How to Set Parental Controls on the iPhone

by Barbara J. Feldman on April 6, 2010

Everybody who owns an iPhone seems to love it. They are one of the newest, most exciting gadgets on the market and they are a hot item. Kids and adults alike love the Apple iPhone with its numerous applications. You can find something to suit every age and interest as there are more then 1, 000 applications for kids alone to download. However, there are applications that are not appropriate for children. For example, there are adult-oriented applications that you may not want your kids to have access to.

The good news is that Apple offers parental controls on the iPhone. This means that you can turn off certain features that you do not want anyone to access on any iPhone. Parental controls provide great peace of mind, as you’ll know, as a parent,that your children don’t have access to content you’re not comfortable with them accessing. Better still,setting Parental Controls on the iPhone is quite easy.

There are several categories that you can restrict on the iPhone. Here are some of the most popular among them:

  • Explicit song titles – Any songs that have content that you deem inappropriate can be restricted. As the parent, you determine the level of content.
  • The Safari browser - If you do no allow unrestricted computer access, consider restricting this application as doing so means that your child cannot browse online unrestricted.
  • YouTube – YouTube has notoriously poor content filtering and it’s easy to get around the age limits to view certain videos. Having said that, if you don’t want your child to have unrestricted access to YouTube, blocking this application is probably a good idea.
  • The iTunes store – Blocking this application means that your child can’t purchase whatever they want from iTunes stores. If your child is not mature enough to make appropriate purchases from the iTunes store, blocking this application is a good decision.
  • Installing apps – If you restrict this application, your child will not be able to install new applications without your knowledge. This can be a handy restriction to have when you’re trying to determine what your child is ready for.
  • The camera – Some teens use the camera in their phone with reckless abandon, while others are ready to use it responsibly. Knowing what your child is ready for is a crucial step in determining whether this is an application that should be restricted.

So now that you have decided to restrict some applications on the iPhone, here is how you do it:

1st, touch “Settings”.
Now, choose “General”.
Next, choose “Restrictions”.
At this point you will be prompted to set up a PIN, that gives you access to enable or disable Restrictions.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • When you disable an application, its icon disappears from the Home menu.
  • While using Parental Controls allows you to turn applications on and off, you may want to be able to finesse your control over the content that may be downloaded. For example, while you can turn the phone’s browser on and off, there is no safe-search setting that will help you filter results. So, if you want to restrict the websites the browser can but you don’t want to turn off the browser, there are applications you can download to fine tune your browser search settings so they’ll be kid-friendly.

While many parents are thrilled that it’s so easy to set these controls, sometimes the problem is remembering which features they have turned off. This usually isn’t an issue, as your kids are sure to remind you which applications you’ve disabled!

More tips like this one in Apps,Safety and Parental Control



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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How to Set Parental Controls on the iPhone." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 6 Apr. 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1513/how-to-set-parental-controls-on-the-iphone/ >.


  • Michelle

    This didn’t work for my iPhone 4S

  • http://signup.appcertain.com AppCertain

    I’m interested in helping parents solve the problem of protecting kids from the app store. I believe I can create an app which would prevent access to any app with a web browser, or other defined behavior (like camera use, location tracking, etc.). If you would be interested in this, please take a moment to sign up at http://signup.appcertain.com/ and share this link with other concerned parents.

    Thank you!

  • Rich French

    How can I restrict what my teenager gets on the safari site?