Parental control iPad. How to Keep Kids from Making Purchases on Your iPhone or iPad

How to Keep Kids from Making Purchases on Your iPhone or iPad

A story grabbed my attention recently: a father in Sydney, Australia, gave his phone to his four-year-old, to keep him occupied, and was surprised to later find that the child had ordered 1,139 of gelato and cakes which was sent to the father’s workplace. The child didn’t do this intentionally; he was just tapping things, as children do on portable devices. It turned out that he had been tapping images in the UberEats app, and, since there was no password or passcode required to approve purchases, there was nothing to prevent the child from doing this.

There are many ways that children could make purchases – either intentionally or unintentionally – on an iPhone or iPad. In this article, I’m going to explain how you can prevent your kids from spending all your money on your device.

Trusting children with mobile devices

Unlike Macs, iPhones and iPads don’t allow you to set up accounts for multiple users. I’ve long felt that iOS/iPadOS needs multiple user accounts, and this situation, where a child may just tap on anything, with expensive consequences, is a good example why this could be useful.

Parents may think it’s a good idea to hand their device to a child to keep them distracted, but this is dangerous. As seen above, kids can buy things easily, but they could also, just by randomly tapping, send messages, forward emails, or interact in any app on the device. The only apps that generally have extra protection are financial and banking apps, which usually require additional authentication when launched. But even apps like Amazon’s mobile app, where a child could order anything with a few taps, don’t require any sort of confirmation.

Ideally, you should not give your iOS device to a child. The risks inherent in this, even with a very young child who doesn’t know what they are doing, are serious. There’s too much data on your iPhone or iPad to allow someone to randomly tap apps, and you won’t know if anything is deleted or altered.

For a young child, you could buy an iPod touch, or a used iPhone, say an iPhone 7 or later that can still get security updates, and let them use it without a SIM card. An iPad mini is another good choice; even for young children, it’s not too big.

Don’t give your passcode to your child

You should never give your passcode to your children; you should also never set up Touch ID or Face ID with a child. Your phone will that think they are you, and the child will be able to do anything on the device. This isn’t about children making intentional changes, though that is a consideration, but about the sort of random tapping that leads to 1,000 worth of gelato being ordered. And if your child does have this access, they could potentially make transactions in financial or banking apps.

Locking down Apple’s Stores

If you do plan to share your iPhone or iPad, there are some things you need to do to ensure that your child can’t make any purchases in Apple’s stores. Go to Settings, tap your name at the top of the screen, then tap Media Purchases, then Password Settings. Here, you should tap Always Require Password, and you might even want to toggle Require Password for free downloads.

With these settings, your child will not be able to purchase or download anything from the iTunes Store, the App Store, the Books Store, or any other of Apple’s stores.

Locking down other apps

You can’t prevent purchases in other apps, or, in many cases, in a web browser. For example, if you’re signed into Amazon on Safari, or you use the Amazon app, anyone who has access to your unlocked phone can place orders. Some websites require that you log in when placing an order. Even if you use iCloud Keychain, and your passwords are saved, as long as your child doesn’t have your passcode, or Touch ID or Face ID access, they can’t unlock the keychain, and can’t log into any websites.

What you can do is control which apps are accessible by activating Screen Time. This is where iPhones and iPads allow you to set parental controls. If you plan to give one of your devices to a child from time to time, you could set up Screen Time with limited apps and access, then turn it off. When you give your device to your child, go to Settings Screen Time and turn it on again; it will have saved your settings. When you take your iPhone or iPad back, you can turn off Screen Time so you have full access.

Some things to check here are iTunes App Store Purchases, where you can prevent them from installing or deleting apps, block in-app purchases, and more. But the only way to prevent purchases in other apps is to not allow them to be used.

And even if your child doesn’t stray from playing games, they could be spending money if you’re not careful. In-app purchases are very lucrative, and can be tempting for children who don’t grasp their cost. Read A Parent’s Guide to In-App Purchases on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to learn how to block in-app purchases.

Unless a child has their own device, your data may be at risk. You can prevent some purchases, but not all. Take the time to check your options before you hand your iPhone or iPad to a child.

How can I learn more?

