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Home / Tips and Tricks / How To Prevent USB Accessory from Connecting Your iPhone to iOS 11.4.1 and Later «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

How To Prevent USB Accessory from Connecting Your iPhone to iOS 11.4.1 and Later «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



While privacy and security are the cornerstones of Apple's ecosystem, your iPhone is not bulletproof. Creating a strong passcode protects you from most threats, but there are tools that break even the most difficult passwords through the Lightning port. Fortunately, Apple has implemented a new security feature to disable your Lightning port and keep your data secure.

This security feature was originally introduced in the beta version of iOS 11.3 as a "USB-limited mode", but did not find its way to an official release until iOS 11.4. It would take seven days before the iPhone was unlocked to lock all the USB accessories, making brute force tools like GrayKey and Cellebrite completely useless.

Apple has improved this feature in the beta version of iOS 1

2 iOS 11.4.1 shortens the time it takes to keep this accessory in check, a step that will satisfy customers while law enforcement agencies and maybe even Hackers and thieves are frustrated. The limited USB mode lasts for seven days after only one hour after the iPhone has been locked.

This feature is enabled by default. To see if it works, go to App Settings and enter your Touch ID & Passcode or Face ID & Passcode settings. There, under Allow access on lock a switch for "USB accessory" is displayed, which should be switched off. If it's on for some reason, turn it off to keep the iPhone safe.

As mentioned above, this security feature will not work as soon as you lock your iPhone. It takes an hour after you last locked the iPhone for the setting. Once that's the case, your iPhone's Lightning port will be nothing more than a place to charge your iPhone. However, this only applies to pure charging cables, such as the connection to a power outlet – no computer.

Any USB-enabled activity will not work – even if iTunes syncs on trusted computers – until your iPhone unlocks through Face ID, Touch ID, or your password. You will receive a "USB Accessory" message with the message "Unlock iPhone to use accessories". Charging will also be disabled when this alert is displayed.

Image of Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks

Granted access to the USB accessory, your device will remain connected after an hour; It will not stop when you use it, even if it has not been unlocked within an hour. This means that you can watch or play your music collection in iTunes on your computer. Once you disconnect, the timer will restart at zero, and if you try to reconnect the device after one hour, you'll need to unlock your iPhone again.

Headsets and accessories for power only, such as the USB power adapter that comes with your iPhone, should still work without first unlocking after the countdown. It's simply all it detects that attempts are being made to transfer data from or to your iPhone that is being blocked.

Download faster: 30-Watt USB-C Power Adapter for iPhones on Amazon

Also worth mentioning, in the period before your iPhone automatically restricts data access to the Lightning port, you are just as vulnerable like you without the setting. Cellebrite, Grayshift, and other security firms employed by law enforcement officers are unlikely to be able to hack a security code within this hourly limit, though they may find a workaround.

If you set the USB to "on" (ie turn it on), your iPhone will still be susceptible to data transfers through USB accessories after one hour, and if your iPhone is stolen or otherwise taken out of possession, your passcode and password will suffice Your biometrics may not be out to protect your data. It is not yet known if USB accessories will be disabled after seven days of unlocking as in iOS 11.4.

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