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A customer learns how to setup parental controls on an iPad to stop messaging.

How to use parental controls on iPad or iPhone

iPhone and iPad parental controls allow you to restrict information and access to many parts of your Apple tablet or phone. If used correctly then they can put your mind at ease that they are helping to protect your child online. In this useful how to guide we’ll be looking at how to setup and use parental controls on iPad and iPhone.

How to use the Screen Time passcode to set parental controls

Apple introduced Screen Time in iOS 13. To ensure the settings you use are kept safe, we need to setup a Screen Time passcode.

In order to setup a passcode, go to “Settings > Screen Time” and tap the “Turn On Screen Time” option.

A pop up will appear showing the benefits of Screen Time. Hit the “Continue” button to proceed with the setup.

The menu to setup parental controls on iPad with the Screen Time app.

On the next pop-up that appears, look for the small text that reads “This Is My Child’s iPad” at the bottom.

The menu to setup parental controls on iPhone with the Screen Time app to protect your child online.

You will asked about a range of features, but select “Not Now” for each that appears. We will take care of these settings later on in this guide.

Once you reach the “Content & Privacy” screen select “Continue” in order to carry on. The next screen will allow you to setup a Screen Time password. By setting a password your child won’t be able to access the Screen Time settings and change them as a result.

In order to recover or if you forget the passcode, the next screen asks for your Apple ID and the password related to it. Enter these details and select “OK”.

Enabling content and privacy restrictions for using parental controls on iPad or iPhone

Before you are able to restrict access to websites, apps and more features, we need to enable content and privacy restrictions.

In order to do this open “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” and enable the radio button that appears.

Restricting App Store and iTunes purchases

Firstly, let’s set what can be bought through the App Store and iTunes. These purchases can be restricted on both iPad and iPhone.

To set this up, go to “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” and select the “iTunes & App Store Purchases” option.

Here you can select if your child can install or delete apps, as well as control if they can make in-app purchases.

Tap the “In App Purchases” option and select “Don’t Allow” from the next list that appears.

Below these three selections there is an option to require a password. We recommend you set this to “Always Require”.

How to setup parental controls on iPad or iPhone to restrict access to apps

We can also setup parental controls on iPad or iPhone to restrict access to certain apps and functions.

From within “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” select the “Allowed Apps” option.

On the following screen you can use the radio buttons to select which apps can be used. Therefore we can turn off access to anything we don’t want our child to access.

Use parental controls to restrict Content

The “Content Restrictions” option from within “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” allows you to do this.

The options allow you to set what can and can’t be viewed. From Music and podcasts to videos, books, TV shows and more, all can be allowed or have their access restricted.

Restrict Game Center

Games are good fun, but can be a distraction from doing homework or other important tasks. Restricting access to Game Centre can help keep your child focussed on what’s important.

Go to “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” and tap “Content Restrictions”.

Scroll down to Game Center and select your preferred options for what is and isn’t restricted. Everything can be permitted or disallowed from multiplayer games to restricting messaging, screen recording and more.

A customer learns how to setup parental controls on iPhone to restrict access to Apple game center.

Controlling Privacy Settings

Privacy is important and parental controls on iPad and iPhone allow you to choose which apps have access to your information and the hardware that can be used.

To setup this option go to “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” then select “Privacy”.

In this next array of options you can choose what individual apps can access. From location services to contacts, photos, Bluetooth, the microphone, calendars, contacts and more, all can be restricted or allowed.

Need some Downtime?

If you need to setup periods of time when the iPhone or iPad shouldn’t be used then Downtime will help.

Go to “Settings > Screen Time > Downtime” in order to get started. On the next screen that appears toggle the “Scheduled”: radio button to on.

You will then be able to setup periods of time whereby the iPad can’t be used. These can be set up as you wish each day or a blanket option.

How iPhone or iPad parental controls can limit app use

If you need to set up App limits then you can do this in “Settings > Screen Time > App Limits”. This section allows you to set time limits for certain apps for how long they be used.

Set communication limits

How much your child can communicate with certain contacts can be set in “Settings > Screen Time > Communication Limits”. In this way you can limit how much correspondence is done with different friends.

How to use parental controls on iPad or iPhone overall

It’s a difficult decision to decide what is the best age for a child to get their first mobile phone or tablet. Parental controls on iPad and iPhone can really help to make your device child-friendly and put your mind at ease. The customisability of the options available make it a great system to help your child stay safe online as much as possible.

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