Each week on the Intego Mac Podcast, Intego’s Mac security experts discuss the latest Apple news, security and privacy stories, and offer practical advice on getting the most out of your Apple devices. Be sure to follow the podcast to make sure you don’t miss any episodes. We’ll talk about this topic on episode 219.

You can also subscribe to our e-mail newsletter and keep an eye here on The Mac Security Blog for the latest Apple security and privacy news. And don’t forget to follow Intego on your favorite social media channels:

About Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn writes about Apple products and more on his blog Kirkville. He is co-host of the Intego Mac Podcast, as well as several other podcasts, and is a regular contributor to The Mac Security Blog, TidBITS, and several other websites and publications. Kirk has written more than two dozen books, including Take Control books about Apple’s media apps, Scrivener, and LaunchBar. Follow him on at @mcelhearn. View all posts by Kirk McElhearn → This entry was posted in How To and tagged App Store, iTunes Store. Bookmark the permalink.

How to Monitor Your Child’s Screen Time with an iPad Parental Control App

Kids love playing games, watching videos, and discovering new things on their iPads. However, as a parent, you may wonder if your children are using their devices in a healthy and safe manner.

Research has shown that screen time can negatively affect your child’s sleep quality, physical health, and emotional well-being. As per research, 87% of the studies have shown at least one adverse sleep outcome with screen use. On top of that, kids may encounter internet hazards such as inappropriate content, cyberbullying, or online fraud.

That’s why you need a parental control app for your child’s iPad. A parental control app lets you monitor and manage your child’s screen time on their iPad and other devices. You can set time limits, block apps and websites, filter content, track location, and get reports on their online activity.

One of the best parental control apps available, especially for busy parents like you, is Mobicip. Mobicip is an easy-to-use app that helps you limit screen time, filter the internet, monitor social media, track your child’s location, and so much more. With Mobicip, you can stay involved and well-informed about your family’s digital footprint anytime.

Option 1: Use built-in parental controls on your child’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

One of the ways you can monitor your child’s screen time with an iPad parental control app is by using the built-in parental controls on your child’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. These are called Content Privacy Restrictions, and they allow you to do the following:

  • Set Content Privacy Restrictions: You can restrict the use of certain apps or features on your child’s device, such as Safari, Camera, Siri, FaceTime, AirDrop, CarPlay, and more. You can also prevent your child from making changes to their device settings or accounts.
  • Prevent iTunes App Store purchases: You can prevent your child from installing or deleting apps, making in-app purchases, or downloading music, movies, books, or podcasts from the iTunes Store or App Store. You may also require a password for additional purchases.
  • Allow built-in apps and features: You can hide or show certain built-in apps or features on your child’s device. For example, you can hide Mail, News, Podcasts, Wallet, Health, and more. If you hide an app or feature, it won’t be deleted from the device; it will just be temporarily hidden from the home screen.
  • Prevent explicit content and content ratings: You can prevent your child from accessing explicit content or content inappropriate for their age group. You can set ratings for movies, TV shows, books, apps, music, and podcasts. You can also set ratings for different countries or regions, depending on where you live or travel.
  • Prevent web content: You can prevent your child from accessing certain types of web content on Safari or other browsers. You can choose from four options: Unrestricted Access, Limit Adult Websites, Allowed Websites Only, or Custom. You can also add specific websites to the Always Allow or Never Allow lists.
  • Restrict Siri web search: You can restrict what your child can search for or ask Siri on their devices. You can prevent Siri from searching the web, displaying explicit language, or speaking profanity.
  • Restrict Game Center: You can restrict your child’s access to certain features of Game Center, such as multiplayer games, adding friends, screen recording, or broadcasting.

To use these parental controls on your child’s device, go to Settings Screen Time Content Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter your passcode, then turn on Content Privacy Restrictions. Then you can choose the settings you want for each option.

However, these parental controls have some limitations. For example, they do not allow you to monitor your child’s social media activity, track their location, set time limits for specific apps or websites, or filter content in real time.

over, they are device-specific, which means they only apply to the device where they are set up. A kid might access multiple devices, not just a phone or an iPad, but also a laptop, desktop, or any other device that has internet access.

Option 2: Use Mobicip, an advanced AI-powered parental control app

To overcome the limitations of built-in parental controls you might want to use a more advanced and comprehensive iPad parental control app like Mobicip. Mobicip lets you manage and monitor your child’s online activity across multiple devices from one dashboard. You can also set time limits, block apps and websites, filter content, track location, and more with Mobicip.

