“Issue” with the Note-locking feature on iOS 10 (and macOS)


Dec 7, 2011
Miami, Florida
Disclaimer: I thought I had posted about this before. I spent some time with the search feature on eiC but could not find the post. So I apologize in advance if I’ve already mentioned this.

There is a small “issue” with the note-locking feature of iOS and macOS. Please note that I used quotation marks around the word issue, thereby acknowledging the possibility that others will not agree with me and will not call it an issue.

The “issue” in question: The first line of the note is visible in the preview screen (see screenshot below) after a note is locked. Pur another way, when you lock a note, you’re not locking the entire note; instead, you’re locking the content on the second and subsequent lines of the note.


So if you truly want to lock a note and not show a preview, you have to remember to place a period on the first line, or any word, or symbol, or hint, then begin writing the actual confidential content on the second line.

For whatever reason, this isn’t mentioned anywhere in the official Apple documentation for locking notes.

So it is up to the user to realize that the first line of the note will always be visible in the preview screen, and the user has to arrive at that conclusion on his or her own. An iOS newbie could inadvertently place confidential information on the first line, lock the note, and think no one can see anything on the note, only to leave the first line visible to prying eyes, should the phone fall into the wrong hands while it’s in the unlocked state. And yes, I admit, this sequence of events is unlikely, considering most people have their phone set to auto-lock after one or two minutes of inactivity.