Still have questions?

Join Common Sense Media Plus for timely advice from a community of parents like you.

Join now

Back to topic overview

Violence in Media

How do I lock down my kid's iPad?

Although the iPad doesn't let you set up multiple user accounts on one device, you do have a few ways to manage your kid's access. These methods range from simple to more complex.

Protect it with a passcode. You can use either a 4-digit or an alphanumeric code -- and no one can get in unless they know it. To set it up, go into your device's Settings. Tap "General" and then choose "Passcode Lock." Just remember your passcode or else you'll be locked out, too.

Lock it on one app. Using the iPad's Guided Access setting, you can limit access to one app and one app only. Guided Access uses a passcode, so it's a great solution to keep kids (or yourself) focused on the task at hand.

To set it up, go into your device's Settings. Tap "General," then "Accessibility," then "Guided Access." When you're ready, start a Guided Access session, launch the app, and triple-click the Home button. You need the passcode to end the session.

Use Restrictions. iPad's Restrictions offer lots of options for managing access. You can hide apps so they don't display, limit the functionality of apps (for example, preventing kids from gaming in multiplayer mode), prevent changes to your apps, control access to certain content, and more.

The benefit of Restrictions is that they let you tailor the device to individual needs. For example, you can turn off the Safari browser and download a kid-focused search engine instead. Restrictions are found in Settings > General and are passcode-protected.