September 22, 2019
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How to put parental controls on iPhone?

The Apple iPhone and its countless models are among the best-selling and most widely-used smartphones of all time.  Apple retains dominance in the smartphone market, and it is estimated that about 1 in 3 people in the US alone have an iPhone, with more than 700 million devices sold globally.  More and more often, smartphones are becoming an integral, must-have item for youth as well as teens and adults, and often the iPhone is the go-to choice.

Like any communications device with Internet functionality, however, there can be a lot of risks in giving a child or teen free reign with an iPhone.  They can call, text, or video chat with almost anyone, access the full range of content on the Internet, download and use any kind of app, and make in-app purchases if there is a payment method linked to their account, potentially running up a massive bill.  For the sake of keeping kids safe, limiting their access to inappropriate content, and preventing unwanted purchases, parental controls on iPhone are something all parents should consider.  There are both native options for parental controls on iPhone, as well as settings for parental controls on iPhone apps, along with third-party software that can also be used for more detailed levels of control.

In this guide, we’ll tell you how to put parental controls on iPhone, and talk a bit about setting up parental controls on iPhone apps, as well as through third-party utilities.  We’ll talk about why it’s important, the features that should be present, what you can restrict, and so on.  We’ll also offer up some important advice for keeping your kids safe when using a smartphone, that goes well beyond the technical limitations of apps and controls, and more into educating and supervising kids to teach them good, safe habits from an early age.

How Do We Rate Parental Control Apps for iPhone?

When considering parental control apps for iPhone, above and beyond the native utilities that come factory-installed, it’s important to keep the following factors in mind:

  1. What features do the control apps offer, and how granular or customized can you get with the parental controls for iPhone?
  2. Is the company and software well-reviewed, effective, and trustworthy?
  3. How much does it cost, and how does that compare to similar offerings from others?
  4. Is the app suitable for all iPhones, or only certain models or versions of the iOS operating system?
  5. Do these parental controls for iPhone slow the performance of the device significantly?
  6. Are these controls easy to bypass for tech-savvy kids, thus defeating their use?

When we review and analyze various third-party programs, as well as the native and app-based parental controls on iPhone, these are the factors and questions we most often consider, that shape the final review verdict.  Consumers would do well to do the same when selecting their own apps or settings for parental controls on iPhone.

Brand Supporting Platforms Price Go to Site

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Five Devices: $54.95
  • Ten Devices: $96.95
  • 15 Devices: $137.95
  • Basic Option: Free. One device, limited settings.
  • Qustodio

    What Features Should Parental Control Apps for iPhone Have, and What Can You Restrict with Parental Controls on iPhone?

    There are a range of features that can be included under the heading of parental controls on iPhone and iPhone apps/third-party software.  Briefly, the main categories and functions of these features include:

    • Content filtering – limiting access to apps, web pages, and similar, usually from a database or based on topics, e.g., adult content, violent/racist/hate content, and so on.
    • Feature limitations – some apps and settings allow you to block features entirely, such as disabling text messages, Siri functionality, cellular data, and so on.
    • Monitoring – allowing a parent to review, either retroactively or in real-time, the activity of a child on their phone, to varying degrees (text messages, call logs, web searches, apps, etc.).
    • Tracking – apps that are used not to limit content or access, but physically track the location of the phone via built-in GPS, to help keep tabs on wayward youngsters.
    • Timing – some parental controls on iPhone help you to define or restrict the total time a child can use their phone, or during what hours of the day it can be used.
    • App blocking – settings and programs that will either block certain categories of apps, or allow for pre-approval or authorization required before a particular app or category can be installed on the device.
    • Preventing purchases – native parental controls on iPhone as well as some apps and security suites can be used to selectively or entirely prevent in-app purchases.

    What Types of Parental Controls Can You Use on iPhone?

    Broadly speaking, there are several layers of parental controls for iPhone that you can use.

    1. The native parental controls on iPhone are included as part of the operating system, and free to use. They are powerful, though not app-specific, and mostly for use in blocking or monitoring “global” content or device features, such as preventing all in-app purchases or setting time limits on usage.
    2. Parental controls on iPhone apps, individual settings put in place by each app manufacturer to allow parents to control what kids can and cannot do in those apps.
    3. Apps and software from third parties, specifically designed to provide more granular parental controls for iPhone, including many of the features and functions we’ve discussed above.

    Each of these different categories of parental controls for iPhone has a place, since they often are limited to certain domains or functions by their nature.  You should take an inclusive approach for the best results (depending on the level of restriction you are looking for, your concerns for your child, and their age/maturity level).  That will allow you to control what you need, without outright blocking legitimate content or apps or making your child feel you are looking over their shoulder constantly about every conversation or thing they do on their phone.

    Brand Supporting Platforms Price Go to Site

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Five Devices: $54.95
  • Ten Devices: $96.95
  • 15 Devices: $137.95
  • Basic Option: Free. One device, limited settings.
  • Qustodio

    Step by step guide to set up parental control on iPhone

    Setting up parental controls on iPhone using the native tools is really easy:

    1. Navigate to the Settings menu, then select “Screen Time.”
    2. Choose the option for “This is My Child’s <Device>.”
    3. You’ll be prompted with options to setup a password, required to change these settings in the future.
    4. Then, select “Content and Privacy Restrictions,” enter the password if prompted, and enable Content and Privacy settings. You can choose and adjust settings for;
      1. Preventing iTunes and App Store purchases
      2. Allowed/disallowed built-in apps and features
      3. Restrict content based on explicitness or ratings (apps, books, movies, TV shows, and music)
      4. Restrict Siri web search functionality, or filter out explicit language or results
      5. Restricting aspects of games, such as preventing multiplayer gaming or adding friends
      6. Limiting adult web content, or limiting web content to only white-listed sites
      7. Adjusting the settings for which apps can access data, camera, microphone, location, and other functionalities
    5. You can also limit the total screen time, hours usage is allowed, and other time-related functionalities within the Screen Time menu.

