iOS 12: How to toggle USB Accessories


iOS 12 will bring some welcomed new security features to the operating system. Among those is a new USB Restricted Mode. When enabled, this mode will force you to re-authenticate any USB devices plugged into your iOS device if it has been locked for more than an hour.

This means that anything plugged into the Lightning port will be restricted to only charging. This includes plugging into iTunes to sync.

Follow along as we walk you through how to toggle this feature on or off and why someone would want to turn this feature off.

iOS 12: How to toggle USB Accessories

  1. On your iOS device, head into Settings > Face (or Touch) ID & Passcode. You’ll be prompted to enter your passcode.
  2. After authenticating, scroll down to the ALLOW ACCESS WHEN LOCKED section. The bottom most toggle will be labeled USB Accessories. By default this is turned off to prevent unwanted access to the device.
  3. Switch this on to allow all USB accessories to work, even past the one hour threshold.

While there aren’t many real world scenarios where one might want to flip the switch on, there are a handful. The biggest reason being convenience to a user who may regularly sync to iTunes. The default will force the user to manually authenticate every single time if the user hasn’t unlocked their device for more than an hour (e.g. at night when sleeping). Another reason would be for those who rely on USB audio devices on iOS, whether it be to record or listen.

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However it may be, this is one of the rare cases where Apple gives the user the option to choose how secure the device could potentially be.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:


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