With the release of the latest version of iOS, you can now secure your notes in the Notes app using a password or Touch ID. This was really great news for me because I use the Notes app on my iPhone a lot, but I hate the fact that I have to use another app like Evernote to create confidential notes that I want to protect.
Overall, the feature works pretty well, although there are some strange quirks that I hope will be addressed in the next few iOS releases. In this article, I will show you how to create a locked note in iOS and how to use them correctly.
How Locked Notes works in iOS
Before we get into our own process, it’s important to understand how locked notes actually work on iOS. First, all notes will be locked using a single password, which is a mandatory requirement. If you want to create locked notes, you must enter a password.
This password will be used for all your locked notes. You cannot easily create different passwords for different notes. There may be different passwords for different notes, but the function should not work, and below I will explain how this situation can arise.
Secondly, notes can also be locked using Touch ID. Any fingerprint that can unlock your phone can unlock your notes if you enable Touch ID for locked notes. If you’re using Touch ID, you don’t need to enter a password, although you can do that if you like. It’s pretty much the same as using Touch ID on the lock screen or entering a password.
Finally, there are some weird quirks. For example, even if you lock a note, the title of the note will be visible in the Notes application. So when creating a secure note, make sure the first line is something you don’t mind for others to see.
Another weird feature is that you can delete a locked note without any authentication. Therefore, if someone gains access to your phone, even if they cannot view the note, they can delete it! In my opinion, deleting locked notes should require the same authentication as viewing.
How to create a locked note
To create a locked note in iOS, open the Notes app, create a new note or open an existing one, and then click the Share button at the top.
You will see several buttons in the pop-up window. One of them should be Lock Note.
Now the next screen you see will depend on whether you have configured a password for Notes in preferences. If you haven’t, the next screen will appear where you need to enter your password and choose if you want to enable Touch ID to lock and unlock your notes.
If you’ve already set a password, you’ll just get a pop-up asking you to use Touch ID or enter your password to lock the note.
After any of the above screens, a lock animation appears in the note with the words â€œLock addedâ€.
It simply means that a lock has been added to the note, but it is not completely locked yet. If you look at the top of the note, you will see a small lock icon that is in the open position.
To completely block a note, you need to click on this icon. At this point, the content will be hidden and you will see a message stating that this note has been blocked.
If you go back to the list of all your notes, you will see a small lock icon next to the notes that have been locked. It’s worth noting that when you unlock one note, all the others will also be unlocked. When you block one note, all others are blocked as well.
As you can see, the names of the locked notes are still visible, as I mentioned earlier. To view the contents of a locked note, simply click on it and then click on the lock icon in the upper right corner, or click View Note under the message “This note is locked.” You will either have to use Touch ID, if enabled, or enter a password.
Finally, once a note is unlocked but there is still a lock added to it, you can unlock it by clicking the Share button again. Instead of the “Block note” button, you will see the “Unblock” button.
Password change or reset password
Because all your notes are protected with one password, you can change your password or reset it if you forget your password. When you change your password, it changes the password for all future notes and for all previously locked notes.
If you reset your password, it will allow you to choose a new password, but only for recently locked notes. All your old notes that were locked using the old password will remain locked and can only be unlocked with the old password. After resetting your password, you will not be able to unlock old locked notes with Touch ID.
To change the password for all notes, go to Settings, then Notes and click Password.
Click on “Change Password” and then enter the old password and then the new password. Now, all your recently created locked notes and previously locked notes will use this new password.
If you click on Reset Password, you will need to enter your iCloud password before it allows you to enter a new password. As mentioned earlier, notes that already contain passwords will not be affected. To unlock old notes, you need to remember your old password.
If you reset your password and then open an old note that was locked with the old password, you will receive a message asking if you want to update the old password in that note with the new one. Please note that if you do this, all old notes will be updated to the new password.
Finally, if OS X is updated to the latest version, you can also lock and unlock notes in the Notes app on OS X.
On OS X, you will need to enter a password as Touch ID is not supported. In general, the note lock feature works quite well in iOS and OS X, but you should be aware of the specifics and try not to forget your password. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!