At first thought, you might consider that a Notes password isn’t necessary, especially if you’re the only user of your iPhone and your device is safeguarded by both Passcode and the fingerprint sensor. However, you might forget that Notes are synced to all your iOS and Mac devices with the help of iCloud. This means that anyone with access to your computer or iPad, will be able to read your notes, if you don’t opt to lock them behind a password.
How To Password Protect Notes
iOS gives you the option to lock only sensitive notes. Perform the following steps whenever you want to start protecting your sensitive data:
1. Grab your iPhone or iPad and tap the Notes icon on your Home Screen.
2. Write a new note or open an entry that is already available from the list.
3. Tap the Share icon available in the top-right corner of the screen.
4. In the Share actions menu, scroll for the Lock Note option and tap it.
5. Because it’s the first time your locking a note you’re asked to set up a Password that will be available for all notes that you intend to protect. Input the security code, verify it and also mention a hint that will help you remember the password in case you forget it.
6. Tap Done and the Lock is added.
Fact: After, adding the lock the note will hide behind the security key if you lock your iOS device, or if you tap the Lock icon available at the top of the screen, next to the Share option.
How To View Locked Notes
1. Within the stock Notes app, tap the label of a Password protected entry. Next, press on the View Note option available below the This note is locked prompt.
2. Provide your fingerprint in case you’re using an Apple device that comes with Touch ID compatibility. Else, you’re directly prompted with the Enter Passcode request.
3. Type the security code and if you remembered it right, the content is displayed on the screen.
Fact: If you don’t remember the Passcode, you have to check the hint, because there is no way to recover a forgotten Notes Passcode .
How To Reset Notes Password
Yes, if you forget the security code that you configured to lock notes, there is no way to retrieve it. Your only option is to reset the Password, but this fix will continue to maintain entries locked with the old password intangible. A Password reset will only allow you to lock and unlock new notes that you create after configuring the new security code.
1. Open Settings on your iOS device and scroll for Notes.
2. Tap on Password and select the Reset Password feature.
Fact: The Change Password… option doesn’t work because it requires you to first type the old security Password, to be able to input a new one.
3. Type your iPhone Passcode to prove that you’re the owner of the device.
4. Tap on Reset Password once again to confirm your actions.
5. Provide a new Password, verify it and type a hint that will help you to remember the security key even if you initially forget it.
Tip: Enable the Touch ID option. This will allow you to unlock notes with your fingerprint in case you forget the Password.
Tips To Avoid Looking Yourself Out From Notes
As mention above, the Notes Password can’t be retrieved as you usually do when forgetting the log-in to your mail or any other online account. You can’t provide your mail address and expect to receive a retrieval link. This is why here is a general recap of all the aspects that you have to take in account, when setting up the iOS Notes Password feature, to avoid losing access to important data:
1. Note down: As with any important security key is wise to physically note it down on paper, in your private agenda.
2. Use Hint: Make the most of the hint feature that is available when you set up the password. Try to use both letter and numbers and make the password at least 6 characters long. For example you can write your pet’s name in reverse along with the year when you got it and make the hint sound like: “pet-backwards-arrival”.
Tip: The hint is automatically displayed by iOS after three failed password attempts!
3. Enable Touch ID: This is a good workaround in case you forget your Passcode and can’t retrieve it with the help of the first two tips. It allows you to unlock notes with your fingerprint from a device that supports Touch ID.
Fact: Your fingerprint isn’t enough for the “Change Password…” option. You still need to type your old security key before you’re able to change it to a new code.
4. Reset Password: Last measure of action is resetting the Notes security key, as described above. However, this will only help you to access notes that you write after the reset action. Prior entries will still remain locked.
Fact: Locked notes aren’t even displayed on devices that run iOS versions prior to 9.3. So, if you were thinking about downgrading to an iOS release that doesn’t password protect Notes, forget it!
Bonus Tip: For extra privacy, make sure that you keep the Save Media to Photos option disabled. This will prevent iOS from adding, photos that you shoot within the Notes app, to the Camera Roll.