3 Quick Ways to Hard Lock Your iPhone

iPhone hard lock

Imagine you are in a situation where a cop, federal agent, or criminal forces you to hand over your iPhone. Worse, they also want to forcefully unlock your iPhone using Face ID or Touch ID to access all of your personal information. Wouldn’t you consider biometric authentication a curse and wish you had opted for a password instead? Most probably, you would. For this exact purpose, Apple lets you hard lock your iPhone in a hurry.

 Wondering what is hard lock and how it works on iOS? It allows you to quickly lock your iPhone, disabling Face ID and Touch ID in the process. After that, your device can be unlocked only with the passcode.

While this may be a hypothetical situation, it pays to stay guarded against the unexpected. Here are the three quick ways to enable hard lock on an iOS device.

How to Hard Lock iPhone 13, iPhone 12/11, iPhone XS/X

Probably the best part about a hard lock is how easily it comes into effect. And I bet once you have tried this hack, you will remember it for good. 

  • Simply press and hold the side and volume buttons until the “Slide to power off” screen appears. 
  • Your iPhone will now get hard-locked and require the passcode to unlock for the first time. Once it has been unlocked using the passcode, Face ID will begin to work as usual. 
Emergency SOS

How to Hard Lock iPhone SE, iPhone 8, iPhone 7

Enabling hard lock on a Touch ID-equipped iPhone is just as straightforward.

  • Just press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the Slide to power off screen appears. 
  • Now, your iOS device will require the passcode to unlock. 

Use Emergency SOS to Hard Lock Your iPhone

Another pretty straightforward way to hard lock the iPhone is to use the Emergency SOS feature. To do so, press the power button rapidly, three or five times (Check out Settings > Emergency SOS). 

In three seconds, your iPhone will play an alarm and initiate an Emergency SOS call to emergency services. Tap the Stop button to abort the call. Now, your device is hard-locked and will require the passcode to be unlocked. 

That’s pretty much how the hard lock works on iPhone.


Life is unpredictable, and just when you think that everything is sorted, the unexpected unsettles your plans. That’s why it’s better to remain prepared for such incidents. With our understanding of how the hard lock functions, it’s clear that Apple had thought of such critical situations. However, this method isn’t foolproof, and if one can coerce you to use Face ID  or Touch ID, they could force you to reveal the passcode as well. 

That said, we welcome your feedback and are happy to answer any questions you have. Shoot them in the comments section below!