    Application-specific parental control settings are usually found within the applications themselves, and can further manage access, content, and usage limitations for your child.  Each application that is installed may have different options, with some having little or no parental controls, and others (the more popular and child-centric apps, including Facebook and similar) have extensive menus of options for parental controls.


    Third-party software which seeks to unify or set higher-level policies for parental controls on iPhone can typically be downloaded as free, or more often paid, apps for the phone.  Some of these apps even include geofencing capability, which provides you a notification if the phone (with your child) travels beyond pre-defined geographic boundaries.  Examples of the top apps to help you set parental controls on iPhone include:

    1. Qustodio
    2. Kaspersky Safe Kids
    3. Net Nanny
    4. Boomerang

    You can find these third-party programs listed in the Apple App Store, by searching for things like “Parental Controls,” “Monitoring Apps,” “Child Safety,” and similar keywords within the store.  Then, just follow the installation instructions and guide to the app’s settings, as with any app.

    Why Should You Consider Using Parental Control Apps for iPhone?

    There are many potential risks for children using a smartphone – all the risks inherent with Internet connectivity, as well as additional risks based on the nature of the GPS technology and ease of online payment that are part of using a smartphone.  You can eliminate or significantly reduce these risks when you use parental controls on iPhone.  A few key examples:


    1. Prevent your child from accessing adult content via web browsers on the phone.
    2. Block viruses or malware from being installed.
    3. Prevent your child from using their phone for hours on end, or during the night when they should be asleep.
    4. Block unapproved purchases that cost real-world funds.
    5. Prevent your child from accessing sites, social networks, and similar hubs that may expose their personal information. These places are the home for people that want to harm to your child.
    6. Monitor where your child is in the real world.
    7. Monitor who your child talks to, what they search for, and the websites or social networks they frequent.
    8. Control access to violence, hate, racism, and other objectionable content or apps.



    Apple offers a wide range of options with the native parental controls for iPhone.  Most mainstream app developers also offer parental controls on iPhone apps.  Third-party software tools can help you add more monitoring capabilities and further refined restrictions on your child’s use of their iPhone.  By defining what you want to prevent, you can find the optimal balance of parental controls for iPhone, and set them up easily and quickly, often for free, to help keep your child safe.

    Brand Features Supporting Platforms Price Go to Site

    Tracks the activity on Websites and social activity but not emails
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Five Devices: $54.95
    • Ten Devices: $96.95
    • 15 Devices: $137.95
    • Basic Option: Free. One device, limited settings.

    Tracks the activity and set alerts for various devices that you monitor
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • 49.99$
  • Norton

    Remote operation that allows you to access the data from any place
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
  • $39.99 1 Device
  • $59.99 5 Devices
  • NetNanny

  • Monitors calls & text messages on Android devices
  • Real time alerts when accessing bad sites & apps & geo fencing
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
  • Unlimited: $14.99
  • Kaspersky

  • Allows to block emails and downloads of apps, in app purchases on iOS
  • Geo-fencing with alerts as kids leave or enter places
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • $49.99 Yearly
  • Mcafee

    If you followed the step by step guide above, you should be one step closer to ensure your kids are safer when they are on their phones and online. We do suggest you further explore the best parental contol apps for iphone before you settle for the deviced only protection as these apps do provide many features  such as time monitoring, geo fencing etc.

    If you have android devices at home and need help setting up the parental control read our guide on how to put parental control on Android 

    For video instructions you can visit

    For older versions of iPhone with out screen-time follow the instructions below

    Step 1:

    Go to the settings option of the iPhone.

    step 1 parental control iphone


    Step 2:

    Scroll down the list of options that appear after tapping on the Settings option. Click on the option “General”.


    step 2 parental control iphone


    Step 3:

    Under General, scroll down to “Restrictions” and click on it. You will find it nearly halfway  in the middle of the list of options in the page.

    If your Restriction is already enabled, fill in the password when prompted. No need to enable twice if you have done it already.

    step 3 parental control iphone


    Step 4:

    Tap on the enable button of the Restriction option. This enables the option.

    If the button shows  “Disable Restrictions”  it means the Restrictions option is already ON and you can skip this step.

    step 4 parental control iphone


    Step 5:

    Create a password to enable Restrictions and make sure you keep it for future references. You you will need this password when you want to disable this option later or change it.

    step 5 parental control iphone


    Step 6:

    You need to re-enter the password to confirm it.

    step 6 parental control iphone

    Step 7:

    Check the items present under the heading “Allow”.  You can also restrict the use of apps present under this heading. You can prevent in-app purchases and other similar actions.

    step 7 parental control iphone

    Step 8:

    Turn off or disable the action or app by sliding the button placed next to each app. The item turns white and will stop appearing on the Home Screen. The actions which you turn off once will also be prohibited.

    step 8 parental control iphone

    Step 9:

    You can choose the options or items that you want to restrict.