Step-by-step instructions to set up and monitor screen time on iPad using Mobicip

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to set up and monitor screen time on iPad using Mobicip app:

parental, control, ipad, keep, kids
  • Download and install the Mobicip app from the App Store on your child’s iPad.
  • Create a Mobicip account using your email address and password. You will need this account to link your child’s device to yours and access the parental control settings.
  • Follow the instructions on the app to enable device management and grant permissions for Mobicip to access certain features on your child’s iPad. This is necessary for Mobicip to work properly and monitor your child’s screen time.
  • Choose a profile for your child based on their age group. This will automatically apply some default settings for content filtering and screen time management. You can customize these settings later according to your preferences.
  • Download and install the Mobicip app from the App Store on your own device or visit the Mobicip website from any browser. Log in with your Mobicip account and select your child’s device from the dashboard.

Customize the screen time settings according to your needs

You can access these settings from the Mobicip app on your own device or from the Mobicip website. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Set daily/weekly screen time limits, set app limits for using specific apps, and customize schedules to organize screen time and app usage at different times of the day/week.
  • Filter inappropriate content on the internet, block apps, and distracting games and provide an SOS button for your kids to instantly send a digital call for help in an emergency. Mobicip uses an advanced internet filter that scans keywords, phrases, and on-page content in real-time and only blocks inappropriate or adult content.
  • Monitor conversations on the top 3 social media apps (, Instagram, and TikTok), and get alerted on risky interactions. You can protect your kids from cyberbullying, sexting, grooming, and other online threats by keeping an eye on their social media activity and intervening when necessary.
  • Create geo-fences, locate your family instantly, and provide an SOS button for your kids to instantly send a digital call for help in an emergency. You can ensure your kids’ safety and peace of mind by knowing where they are at all times and being able to reach them in case of emergency.
  • View usage reports and activity logs of your child’s screen time on their iPad. You can access these reports and logs from the Mobicip app on your own device or from the Mobicip website. You can see how much time they spend on each app and website, what content they access when they use their iPad, and how their usage compares to other kids of their age group. You can also get insights and recommendations from Mobicip based on your child’s screen time data.
  • Set up notifications and alerts from Mobicip to keep you informed about your child’s screen time activity. You can choose to receive notifications via email or push notifications on your device. You can also customize what kind of notifications you want to receive, such as when your child exceeds their screen time limit, tries to access a blocked app or website, or sends an SOS message.


Monitoring your child’s screen time with an iPad parental control app can help you keep your child safe, healthy, and happy in the digital world. You can use the built-in parental controls on your child’s device or use a more advanced and comprehensive app like Mobicip.

By using an iPad parental control app, you can stay involved and informed about your family’s digital footprint, anytime, anywhere. Don’t wait any longer to protect your child from the dangers of the internet. Sign up for a free trial of Mobicip today and see for yourself how easy and effective it is.

How to Set Parental Controls on iPad

I am looking for a way to set parental controls on iPad Pro. I am interested in restricting content mostly, but it would be nice to shut down browsing at night too!! I have this with Norton parental control on all the desktops and laptops, so I am looking for something similar!

-from Official Apple Support Communities

If you have children and an iPad, you will agree that Parental Controls (also known as Restrictions) on iPad is so significant for parents. Without Parental Controls, parents have to worry about whether kids use iPad correctly or not. If the children delete important data, uninstall apps, send message without permission or pay for unnecessary products on shopping websites accidently, it will be a disaster for parents. Therefore, we are about to learn how to set parental controls on iPad Pro/iPad/iPad mini/iPad Air in this tutorial.

parental, control, ipad, keep, kids

Part 1. How to Enable Parental Controls on iPad

For iPadOS 11 or Earlier

Follow the steps below to make sure your iPad is completely child-proof:

Step 1. In the main interface of your iPad, tap on Settings app.

Step 2. Scroll down the screen until you see General option. Hit it and then Restrictions.

Step 3. Follow the on-screen instructions and select Enable Restrictions. You are about to prompt enter and re-enter a four-number restrictions passcode if it is the first time for you.

