How to set up parental controls on iPhone

How to set up parental controls on iPhone

There are many different ways your child can use their iPhone, from downloading apps to browsing the Internet and using FaceTime, You also can’t supervise them 24/7, which is where parental controls come in extremely handy.

This guide will explain how to set up parental controls on an iPhone, so you can have peace of mind as your child uses their device.

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Create a password

Most of an iPhone’s parental controls can be found in ‘Screen Time’. This feature will enable you to set specific restrictions based on whether the phone is yours, or your child’s. These restrictions can then be turned off from the same settings menus.


First, you will need to create a password which will act as the initial barrier between your child and what you don’t want them to access. To set up your parental controls, you’ll need your Apple ID and password to hand:

  1. Head to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Screen Time
  2. Activate it by tapping ‘Turn on Screen Time
  3. Select either ‘This is my [Device]’ or ‘This is my child’s [Device]
    a. If the iPhone is yours, tap ‘Use Screen Time Password’ and create one. Re-enter it when prompted and input your Apple ID and password to confirm it
    b. If the phone belongs to your child, follow the above steps, and keep the password safe

If you forget the Screen Time password, it can be reset by going to the ‘Screen Time’ menu in your iPhone’s settings and tapping ‘Change Screen Time Password’. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted.

iTunes & App Store payments

On your own iPhone or your child’s, you can prevent them from installing or deleting apps, and making App Store payments e.g., in-game purchases:


  1. Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Screen Time
  2. In ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, choose ‘iTunes & App Store Purchases
  3. Set a restriction of ‘Allow’ or ‘Don’t Allow’ for each setting

Built-in apps & phone features

Alongside limiting what your child can access via the App Store, you can also restrict the use of features and pre-installed apps on the iPhone.


This is useful if you don’t want your child using the built-in camera or wallet for example:

  1. Select ‘Settings’ and tap ‘Screen Time
  2. From ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, enter your Screen Time password
  3. Choose ‘Allowed Apps’ and enable or disable each app you’d like to restrict

Time limits can be set for individual apps or categories too, giving you greater control of your child’s phone usage.


When your child is gaming, how they interact with these games can be restricted down to specific features, including private messaging in-game; helpful if you just want to limit access to modes where your child can contact other people, such as in multiplayer.


  1. Navigate to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Screen Time
  2. Once you’re in ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, head to ‘Content Restrictions
  3. Scroll down to ‘Game Centre’, where you can tweak each individual setting

Explicit content

Limits can be placed on individual content types that your child can see, such as music, films, and apps with specific age ratings:


  1. Select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Screen Time
  2. Choose ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, followed by ‘Content Restrictions
  3. From here, you can set what is visible based on the app or feature’s rating

Web content & Siri settings

The Internet is a vast place, so it’s essential your child is kept safe when they’re browsing online.

Screen Time’ works in conjunction with iOS and Safari to restrict the visibility of adult or explicit content. You can also limit or allow entry to specific websites:

  1. Tap ‘Settings’ and select ‘Screen Time
  2. Within ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, go to ‘Content Restrictions
  3. After tapping ‘Web Content’, choose a setting for what websites can’t be viewed, such as adult websites, or only to websites you’ve designated as allowed under ‘Always Allow

Searching via Siri can also be limited from ‘Content Restrictions’, as well as preventing explicit language from being shown.


There are many ways you can set up parental controls on an iPhone, and if you’re looking to clear phone storage space, or pick up a new handset, it also helps to know how much space you’ll need depending on your personal usage.

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