child playing with tablet

With the current fast paced progress in digital technology, it is hard to stay on top of everything our children are doing online. They are exposed to a wide range of content, and many parents don’t understand the risks or safety measures they should put in place on the devices their children use so here is a guide on how to Setup iPhone/iPad Parental Controls.

Companies have come up with a range of unique controls to help us safeguard our children’s time online. Apple is one of many refining the tools to help parents manage their children’s online activity across all iOS devices. For families with several children, this can be very useful especially when the children have their own personal gadgets such as iPhone’s or iPad‘s.

Here are some simple steps you can use to help prevent your children from accessing content you don’t want them to on iOS the mobile OS used on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Device Restrictions

One of the most common ways to Setup iPhone/iPad Parental Controls is to add Restrictions since they give you an upper hand in dictating what can or cannot be accessed. Some of the things you may want to restrict include explicit songs and podcasts, using Safari, accessing iTunes, new app installation, multiplayer games, and making in-app purchases. Safari’s kid-safe search filters are added to allow the kids to access only pre-approved sites.

For iOS 11 or earlier
1.Launch settings app on your home screen
2.Tap on General
3.Tap on Restrictions
4.Tap on Enable Restrictions
5.Type the Restriction Passcode.
Make sure you remember this passcode as you will use it anytime you want to disable these restrictions. It would be wiser to note it down because when you forget it you will have to erase your gadget and repeat the whole process from scratch.
6.Make the selections of things you want to restrict

For iOS 12
1.Go to settings
2.Tap screen time
3.Tap “Turn On Screen Time”
4.Tap content and privacy restrictions
5.Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions
6.Fill in a four-digit passcode if prompted
7.Re-enter the passcode if prompted
8. Make the selections of things you want to restrict – these include song lyrics, TV content, Web Content and Games.

iOS12 - Screen Time - Content Restrictions

Block Apps Without Approval

There are several apps you can restrict on an iOS device. For example, Safari, iBooks store, iTunes store, in-app purchases, etc.

For iOS 12
1.Open settings located on your home screen
2.Scroll down and click on Screen Time
3.Tap content and privacy restrictions
4.Tap on Allowed Apps
5. Enable to Disable Apps as required.

Screen Time

in iOS12 Apple introduced Screen Time, which logs how much time you spend on your phone ,and which Apps you use the most.

A useful addition to this that is less well known is the ability to Restrict Screen Time for certain Apps. This can’t be done on an App specific basis yet, but by Groups of Apps in Categories such as Social Networking or Games.

1.Open settings located on your home screen
2.Scroll down and click on Screen Time
3.Tap on App Limits
4.Tap Add Limit
5.Select a Category to restrict, and click Add
6.Select the amount of time that can be used by this Category per day

12 Screen Time - App Limits

Apple Family Sharing

Apple Family Sharing lets you associate iCloud users with the same family. You and up to five family members to share iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases, an Apple Music family plan and an iCloud storage plan.

One member of the Family is the Account holder and main organiser. They invite up to five members to join the family by their iCloud ID and define them as Adults or Children.

Apple Family Sharing Setup

If you are the organiser of the family account, you can add or remove any member at any time.
1.Go to settings, Your name, Family sharing
2.iOS 10.2 and its predecessors have a different location. Go to settings, iCloud, Family
3.To Add a Member click Add Family Member 
3.To remove a Family Member, tap the family member you wish to remove
4.Tap remove
iPhone organisers can now choose the type of content to block on child devices, including in-app purchases, location sharing, adult website, and a lot more. All these courtesy of the parental control features.

That’s not to say Apple has it all sorted under iOS12. There are a number of issues around what Apple does and doesn’t correctly block, particularly relating to ‘adult’ content searches. Some kids figured out a way around the tool’s time limitations so always make regular checks on what your child is watching rather than trusting the built in restrictions.

We hope you find this guide on how to Setup iPhone/iPad Parental Controls useful, let us know in the Comments if you have any other tips or just let us know your own experiences with setting this up.

Written By: Rob Gordon

This post was written by Rob Gordon, an IT geek, gadget lover and blogger. Rob has been using the internets since 1994 when the only streaming video was that coffee pot in Cambridge (rip).... Follow Rob on Twitter - @robgordon - about.me/robgordonuk