Note: This passcode is totally different from your lock screen passcode. Be sure that you take note of it somewhere but your kid won’t figure out. If you can’t remember the restriction passcode by accident, you’ll have to erase your device and set it up as a new device. Restoring iPad from backup won’t get rid of the Restrictions passcode.

Step 4. Next time, you are going to reach a control panel where you are able to alter settings. Finally, ensure the settings are configured the way you hope to.

For iPadOS 12 and Later

iOS 12 has replaced Restrictions with Screen Time. To enable parental comtrols on iPad in iOS 12 to later iPadOS 16.1, simply follow steps below:

Step 1. Go to Settings Screen Time Turn On Screen Time.

Step 2. Select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device].

If it’s your child’s device, you can set up Screen Time and create settings right on their device or you can use Family Sharing to configure your child’s device from your own device.

parental, control, ipad, keep, kids

Part 2. How to Set Restrictions on iPad

In iPadOS 11 or Earlier

The Restrictions section of Settings app offers a lot of options, you can restrict certain apps, allowed content types and ratings, allow changes, game center, device functions, privacy settings, cellular data use, etc. Just slide the button from green to gray to disable the ones you want to disallow.

For example, if you stroll down the Websites sub-option, the default function is All, which means all the users can visit the web page on this iPad.

But if you tap and access it, you can set up the resections to allow your child to visit All Websites, Limit Adult Content or Specific Websites Only.

In iPadOS 12 and Later

After turning on Screen Time, you can follow the on-screen prompts to set-up the different Screen Time services, including Downtime, App Limits, and Content Privacy for parental controls.

If you’re already in a family group, go to Settings Screen Time, and tap your child’s name. If you haven’t, go to Set up Screen Time for Family and follow the instructions to add a child and set up your family.

Step 1. Tap on your child’s name under Family.

Setup Downtime: You can choose to set Downtime, or tap Not Now and do it later.

Set App limits: Now you can set app limits for specific categories of apps

parental, control, ipad, keep, kids

Setup Content Privacy Restriction: With Content Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, you can block or limit specific apps and features on your child’s device. And restrict the settings for explicit content, purchases and downloads, and privacy.

Remeber to create a Parent Passcode (Screen Time passcode) to prevent others to use Screen Time and making changes to your existing Screen Time settings

Note Tips:

Forgot Screen Time passcode on iPhone? Tenorshare 4uKey gives you the easiest way to reset Screen Time passcode without any data loss.

Part 3. How to Disable Parental Controls on iPad

For iOS 11 or Earlier

If you need to turn off Parental Controls, just go to Settings General Restrictions and hit on Disable Restrictions. Then type the passcode, you will successfully disable the parental restriction.

For iOS 12 and Later

If you need to turn off Parental Controls on iPadOS 12 and later, just Go to Settings Screen Time Scroll down and tap Turn off Screen Time. Then type the Screen time passcode, you will successfully disable the parental controls on iPad.

In summary, Parental Controls are a way to block your kids’ access to anything and everything you consider improper for them according to their age and sensitivity. Now if your kid would like to play on iPad, you can set up parental controls on iPad at first. After then, Apple iPad will be an ideal device for kids. By the way, if you unfortunately forgot your parental control passcode, Tenorshare 4uKey will be the best software to help you remove screen time passcode (parental control passcode) without data loss

Updated on 2022-09-30 / Update for Mobile Tracker

How To Use Parental Controls On Your Child’s iPhone, iPad, Or iPod Touch

If you’re a parent to young kids, you may be familiar with the feeling of dread many experience whenever you hand your mobile device over to them or give them their own so they can entertain themselves. If you’re worried about inappropriate things they could be accessing on the internet, apps they might accidentally be purchasing, or device settings they could be altering, then you need to set up parental controls for their own safety and your own peace of mind.

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch your child regularly borrows — or if they have one of their own — you can access the any of these Apple devices’ settings and ensure that they don’t accidentally use features they’re not supposed to. You can also set up time limits, App Store and in-app purchase restrictions, prevent access to certain apps, and filter web content, to name a few. If your kid is lucky enough to have their own assigned Apple device, and you have one as well, you can also set up Family Sharing and essentially control their Apple device usage through your own.

What is Apple’s Family Sharing and Screen Time?

