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USB Restricted Mode

(also iPhone USB restricted mode)

USB Restricted Mode definition

USB Restricted Mode is a security feature implemented by Apple on iOS devices to protect the data on the device. When enabled, this mode prevents USB accessories that plug into the Lightning port from making data connections with the device after it has been locked for a certain period. While it prevents data connections with USB accessories, it still allows charging of the device.

See also: end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication

USB Restricted Mode examples

  • Preventing data access: If an iPhone has been locked for over an hour and a new accessory is plugged in, the accessory can't establish a data connection until the iPhone is unlocked again.
  • Blocking hacking tools: USB Restricted Mode can prevent hacking tools that connect via the Lightning port from accessing the device data.

Pros and cons of USB Restricted Mode


  • Enhanced security: By limiting the ability of USB devices to connect to an iOS device, USB restricted mode adds an extra layer of security and data privacy.


  • Inconvenience: The feature may inconvenience users because legitimate accessories might be blocked from connecting if the device has been locked for an extended period.

Using USB Restricted Mode

  • USB Restricted Mode can be enabled or disabled in the settings of an iOS device.
  • Always remember to unlock your device before connecting new USB accessories if USB Restricted Mode is enabled.