How to set-up and use Parental Controls on your iPhone

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parental-controlsIf you have kids, you’ve probably handed them your iPhone a time or two to keep them occupied while out to dinner.  Perhaps you’ve introduced them to an educational game, or let them use your device for homework or to practice math skills like my youngest son does every week. The earlier you introduce them to technology, the faster they master it.  I know my kids are very tech savvy, more so then I ever was at their age.

However, along with this shared interest in technology, we as parents have a responsibility to keep them safe, and manage what apps they use, and the websites they visit on our devices. I’m _really_ tired of reading posts about parents claiming that Apple needs to refund them for purchases they didn’t authorize. If your young son or daughter uses your iPhone, especially if they know your passcode and Apple ID password, you should be held responsible for purchases made on that phone.

With the growing popularity of iOS devices, more and more unseasoned users are faced with this issue.  With that in mind, and to help reacquaint those of us who might have forgotten about how to set-up parental controls–here is quick refresher…


1> Change your device passcode if your kids already know it, and don’t share it with them if you don’t want them to use your iPhone without supervision.  Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s an easily overlooked step. Also, if you own an iPhone 5S or later, set-up Touch ID so they don’t witness you entering your passcode.

2> Open the Settings App–> General–> Restrictions, and create a restrictions passcode if you haven’t already, or enter the password you have previously set .

3> At this point you have a wide variety of choices to make.  You can allow, or disable most Apple stock apps, as well as control whether users can delete or install apps.  One of the most important options, however, is to decide if you will allow In-App purchases on your iPhone.  This option alone has proved to be a major thorn in the side of many parents who might be unaware of the implications, and how quickly charges on their account can add up.


4> Content that can be restricted include

  • Allowed Content
  • Privacy
  • Allow Changes
  • Game Center

It’s also important to not that all of these restriction options can be adjusted/fine-tuned at any time, as well as disabled altogether.  To disable restrictions completely you will have to enter your restrictions passcode when prompted.

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