How to Set Up a Stronger Passcode on Your iPhone

Your iPhone’s passcode is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your private information. Here’s how to set up a stronger than the default six-digit passcode you’re probably already using.

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If someone with malicious intentions find out your “iPhone” passcode, they might end up causing you all sorts of troubles. With passcode access to the contents of your “iPhone,” they could change your Apple ID password, allowing them to turn off “Find My” so they can no longer find your device. You could use Apple Pay to make contactless payments and gain access to your iCloud Keychain passwords. You could even erase your “iPhone” for resale.

Because of this, you should never share your passcode with anyone who is not a trusted family member. If something extraordinary happens and you need to lend your “iPhone” to someone who is not part of the family, you can at least temporarily change the passcode to something else and then change it again when you get the phone back in your hands. (The steps below will show you how.)

If you’re worried about strangers seeing you enter your “iPhone” passcode in public, the best solution is to use Face ID or Touch ID whenever possible. Your biometric information is stored in your device’s secure enclave, which is much more secure than your passcode.

If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to use Face ID or Touch ID, another option is to set up a stronger passcode. By default, “iPhone” passwords are six digits, but Apple provides options to create a four-digit passcode or a longer numeric or alphanumeric passcode.

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The standard six-digit passcode is obviously more secure than any four-digit one, while the strongest passcodes use a combination of letters and numbers. Just remember that the longer and more complex the passcode, the harder it will be to remember and the longer it will take to enter. If you don’t have a good memory for passcodes, this might not be the best idea – don’t make it longer than six digits. With all that in mind, here’s how it’s done.

  1. On an ‌iPhone‌ X or later model (or an iPad with ‌Face ID‌), launch the Ideas app, then go to Face ID and Passcode. Go to on devices with ‌Touch ID‌ Settings -> Touch ID & Passcode.
  2. Scroll down and tap change password.
  3. Enter your existing passcode.
  4. On the next screen, tap Passcode Options.
  5. Choose Custom alphanumeric code or Custom numeric code from the pop-up menu.
  6. Enter your new passcode as a combination of numbers and letters.
  7. Re-enter the new passcode to confirm it.

Your new passcode is now set up. The next time you lock your “iPhone” and then try to unlock it, you will be asked to enter the new passcode.

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