Lockdown mode is coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 10

Apple expands Lockdown mode to Apple Watch with release of watchOS 10. This should protect users who are at risk of state-sponsored or other highly-targeted cyberattacks.

At launch, Lockdown Mode included the following protections:

  • In the Messages app, most message attachment types other than images are blocked, and some features like link previews are unavailable.
  • Incoming FaceTime calls from people you have not previously called are blocked. Incoming invitations for other Apple services from people you have not previously invited are also blocked.
  • In Safari and other WebKit browsers, some complex web technologies and browsing features, including just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from Lockdown Mode.
  • Shared albums are removed in the Photos app, and shared album invitations are blocked.
  • When a device is locked, wired connections with other devices/accessories are blocked.
  • Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management (MDM), while Lockdown Mode is turned on.

iOS 17 brings even more protections to users.

Lockdown Mode expands to provide even more protections for those who may be targeted by mercenary spyware because of who they are or what they do. New protections encompass safer wireless connectivity defaults, media handling, media sharing defaults, sandboxing, and network security optimizations. Turning on Lockdown Mode further hardens device defenses and strictly limits certain functionalities, sharply reducing the attack surface for those who need additional protections. Additionally, Lockdown Mode will be supported on watchOS.

Apple Newsroom

Apple Newsroom: Apple announces powerful new privacy and security features

Reference: Lockdown Mode Expanding to Apple Watch With watchOS 10

Apple announces Lockdown mode for vulnerable users

Apple made an announcement on ability to increase device safety by sacrificing some of the capabilities:

  • Most of attachments in Messages are blocked;
  • Certain Web technologies are disabled (JavaScript JIT compilation, for example);
  • Some of Apple services (such as FaceTime) are blocked unless user explicitly communicated with the initiator previously;
  • Wired connection to computer is disabled when device is locked;
  • MDM and configuration profiles could not be installed.

Lockdown mode will be in active development, new restrictions and safeguards might be added soon.

Lockdown mode will be available for iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura.

It is expected that this mode will be used by small number of people who are potentially in risk of targeted cyberattacks, however, feature itself will be available to all users within settings later this year. As of now beta 3 is shipped with Lockdown mode settings available.

Apple Newsroom: Apple expands industry-leading commitment to protect users from highly targeted mercenary spyware


iOS 16 and other OSes get beta 3

Apple publishes next round of beta versions for upcoming big releases. iOS/iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, watchOS 9 and tvOS 16 now released as beta 3. Corresponding Xcode beta is also published.

Notable changes:

  • iCloud Shared Photo Library is now available;
  • AFib history is now available;
  • Lockdown mode can be enabled;
  • Several Lock Screen enhancements to provide better experience with widgets;
  • Safari will support virtual card numbers for online purchases on participating banks;
  • Also, there is a "clownfish" wallpaper which was used on original iPhone announcement, but never actually shipped with iOS or iPhoneOS.

Beta download: Operating Systems

Release notes: