iPad/iPhone – Disable Touchscreen Functionality

Today, we go all quasi mommy blog on you again! Why?? Because if this information saved me from torture at the hands of my daughter, then I figure it can save someone else. Also, we must not limit ourselves to our own children here! Think bigger! Nieces, nephews, grandchildren, random neighbor kids… What have you!

Lets set the scene, shall we:

Recently my little family made a trip back to the motherland of my fabulous husband… That happens to involve a minimum of a three and half hour car ride. Being that both my husband and I started new jobs in the past year, neither of us has any kind of significant PTO in the bank, which meant we were not taking the day off (or even the half day) and leaving early.  That also meant we were driving what would feel like an eternity, over our ten month old daughter’s dinner time, and bed time… Yeah, not ideal! Needless to say, I was having some anxiety leading up to this car trip. Never fear though! I was armed.

We did everything we possibly could for her before we left. We fed her, put her in comfy clothes, our marvelous daycare lady deprived her of her late afternoon nap for us, we were set… She was full, comfy, and tired. So, all of us hopped in the car, and away we went. Things were going great, we were making great time, she was sleeping, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves! Then, about forty five minutes away from our destination, she woke up. And not only did she wake up, she realized she had been stuck in her car seat for over two hours, she had no idea where her parents were, she was hungry, and even though it was past her bedtime, there had been no bedtime routine! So yeah, she went in to full meltdown mode, and if you’ve ever met my child you would know… 90% of the time she is an angel, seriously, a damn cherub… You catch her on a bad day though, she is one SPICY girl!

Okay, the scene is set, this is where the technology comes in!

Never fear, I prepared for this as well! I whip out the iPad, charged and equipped with her favorite… Mickey Mouse! I slide it in this handy dandy little holder that can hang on her car seat, and start patting myself on the back again. #Parenting #IGotThis  Then, less than five minutes in to her episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, she figures out that when she touches the screen, things happen… What baby doesn’t love some good old fashioned cause and effect?! Not only that, but she manages to turn off the episode about three times in the next five minutes, thereby re-igniting her SPICY side. (Ughhhhhhh… Seriously!?) Well, never fear! All was not lost! Google to the rescue! The following are step by step instructions on how to turn off the touch screen functionality of an iPad or iPhone… Thank you Apple!

  • Click on the Settings app.
  • Settings AppSelect General > Accessibility > Guided Access… Toggle Guided Access on. It should turn green.


  • You will be prompted to enter a passcode. You will use this to exit “Guided Access”.
  • Hit the home button, and leave “Settings”, click on the app that you want to use. In my case this was the Videos app.
  • Alright, once you are where you want to be, triple click the home button. This will open up Guided Access.
  • On the bottom of the screen you will see an available toggle labeled “Touch”. If you swipe this left/off, it will disable the touch screen all together. Ahhhh… Serenity!

Once you are done, and you want your touch screen functionality back, simply triple click the home button again, and enter your pass code.

So that, my friends, is the story of how we made it through our longish car ride in one piece! I just turned off the touch screen, and she was able to entertain herself with Mickey Mouse, and the Hot Dog song (Oh man does she love that song… I don’t get it.) for the rest of the trip! In addition to being able to disable touch screen functionality you can also disable the hardware buttons such as volume, as well as set a time limit! Again, thank you Apple!

If I save one other new mommy, auntie, uncle, grandparent, or neighbor from the perils of a screaming child, then I will consider this a successful post! So please, share away! I’ve got to reach the one!

Laura Larson

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