How do I set parental controls on the iPhone?

Parents: you have several options for setting up parental controls for your iPhone. You can use Restrictions on the phone to turn on and off certain features. You can use Guided Access to lock the phone on one app. You can download parental-control browsers from the iTunes store. And, at the iTunes store, you can log into your account to restrict the types of content that can be shared and downloaded from the cloud. Here's how:

Setting Restrictions. Restrictions are the most basic form of parental control on the iPhone. They let you prevent access to pretty much anything you don't want your kids doing, such as downloading explicit songs and podcasts, using the Safari browser, accessing the iTunes store, installing apps, playing multiplayer games, adding friends to games, and making in-app purchases. You also can set up kid-safe search filters for Safari and choose to only let your kids visit preapproved sites.

To set up Restrictions on your iPhone, touch "Settings," choose "General," and then select "Restrictions." You'll be prompted for a PIN that gives you access to enable or disable "Restrictions." There you can turn off any features you want -- for example, Siri. Then scroll down to the section "Allowed Content." This is the place to choose individual limits on what types of content can be downloaded -- for example, only apps for 4-year-olds -- and to add safe-search settings.

Enabling Guided Access. This mode locks the phone on a single app so your kid can't click out of it. It's a great way to help kids (or you!) stay focused on one task.

To enable Guided Access, touch "Settings," choose "General," select "Accessibility," and scroll down to "Learning." Click on "Guided Access" and toggle it on. When you want to use it, simply launch the app your kid wants to use and triple-click the Home button. A passcode must be entered to disable Guided Access -- so don't tell your kids your passcode!

Downloading a kid-friendly browser. Although you can add safe-search settings to Safari in "Restrictions"/"Allowed Content," you also can completely disable the Safari browser (in Restrictions) and download a brand-new kid-friendly browser. Or you can download a search-filtering program that works with Safari. 

Setting iTunes Preferences. Remember that content downloaded onto the computer and shared in the cloud can be played on the iPhone. To manage this content, go to the iTunes store on your computer. Go to "Edit" in the top menu, choose "Preferences," and click on "Parental." There you'll find controls for what you can download and the TV and movie ratings you're OK with your kids downloading and sharing.

Have you set parental controls on your iPhone?

Ask Our Experts
Was this answer helpful?
Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts


Kid, 12 years old

my advice is, if you want your kid to hate you, then do this. having restrictions makes me feel like ive lost freedom. i dont want anyone else to feel this way.
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old written by Elysse M.

My kids are 5 and 7 and I'd like to let them play selected games on my really really old iPhone (no sim card, wifi only). I'd rather not let them connect to the internet at all, but I can't tell which apps will still work if it's in airplane mode.
Uncle of a 12 and 13 year old written by Jason M.

After talking with my 2 secondary aged God Children's parents, it was decided that I would buy the 2 iphones, as someone who works in the school this is a quick and effective way of controlling the exposure of the Web
Adult written by Briana M.

follow these steps and try to connect your device Open up the Settings App> General tab> Restrictions> Enable Restrictions> four-digit Restrictions passcode> re-enter Restriction passcode. Keep Remember: You should note, this passcode because you cannot be reset you put it on your iPhone, and the only single way to reset restrictions passcode is that the factory Settings iPhone.
Teen, 16 years old written by 9072s

Restrictions should be put on all phones/ipads etc... Children aged 12-16 are getting curious and will maybe snoop around the internet. You need restrictions are like parental control on Tv.
Teen, 14 years old written by scholarlyleopard

Restrictions were very helpful for our family! You can block just about anything on there, and as long as they don't figure out the password (don't tell them haha) they can't go on it. This helped to prevent just about any inappropriate content. It goes by app, and it blocks by movie ratings. This can prevent downloads of apps and websites, and even existing apps, I think. We cut off all PG-13 and R rated content for my sister, which actually helped in the future.