Easy ways to set up kiosk mode on an iPad

kiosk mode

The iPad makes a good “kiosk” device. An iPad limited to one specific app can be a good tool for businesses since it can help in significantly reducing human errors. Users can create a temporary kiosk using the Guided Access feature, or enable Single App Mode for an authentic kiosk environment. If the users need a smaller device to function as a kiosk or do not have an iPad then can even use these very same tricks on an iPhone or an iPod Touch as well.

An iPad kiosk mode can be set up in two ways, they are:

  • Single App Mode
  • Guided Access 

What is a Single App Mode?

Single app mode is a bit more complicated to set up. A user requires access to a Mac, and they have to connect an iPad to a Mac before they can put it in the Single App mode. Single App Mode is a more advanced feature that is meant for use by organizations rather than individuals.

The user must follow the method mentioned as follows to set up this type of an iPad kiosk:

  • The user must make sure that the app which they want to use in the kiosk mode is installed on their iPad
  • On a mac, the user should download the Apple Configurator 2 app from the Apple app store and use it to place the iPad into the Supervised Mode
  • Apple Configurator can then be used to allow Single App mode. This must be done by connecting the iPad to the Mac because Apple Configurator runs only on a Mac
  • With the iPad in Supervised Mode and connected to a Mac via a USB cable, a user must then open the Apple Configurator application and select the connected device 
  • On the menu bar, they must go to the Actions menu, point to Advanced, and start the Single App Mode 
  • The app which the user wants to lock onto the iPad must be then selected from the list
  • The user then needs to click the Select App button. The iPad will now be locked to a single app. People who have access to it will not be able to triple-click the “Home” button and try to guess the PIN. When the iPad starts, it will revert back to the specific app
  • A user can get out of Single App mode by connecting the iPad to their Mac, opening the Apple Configurator 2, and going to Actions> Advanced> Stop Single App Mode

The iPad will still be in ‘Supervise’ mode even if the user exits the Single App Mode.

What is Guided Access?

Guided Access is the quickest and easiest way to put the iPad to kiosk mode and is intended for use by parents or teachers. It is relatively easier to set up. A Mac is not required to enable this feature and it can be set up directly on an iPad.

The user must follow the method mentioned as follows to set up this type of iPad kiosk:

  • The guided access must be enabled first by opening the Settings app and proceeding to the General>Accessibility> Guided Access. The Guided access slider must then be enabled
  • Users must tap “Passcode Settings” to set a PIN for guided access and select whether or not they can exit Guided Access with touch ID (if their iPad has a Touch ID sensor). They can use the same PIN that they used to unlock the iPad or use a different password
  • The app that a user wants to put in the kiosk mode must be launched. Then the Home button must be pressed three times quickly. A Guided Access screen will appear, and the user can use the options presented herein to configure it. The touch screen is enabled and the Sleep / Wake button is disabled by default
  • The Start in the top right corner of the screen must be tapped when the user is ready. While in the Guided Access mode, the iPad screen will not turn off, instead it will always be switched on for anyone to use. A user can plug the iPad if their intent is to leave it on


If a user is going to use the iPad as a POS or an actual kiosk, then they must opt for the Single App mode. It is much better and specifically designed for this purpose. If an app is required to be used as a kiosk occasionally, Guided Access is the way to go because it is easier to undo and a Mac is not required to enable it.

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