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How to enable parental controls on iPhone and iPad

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How to enable parental controls on your child’s iPhone and iPad to limit usage time, adult content, or purchases. There is a wide variety of parental restrictions that you can set on your child’s iPhone.

iPhone parental controls can keep your child away from sensitive content and adjust screen time. You can also control purchases and set content and privacy restrictions. All parental controls can be accessed via the Screen Time section of the Settings app.

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When it comes to protecting your children, technology is an important consideration. If you have Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads, in your home, you have access to a solid set of resources to control what your kids can do on their devices. You just need to know how to set them up. Here’s how to enable parental controls on iPhone and iPad.

Set content and privacy restrictions using Screen Time

Before setting up parental controls on iPhone and iPad, you must have set up

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Family Sharing on your device.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. 
  2. Tap Screen time.
  3. Tap Turn on screen time.
  4. After reading a summary of what the Screen Time feature can offer, tap Continue.
  5. If you are setting up parental controls on your child’s iPhone, select This is my child’s iPhone.
  6. Tap Idle Time, then configure the hours you want your child’s iPhone to be offline. For example, you may want to stop them from playing games or using social media after dinner. Regardless of the time you choose, calls and text messages will still be received.
  7. Tap the Back button, then select App Limits. From there, you can choose how long your child can use various types of apps. For example, you can limit social media apps and games to two hours a day, then tap Set app limit.
  8. Tap the Back button again and select Content & Privacy Restrictions. Then turn on the Content and Privacy Restrictions option and create a passcode so that you have access to Screen Time’s parental controls, but your child doesn’t.

Quick Tip: To prevent your child to change the settings, select Use the code for the operating time to create a code and enter it again as indicated to confirm your decision. If you have iOS 13.4 and later, you will be asked to enter your Apple ID and password.

Check out your iTunes and App Store purchases

Prevent purchases and downloads

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Screen time.
  3. Select Content and Privacy Restrictions. At this point, you may be asked to enter your passcode.
  4. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
  5. Choose Don’t allow where desired.

Enable “Ask to buy”

This process needs to be done on your device, not your child’s device. Once parental controls are set up on iPhones and iPads, you, as the family organizer, can approve or deny your child’s requests to make purchases, such as buying a new app for their phone.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select your name at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap Family Sharing.
  4. Select Ask to Buy.
  5. Tap the name of the desired family member.
  6. Use the toggle button to toggle Ask to Buy on or off.

Note: Ask to Buy does not work for apps or other content distributed by the school if your child’s account was set up using Apple ID for students. However, it will still work for personal purchases.

Specify which websites your child can visit 

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Screen Time.
  2. On the Screen Time page, tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. You may need to enter the Screen Time passcode.
  3. If it’s not already turned on, slide the Content & Privacy Restrictions button to the right.
  4. Tap Content restrictions.
  5. In the Web Content section, tap Web Content.
  6. Depending on how restrictive you want to be, tap Restrict Adult Websites or Allowed Websites Only. Once that selection is made, you can refine your controls by adding websites to the list of allowed (or disallowed) sites.

Prevent explicit content

  1. Go to your Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Select Content Restrictions.
  5. Choose the settings you want.

From this screen you can limit:

  • Ability to play music, music videos, podcasts, and news with explicit content.
  • Ability to find and view music videos.
  • Ability to share what they are listening to with friends and see what their friends are listening to.
  • Movies, TV shows, book content, and apps with specific ratings.

Quick Tip: You can select your country or region in the rating section to apply your desired content ratings for the entire region.

Disable built-in apps

  1. Go to the Settings app and tap Screen Time.
  2. Select Content and Privacy Restrictions.
  3. Enter your Screen Time passcode, as indicated.
  4. Select Allowed apps.
  5. Disable the apps you want to disable.

Note: Disabling these apps doesn’t delete them, it just hides them from your child’s home screen.

Limit Siri web searches

  1. Go to your Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen time.
  3. Select Content and Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Tap Content restrictions.
  5. Scroll down to Siri, then choose your settings. You can prevent Siri from searching the web when you ask a question and prevent Siri from viewing any explicit languages ​​within this setting.