The USB Restricted Mode is the latest feature to be rolled out from Apple’s cupboard. A feature which the company had earlier further that it would be for improved privacy. The feature follows the latest release of iOS 11.4.1 for iPhones and iPads on July 9th.
However, the Apple iOS 11.4.1 is only compatible with iPhone 5S and later, iPad mini 2 or later and 6th generation iPod touch. Users can go to Settings > General > Software Update and install the new update on their iPhones, iPads. Apart from the USB restricted mode, the iOS update which is around 200MB in size also comes with bug fixes and “improves the security of your device. One of which is an improvement in the reliability of syncing mail, contacts, and notes with Exchange accounts.
Apple had already announced it would be introducing such a feature, where access would be cut-off to the iPhone or iPad via the Lightning Port if the device has not been unlocked for the last one hour. Also adding that changes would be made in iOS to ensure that hacking tools used by some government agencies, companies like GrayShift, Cellebrite, to gain access to iPhone data, where the passcode was not available, would no longer work.
What Is USB Restricted Mode In Apple’s iOS 11.4.1?
USB Restricted Mode, which is an added feature in the recent iOS released by Apple aims at making life more difficult for hackers as well as law enforcement and government agencies to unlock your iPhone. Apple described it as a new “security protection”.
For instance, iOS will lock down your device after several incorrect passcode attempts. Some companies and law enforcement have figured out a workaround via USB accessories and the Lightning port. But Apple is stopping those ways of gaining entry to an iOS device.
How Does USB Restricted Mode Work?
According to Apple, if a user does not unlock their password-protected iOS device or have not done so for the past one hour, then the “iOS device won’t communicate with the accessory or computer, and in some cases, it might not charge.” Apple will prompt the user to unlock the device in such cases.
The company is blocking access to USB accessories unless the user has unlocked the iPhone or iPad in question. However, users have the option of allowing some USB accessories to always have access to the iOS device. Those who use a USB assistive device to enter their passcode on iPhones can turn on the setting. Though many assistive devices will automatically turn on the setting to allow USB devices the first time they’re connected.”
USB Restricted Mode Is Enabled By Default
Once you’ve installed iOS 11.4.1, the USB Restricted Mode is automatically turned on. You’ll need to unlock your device to connect a USB accessory and get it working. So for as long as it’s attached, the accessory will remain connected and operational even if your iOS device is locked again.
Charge While In USB Restricted Mode
Accessories might not be able to charge your iPhone unless you unlock it first. When a USB accessory is blocked from connecting to your iPhone, charging might also be prevented as a result. iOS devices will charge normally when connected to a USB power adapter. However, if you plug in a gadget that delivers power over USB, you might have to unlock your device. This is going to vary from accessories though.
USB Restricted Mode 100% Safe
Actually, there is a bug that we believe will be fixed later by Apple. By plugging in a USB accessory like Apple’s own iOS camera adapter before USB Restricted Mode is activated. That is enough to reset the 60-minute clock and prevent your iPhone from locking down its Lightning port.