Locking and Unlocking Notes in the Notes App

The Notes app gained a major security feature when Apple released the free updates to iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4,.. the ability to securely lock individual notes! This is a welcome improvement for many of us who store secure information in the Notes app.

Using this new security feature may not be obvious to many, but because I think everyone should know how to use it, I will walk you through it step-by-step. Here we go!

For the purposes of this post, we will walk through how to lock and unlock notes on an iPhone (running iOS 9.3). The same instructions apply for iPad and the concepts apply equally to the Notes app in OS X 10.11.

First, let's open the Notes app and create a new note. This particular note happens to contains some information that is deemed sensitive, so it may be a good one to lock and protect.

Next, let's tap on the Action button. This will reveal various actions that we can perform on this note such as send it to someone else via Messages, email, Twitter, etc. Notice that we can also choose to lock the note:

By tapping the "Lock Note" button, iOS will a protective encryption wrapper around the note. The password for the note, thanks to Touch ID, is your fingerprint.

Now that we have added the locking capability, it's time to lock the note. To do this, we simply tap the lock button in the top right corner:

The note is now locked and protected:

When it's time to view the note, we tap on "View Note", then use our fingerprint to unlock:

Alternatively, you can enter the password that you chose to use for locking notes. If you don't remember your password, you can reset it by going to Settings > Notes > Password. If you want to remove a lock from a note, this can be done by tapping the action button and choosing "Remove Lock":

Posted on March 22, 2016 and filed under How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac.