If a friend or family member is wanting to borrow your iPad for a few days or weeks, here are some ways that you can let them use it without giving them access to your personal information.
iPads are nifty devices, but not everyone uses them enough to justify a purchase of Apple’s tablet. If you’re like many users, you probably only find an iPad handy during a long flight or on a road trip, but it’s possible you only do these things a couple of times per year. This is where borrowing an iPad comes in handy and knowing someone with an iPad can pay off big time.
However, what if you’re the one with the iPad and a friend or family member asks you if they could borrow it for a few days? You obviously don’t want to just give it to them as is, since you most likely have your logins saved and there’s probably other personal information that you don’t want them to access.
The good news is that there are several ways to prepare your iPad for lending it to someone else for a bit, from using Accessibility options to taking advantage of some jailbreak tweaks if your iPad is jailbroken. Let’s look at some of these ways.
A nifty feature in iOS 7 is Guided Access, and it’s available through the Accessibility under Settings > General. Essentially, Guided Access lets you lock down your iPad to a single app, and those who borrow your iPad won’t be able to click the Home button to go back to the home screen and open up another app that could possibly contain your personal information.
So if you just wanted to give someone access to Safari to do some web browsing and nothing else, Guided Access allows you to do that. To set it up, all you have to do is enable it in Settings, and then open up the app you want the other person to have access to and triple-click the Home button to set it up and define the parameters for the feature.
However, this isn’t really the best solution, seeing as how your friend or family member will most likely want to play games and do other things besides only having access to Safari, so use this feature only in certain situations.
Guest Mode Jailbreak Tweaks
If you have a jailbroken iPad, your options are much more open, as there is a really handy jailbreak tweak for these instances. Guestmode is like Guided Access, but on steroids. Friends can use your iPad by using the Guest account and can have access to the apps you have installed, but you can control what apps and features are blocked and which ones are free to use.
There’s also a jailbreak tweak called Slices, that allows you to store multiple user accounts for any apps that you have on your iPad, that way friends who are borrowing your iPad can add their own accounts to social apps and such without erasing your own login credentials. Again, this isn’t an entirely foolproof method, but until we get full support for multiple user accounts on the iPad, these will have to do.
Backup & Factory Reset
In all honesty, the best option if you’re wanting to lend your iPad to a friend is to just back up your iPad and factory reset it, that way the person borrowing your iPad can make it their own for the time that they’ll have it, letting them sign in using their Apple ID info and putting movies and music on the iPad without having to interfere with your own content. Then, once they’re done with it, you can have them reset the iPad back to factory settings.
Once you get the iPad back, you can simply restore from a backup and you’ll have your iPad up and running back to its old self in no time, complete with all of your apps, games, and settings that you had installed before you wiped it the first time.
Of course, letting someone borrow your iPad can be a risky task, especially if a friend of yours might be flaky or unreliable. This is why we always recommend that you lend your expensive gadgets to people whom you can trust, such as very close friends and family members.