Your iPhone Checked. 

If none of the solutions worked, we suggest bringing your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store to have it checked. 

Find Apple Store

There could be an issue with the side button that prevents your triple-click from being recognized. 

If your phone needs to be repaired, you can check if it’s still covered by warranty. If you just purchased it, you have up to 14 days to request a replacement unit or a refund. 

That ends our guide on how to fix Guided Access if it’s not working on your iPhone. 

For your questions and other concerns, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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