Set up Parental Controls for the iPhone or IPad | Restrict Your Phone – Part 10


This is one in a series of blog posts I have put together describing how to setup parental controls for an iPhone, iPad, or iTouch.  If  you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book.  It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.

Section 7 – Content Restrictions for your Phone

iPhone Content Restrictions

Turning on content restrictions allows you to hide, remove, or alter some of the built-in features of your iPhone.  For instance, you can restrict whether your child is able to add or remove new apps from your phone.  This is important, as you don’t want them to be able to circumvent any controls you have already put in place.  We’ll discuss more about this later.

*Remove Unneeded Apps from your Phone

Before you restrict your phone there are a couple of housekeeping tasks you should perform.  First, remove any unneeded apps from the phone.  My motto is “if you don’t use it, delete it.”  Not only does this remove clutter from your phone, but you reduce your phone’s “security footprint,” the number of ways your phone can either be hacked from the outside or the number of apps you’ll have to lockdown to keep your child from unapproved sites and content.

To remove an app from your phone:

  1. Press and hold your finger over the app you want to delete.Delete App
  2. After a few moments the icons will “shake and wiggle.”
  3. Press the X in the upper left hand corner of the app.  You can delete more than one app now, so if you’re going to delete several apps, make a note of them, as we also need to remove them from iTunes.
  1. Once you are finished deleting apps, press the Home button.  The icons will stop jiggling.

If you accidentally delete something you can easily get it back by downloading another copy of the app from the App store.  If you had already purchased it, don’t worry, you won’t be charged again.

Note:  If you find you can’t actually remove an app, such as Safari, from your phone, you can use the phone’s restrictions feature to hide it.

You can always remove apps later, but doing some house cleaning now isn’t a bad idea.

Restrictions: Enable Content Restrictions

Content RestrictionsTo restrict your phone, first open up the phone’s Settings screen.  If you don’t know where it is, you can search for “Settings.”  Once you’re viewing the settings screen, tap General, and then scroll down and tap Restrictions.

Before we can set up any content restrictions we need to activate the feature.  To do so, tap Enable Restrictions.  You’ll then be prompted to enter a Restrictions Passcode.  Pick a four digit number you won’t forget.  You will then be asked to reenter it as a confirmation.  Once this is complete, all the content restriction features are activated.

We’ll now go over each section of the Restrictions screen and explain how you can use and set them.

Allow: Restrict access to apps and features

Once you have your iPhone™ set as you want it, you can restrict who is able to make changes.  By restricting access to apps and features, you’re able to lock down some of the changes and protections you have put in place.

If you didn’t, for instance, restrict your child from installing or deleting apps, then he could easily remove child safe apps and replace them with his own.  It is fairly simple to make it harder for your child to add apps without your approval.

We will now go through the list in order, explain what it means to allow each item, recommend those you should turn off (restrict):

*Safari – If you install a child safe browser (see below), then set this to OFF.  Just tap the blue ON button to do so.  The reason you want to do this is so your child can’t circumvent your choice in child safe-browsers in order to use Safari in its place.

Camera – You can disallow the use of the camera by setting this option to OFF.

FaceTime – FaceTime allows you to video chat with friends.  Turn this OFF if you don’t want your child to use the phone to talk to others.

*iTunes – This stops the child from going to iTunes on the phone to purchase music and apps.  If you don’t want your child downloading or purchasing music directly from his phone, we recommend turning this to OFF.

Keep in mind this content restriction only applies to the phone.  You child can still access iTunes from a computer.  We talk about this later in the section “iTunes Store”.

*iBookstore – When turned OFF, access to the online bookstore is restricted from the phone.  We recommend turning this off so you minimize unwanted spending.  You can always purchase and load books from iTunes on your computer, which gives you a chance to guide your child’s choices.

*Installing Apps – Prevent your child from browsing the App Store and installing non child safe apps without your permission.  Turn this one OFF.  Why let your child install his own browser to get around the child safe one you just installed?

*Deleting Apps – Prevent your child from deleting the safeguards you’ve put in place.  I like turning this OFF for several reasons.  Small children often mistakenly delete apps.

It is so easy to press an icon for an extended period of time and change the screen to “delete mode,” where the icons wiggle, and delete an app by accident.

The second reason is that you may install some special software such as a child safe browser, or cell-phone monitoring software which you don’t want removed from the phone.

*Siri – Siri is mainly a voice activated browser.  If you’ve chosen to install a child-safe browser, then we recommend restricting access to Siri.

*Explicit language for Siri – Avoid Siri misunderstanding “sit” for “s***!”  Tap to turn OFF.


If  you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book.  It contains even more information to guide you through the steps setup parental controls to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.

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