Apple’s Family Sharing feature allows up to six family members with their own Apple devices to share access to different Apple services, like a paid iCloud storage plan. You can share purchases and help locate a family member’s missing Apple device. As a parent, you can use Family Sharing to manage your child’s device usage much easier. Adding a child account to a Family Sharing group requires one adult family member (you) to be the organizer, a role that lets you add other family members. As the organizer, you can simply follow onscreen instructions to add age-appropriate content restrictions, schedule downtime and app time limits, limit their ability to communicate with others, and enable the need for permission to purchase or download anything onto a device.

Most of these actions can be executed through Screen Time, a menu in the Settings app that’s available on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running on at least iOS 12 (via Apple). You can set up a Screen Time passcode so that only you can make modifications to settings that’ll affect your child’s time on your or their own device. To ensure that you don’t encounter any hiccups, though, it is recommended to keep your operating system updated to the latest version available.

Set up Screen Time, with or without Family Sharing enabled

Assuming that you’ve already created an Apple ID for your kid and set up Family Sharing with the intention of managing your child’s account and device through your own, you can follow these steps to set up Screen Time and assign a passcode:

  • Launch the Settings app and go to Screen Time
  • Under Family, choose your child’s name.
  • Hit Turn on Screen Time, then Continue.
  • Follow onscreen instructions and go through the Downtime, App Limits, and Content Privacy pages and enter your limitation parameters for each, or tap Not Now to do it later.
  • Hit Use Screen Time Passcode and follow onscreen instructions to verify it. You will be asked to enter your Apple ID and password so you can rest your Screen Time passcode, in case you forget it.

The steps are similar for setting up Screen Time directly on your child’s Apple device, without Family Sharing. You just need to confirm that the Apple device you are setting up Screen Time on is indeed your child’s device when asked. In addition, you may want to set up a Screen Time passcode on your own Apple device if you frequently lend it to your offspring.

What exactly can I control on my kid’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?

If you went through the process of turning on Screen Time and moved ahead to set up a Screen Time passcode, you may need to go back and go through each of the following pages and manage different aspects of your child’s Apple device usage:

  • Downtime: This essentially sets a timeframe for when their Apple device will be unusable by them. They will need your permission for more screen time, and only apps that you allow can be used.
  • App Limits: You can set a daily time limit for select app categories. Tap on a category to expand and select specific apps — or set one affecting all apps. You can also add limits on specific websites. When your child maxes out the time allotted, they’ll need to ask you to grant them more time.
  • Communication Limits: This is for when you want to limit your child’s access to Phone, FaceTime, Messages, and iCloud contacts and who among the Apple device contacts they can interact with all throughout the day, including scheduled downtimes. To use this feature, iCloud contacts must be enabled.
  • Always Allowed: This is where you can choose which apps to always allow, regardless of when your child is using their device. This is where you can also specify which contacts your child is allowed to communicate with during downtime.
  • Content Privacy Restrictions: You’ll certainly want to enable this on your child’s device, as it contains the bulk of parental controls necessary to keep your child safe from inappropriate content, accidental purchases, unwanted device settings changes, and potential privacy breaches.

How to child-proof an Apple device through Screen Time’s Content Privacy Restrictions

When you enable Content Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, this gives you access to additional security measures, namely:

  • iTunes App Store Purchases, where you can allow or disallow installing apps, deleting apps, and making in-app purchases. You can also ensure that a password (that only you know) is required to make any purchases.
  • Allowed Apps, which, like the menu name implies, is where you can hide apps you don’t want your child accessing.
  • Content Restrictions, where you can ensure that only audio and book content with non-explicit language can be played. You can also turn off access to music videos and adult websites — or only allow access to specific websites and block everything else, which is the easier route when setting up a child’s device — and set age-appropriate content ratings for movies, TV shows, and apps. Lastly, you can configure Siri and Game Center and choose which features your kid can use and access.
  • Under the Privacy and Allow Changes sections, you should go through each and every menu to ensure that your child doesn’t have the ability to make changes to anything that may give away sensitive information such as their location, or any crucial setting that can impede your access to their account, like the passcode. Consider, for instance, turning off access to the Photos app so they don’t inadvertently upload their pictures without your approval. In fact, if your child is very young, consider disallowing as many of the options in these sections as possible, if not all.