Setting up parental controls on iPhone or iPad: Ultimate guide

Setting up parental controls on iPhone or iPad: Ultimate guide

September 10, 2023 privacy 0
With Apple’s Screen Time feature, you can set up parental controls on an iPhone or iPad to keep children safe online. Your iOS devices come with in-built systems that limit exposure to inappropriate or unsafe content. In this article, we’ll explain how to set up parental controls on an iPhone or on an iPad.

Contents How to set up Screen Time Setting up content restrictions Location sharing and privacy Setting up communication limits and restrictions Restricting explicit content Family sharing Should I install third-party parental control apps? Conclusion
How to set up Screen Time

Screen Time is a tool on iPhone and iPad that can be used to manage and limit the time spent on your iOS device. To set up Screen Time, follow these steps.

    On your iOS device, open “Settings.” Tap “Screen Time.” Tap “Turn on Screen Time” and then tap it again. Select “This is my [iPhone/iPad]” or “This is my child’s [iPhone/iPad].”

Once you have set up Screen Time, you should set up a Screen Time passcode to make sure that only you can edit the Screen Time settings. To set your passcode, follow these steps:

    On the device that your child uses, open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” If you’ve already set up “Screen Time,” tap “Use Screen Time passcode.” Input a new passcode when prompted and then confirm it. Input your Apple ID and password.

Setting up time limits for apps Through Screen Time, you can limit the amount of time a user can spend on specific apps.

    Open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Tap “App limits.” Select the app you want to restrict and specify a time limit. Tap “Add” to complete the process.

Enforcing Downtime You can set periods known as Downtime on your device, during which only a limited number of apps and functions can be used on your iPad or iPhone.

    Open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Tap “Downtime.” Tap “Turn on Downtime until tomorrow” or “Turn on Downtime until scheduled.”

During Downtime, you can also limit calls and messages to only those from preselected contacts.

Setting up content restrictions

As a parent, you can also use Screen Time to make your family’s devices more private and limit exposure to inappropriate content.{‘ ‘} Controlling app store and iTunes purchases To make sure unwanted apps and files can’t be downloaded from the Apple store or iTunes without your consent, follow these steps.

    Open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Tap “Content & privacy restrictions.” Input your Apple ID password. Turn on “Content & privacy restrictions.” In “iTunes & App Store purchases” tap “Require password.” Set it to “Always require” a password.

In this same sanction, you can also turn off in-app purchases, preventing kids from accidentally spending money within the apps they use. Managing allowed apps list You can set certain apps to be accessible even during Downtime. For example, if your child uses a particular application for homework (a calculator, for example) you can add it to the device’s list of “Always allowed” apps.

    Open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Tap “Always allowed.” Tap the plus or minus icons next to each app to add them to or remove them from the “Allowed apps” list.{‘ ‘}

Managing content restrictions With Screen Time, you can also add content restrictions on your child’s iPad or iPhone, protecting them from inappropriate content.{‘ ‘}

    Open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Tap “Content & privacy restrictions.” Tap “Content restrictions” > “Web content.” Select “Limit adult websites.”

Screen Time will now block websites it views as being inappropriate for children, including those that feature sex, violence, and explicit language. {SHORTCODES.blogRelatedArticles}

Location sharing and privacy

Even with Screen Time restrictions enabled, you may still be worried about your child exposing their location information while online. Take the following steps to limit location sharing:

    Review location services settings. Go to “Settings” > “Privacy & security” > “Location services” to see what apps are accessing your location. Manage location sharing. Following the steps above, view the apps that are accessing location data on your child’s iOS device. If any of them can function without this information, revoke their access.{‘ ‘} Choose who can see your child’s location. To revoke their access, choose an app in “Location services” and choose “Never” or “Ask next time.”

Setting up communication limits and restrictions

Your child’s iPhone and iPad have several in-built communication apps, including the Phone app, FaceTime, Messages, and their iCloud contacts. Follow these steps to enable restrictions on these apps.

    Turn on “Contacts” in iCloud by going to “Settings” > [your name] > “iCloud” > “Contacts.” Open “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Tap “Communication limits” > “During Screen Time.” Select one of the following options: “Contacts only,” “Contacts & groups with at least one contact,” or “Everyone.” Tap “Back” > “During Downtime.” Select specific contacts who can communicate with the device during Downtime periods.

Restricting explicit content

In addition to using the “Limit adult websites” feature in Screen Time, you can set up content restrictions to limit your child’s exposure to explicit content.{‘ ‘} Enable “safe search” for Siri, Spotlight, and search by changing the settings in the “Content & Privacy Restrictions” section. If you have other apps on your child’s device — Google Chrome or YouTube, for example — you can set these apps up to only show age-appropriate content. Remember, however, that even the most advanced safety settings won’t always get it right, and if your child is using the internet, there is always a possibility that they may view adult content by accident.{‘ ‘}

Family sharing

Apple’s Family Sharing feature is another good way to make a child’s online experience a little safer.{‘ ‘} With Family Sharing enabled, you’ll be able to turn on Downtime for other family members remotely. Family Sharing can also be used to track app store purchases and find missing devices.

Should I install third-party parental control apps?

On top of the parental controls iPhone and the iPad already have, you can install third-party safety apps on your children’s iOS devices. These apps give you greater control of what your child can see and do with their iPad or iPhone, blocking unsafe sites and web search content.{‘ ‘} Some of these apps can limit your child to a list of allowed websites and apps, while others allow you to manage their online activity remotely from your own device. You can read our{‘ ‘} guide to parental control apps {‘ ‘} to make sure your child is protected with the best service possible.


If you follow all the iPad and{‘ ‘} iPhone security tips outlined in this article, your child will have a safer online experience and is less likely to be exposed to inappropriate content. That being said, it’s important to remember that no one solution will completely shield a child from internet risks. To keep kids safe online, make sure to communicate with them about internet safety, encourage them to discuss their online social life with you, and make sure that any devices they use are installed with anti-malware software to prevent accidental virus downloads. You can also use a{‘ ‘} VPN on iPhone or iPad to add an extra layer of privacy and security to your child’s online experience.{‘ ‘}

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