Apple Details New Lockdown Mode Coming to iOS 16 and macOS Ventura

Posted on July 6, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple, iOS, iPadOS, Mac and macOS with 11 Comments

Apple has detailed today a new Lockdown Mode that will come to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura later this fall. Lockdown Mode will provide optional protection for users of Apple devices being targeted by state-sponsored spyware and other major threats to their digital security.

“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. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organizations around the world doing critically important work in exposing mercenary companies that create these digital attacks,” explained Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of Security Engineering and Architecture.

In practice, Apple devices in Lockdown Mode will restrict apps, websites, and other features to improve security. Here are the main features to be available at launch:

Messaging: Incoming Facetime calls from unknown contacts are blocked, and the Messages app will also block most message attachment types and disable link previews.

Web browsing: Lockdown Mode will disable just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation and other complex web technologies by default except on trusted sites specified by users

Devices: Wired connections with a PC or accessory will be blocked when an iPhone in Lockdown Mode is locked.

Profiles: Lockdown Mode will prevent configuration profiles to be installed, and devices also won’t be able to be enrolled into mobile device management (MDM).

Apple said today that it will “continue to strengthen Lockdown Mode and add new protections to it over time.” Additionally, the company has created a new category within its Apple Security Bounty program to reward researchers who find security flaws in its new Lockdown Mode.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Apple Details New Lockdown Mode Coming to iOS 16 and macOS Ventura”

  1. dftf

    On-paper this sounds good -- but if you travel to certain countries with this mode enabled, be prepared for possible state-sanctioned torture to force you to then disable it.


    Even in Westernised areas, there are calls in the EU, UK and some parts of the US to allow device-encryption to have backdoors, or to be disabled by the phone-maker somehow. I'm not sure they are going to continue to allow "panic-modes" like this to continue to be added without intervention.

    • jchampeau

      It seems to me that any country willing to torture someone to gain access to data on a mobile device will do so whether lockdown mode is in use or not.

    • Dan

      So much BS in your post.


      Tell me which countries put a gun to your head and tell you to turn this non existent feature to be on so they can monitor you? How about tell you to turn it on at all?


      No one does. Thanks for the fear mongering.

  2. Chris Hedlund

    Lockdown mode? Is that where if you don't get your vaccination shot you can't use your Mac or iPad?

  3. j5

    This is great! As iPhone and Mac use I probably wouldn't use this. However, I think the more privacy and security features like this that Apple creates the more users will use them. And because it's Apple other companies will feel the pressure to do better with privacy and security with their platforms.

    Love or hate Apple but you have to admit they are leading the pack in privacy and security. But also they keep moving forward and come out with new privacy and security features for users.

  4. michael

    Paul, yours is one of the few sites I whitelisted for ads but EVERYTIME I am greeted with a flurry of DeSantis ads. Really, I find it nauseating. Maybe its because I am from Florida, but we hate the guy here.

    • jason_e

      Speak for yourself. Also recent polls show him doing pretty good. A very recent Harvard poll showed him as one of the most favorable politicians in America.

    • pbeiler1

      So don’t whitelist it. Seems like a simple solution.

    • jimchamplin

      The P on your user image says you're a Premium user. How are you seeing ads. Are you not logged in?

  5. compunut

    Other than the web browser settings, these things sound like they should be on for everyone.


    I don't want unknown people constantly messaging me.

    I don't want attachments opening automatically.

    I don't want the device talking to a physically connected device without me authorizing it.

    I don't want MDM profiles pushed without my permission.


    These are all for me as a user. I don't think any state sponsored attacker is after me, but I still want all of that. Maybe I should turn this feature on when it arrives?


    The only downside might be the extra annoyances on the web browser side of things...