TikTok Is Requiring Users to Give Their Passcode, but No One Knows Why


Dec. 29 2023, Published 9:51 a.m. ET

TikTok logo in white with a paint background.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • TikTok users were being prompted to enter their phone passcodes to access the app, and many users were frustrated or confused by this new prompting.
  • TikTok has said that the issue has been resolved.
  • The password requirement was a glitch and not an intentional update.
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One of the reasons that TikTok has become so popular in recent years is that, in addition to the hugely compelling video content available on the app, it's super easy to use. Now, though, some users have been frustrated by the app continually prompting them to input their phone passcode to view content.

This prompting has left many wondering why TikTok is now requiring users to input their passcode, and whether or not this change is a permanent update to the app. Here's everything we know about this prompting, and why it has been such a mystery for regular users of the app.

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TikTok logo on a phone with a white background.
Source: Getty Images

Why does TikTok require my passcode?

TikTok users have been deeply confused by the passcode requirement, which seems to have been instituted without any official announcement or explanation from the app. Numerous outlets are reporting that the exact reasons for the new requirement are unclear. Also, it isn't clear whether TikTok made this change intentionally or whether the app is prompting users to enter a passcode because of a glitch.

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The issue was first reported in late November 2023, and more users started to notice it throughout December. The timing also aligned with Apple's introduction of several security updates that were designed to prevent apps from accessing sensitive information on your device. TikTok has come under fire in the past because of its affiliation with China, which some people think makes it a danger to American security.

“The iOS passcode prompt was a bug resulting from an update we’ve begun to introduce in the U.S. in partnership with our U.S. security partner,” a statement from TikTok explained. “This issue impacted a small number of people, we’ve resolved it, and people won’t see the prompt going forward. The passcode is used by the iOS operating system to help verify user identity. Neither TikTok nor our U.S. security partner were able to collect or access people’s iOS passcodes.”

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TikTok's glitch caused alarm for some.

Although some of the users who experienced this prompting found the trend merely annoying, others were worried that TikTok was prompting users to enter their passcodes to collect the information for some other purpose. According to TikTok's statement, though, the prompting was merely a glitch and one that has now been resolved.

In the future, it seems unlikely that TikTok will roll out any kind of policy that requires users to input their passcode to access the app. If you see that kind of prompting in the future, it's most likely a glitch that TikTok is working to resolve and not some sort of new feature designed to protect sensitive content.

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