How To Turn Off In App Purchases on the iPad / iOS

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iPad Restrictions

Recently there’s been plenty of news coverage of young kids running up ridiculous bills on their parents’ credit cards when playing what they thought were free games on the iPad or iPhone.

In fact they were playing ‘freemium’ games – games that are free to install but offer numerous In-App purchase options that can quickly rack up charges into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Often these In-App purchases allow the player to advance more quickly within a game or to have access to better and more advanced features. So they’re very appealing, especially for youngsters who don’t really understand or think about how the charges incurred may mount up.

I’ve experienced this first-hand with my daughter a few years back and heard from countless friends and acquaintances when they’ve had similar experiences.

There’s an easy way to put a stop to this on the iPad – to disable the ability to make In-App purchases. Here’s how:

— Open the Settings app and tap on the General section in the left sidebar.

— Scroll down a bit in the right hand side area of the page, until you see the ‘Restrictions’ bar (as shown above) and tap on that

— At the top of the Restrictions page, tap on Enable Restrictions.

Enable Restrictions

— You’ll be prompted to set and confirm a passcode.

Set Passcode

— Once you’ve set your passcode, scroll down the Restrictions page, past the Allowed section and look at the ‘Allowed Content’ section and look for the In-App Purchases bar towards the bottom of that section.

iPad Turn Off In App Purchases

— Tap the toggle button next to In-App Purchases so that it changes to Off.

That’s it. In-App purchases on the iPad will then be disabled. Just don’t let your kiddos shoulder-surf your passcode.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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5 thoughts on “How To Turn Off In App Purchases on the iPad / iOS”

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  2. Thank you! It worked! My nephew “accidentally” purchased a ton of Candy Crush lives and my fiancee now have to pay over a hundred dollars worth of purchases he did not make. This will never happen in the future!

  3. I’m glad you shared this and I’m glad Apple is trying to make it more publicly known as well. As a parent, the last thing you want to find out is that your kid just bought a ton of virtual currency within an iOS game!

    Not something you want to see on the credit card bill, that’s for sure!

  4. Thank you for the informative and helpful info. I just purchased an IPAD mini and was downloading apps for my 4 year old grandson to play. This will ensure no unexpected surprises.

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