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Playing it Safe - How to Use Parental Controls on iPhone and iPad

Coastal Computer - Thursday, February 18, 2016

With more parents letting their kids use their iPhones and iPads, and more parents buying their children their own iPads and iPhones or giving them their older models, it’s worth taking a look at the built-in parental control features that Apple provides. By turning on the Restrictions feature, you can prevent access to certain apps and features on the device, here’s how.

How to Turn on Restrictions

IMPORTANT NOTE: The passcode you enter for Restrictions can only be reset by erasing your iPhone or iPad and then setting it up as a new device. Restoring the device won’t remove the passcode, so it’s best to write it down before you enter it into your iPad or iPhone.

  • Tap the Settings app
  • Tap on General
  • Scroll down as needed and tap on Restrictions
  • Tap on Enable Restrictions at the top
  • Enter a passcode, and write it down as needed, remember the IMPORTANT NOTE above.

What Restrictions to Use

Apple allows you to disable certain built-in apps and features, such as the camera, FaceTime, and Siri. You can also block installing and deleting apps from the device, as well as prevent in-app purchases.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Another note here is that some of the features for apps, and the apps themselves may disappear from your phone when Restrictions are turned on. Before you get worried about Facebook missing, or even blame your kids, remember to turn Restrictions off before accessing those features or apps.


Apple’s Restrictions also allow you to restrict content based on rating. You can enter in your country, and then apply the appropriate rating for different sorts of content for your kids.

Limit Data Usage and More

There are many more features in Restrictions that you can explore including limiting updates to Mail and Calendar apps, Facebook, Twitter, and more. You can also limit cellular data use and even limit the volume on your iPhone or iPad

Playing it Safe

The parental controls by Apple for iPhone and iPad are called Restrictions, and they are a good first step to keep your kids safe when they are on your iPhone or iPad, or on their own device. Restrictions can also help you feel more comfortable letting your children use educational games and other apps, without worrying about important Mail and Calendar settings being changed.