Apple says Lockdown Mode will be enabled in the third beta versions of iOS 16, iPad 16, and macOS Ventura seeded today, and the feature will be available to all users when the software updates are released later this year. While the feature is aimed at users who are targets of cyberattacks, it appears that it can be enabled by any user.
Lockdown Mode can be found in the Privacy & Security section of the Settings app on iPhones and iPad and the System Settings app on Mac.
Lockdown Mode provides an "extreme" level of security by strictly limiting or disabling the functionality of features, apps, and websites.
At launch, Lockdown Mode will include the following protections:
- Messages: Most message attachment types other than images are blocked. Some features, like link previews, are disabled.
- Apple services: Incoming invitations and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent the initiator a call or request.
- Wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when iPhone is locked.
- Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management (MDM), while Lockdown Mode is turned on.
"Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks," said Ivan Krstić, Apple's head of security engineering, in a press release shared today. "While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are."