How to: Create a Super Strong Device Passcode with Accented and Alternate Letters


Most of us have a device password set. You know a four digit passcode to keep folks out of your iPad or iPhone when you’re not looking. There are some of folks who don’t think 10,000 different combinations of digits is enough. Some folks turn off simple passcodes and switch to letters too. Want to step it up another notch? Then throw in some accented and alternate letters too.

I’m going to tell you straight off the bat that I don’t think this is the best idea ever. Setting a passcode is a great idea, and if you really want an extra step going beyond four numbers (remember there are 10,000 different combinations of 4 digit numbers) and turn off simple passcodes, go for it. But…

Remember if you forget your passcode, like completely space it, the only option is wiping and restoring. The more complex the passcode, the more likely you’ll forget it. Through in a slew of accented or alternate letters…well you can imagine the trouble you could get in.

But, since we’re here to give you tips and tricks you can use…

Step 1: Turn off Simple Passcodes

Just go to General -> Passcode Lock (you’ll be asked for your current passcode if you have one set) and then tap “Simple Passcode” to “OFF”.

Step 2: Set the new stronger passcode.

Once you turn Simple Passcodes off you’ll be asked to enter a new passcode. You’ll notice that the on screen keyboard pops up for this.

Tapping out lowercase and capital letters (and numbers, etc) you’ve got by now I expect, but accented letters or alternate characters you might not be familiar with. Getting to the letters is actually really easy, just tap and hold on a letter (like i in this example) and drag over to the character you want. Finish the new passcode, tap “Next” and re-enter the new über strong passcode. That’s it.


Not all letters, of course, have accented versions or even alternates (l does by the way), but if you tap around you’ll find that a, s, e, y, u, i, o, z, c, l, and n all have characters you can use. Practice with Notepad to find and insert the characters as practice.

Wrap up

I think you can see why the note of caution. It can be tricky to enter these characters quickly. Oh and if you have a Bluetooth keyboard attached, yeah you might want to turn it off and type the code on screen to make 100% you’re tapping what you think you’re tapping.

Yes, this is an easy trick. Great way to make your iPad or iPhone really secure…just don’t forget how to type that passcode where tacotruck is now tåçøtrück or you’re going to be erasing your device and starting over from a backup.

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