Parents often concern about what their kids are watching or doing with their fancy iPhones in their absence. If you happen to be one of such parents, there's good news for you. You can control your kid's access to the apps or content by making use of certain tools or settings inside iOS. It's pretty easy to do if you follow this brief guide, and we will also explain how each of those settings or tools works.
All of these tools are combinedly known as iPhone Restrictions, and those can be altered or toggled to set some specific settings for a vast majority of Apple's apps and services. Hence, there's no need of buying any third party iPhone parental control app, and all the tools are there for you to modify the access parameters as per your requirement.
How to enable the restrictions on the iPhone?
Below are the steps you need to follow, and then you'll be allowed to configure the controls on your kid's iPhone.
First, you need to open the "settings" app.
Then, go to the "General" option.
Now, you need to tap on "Restrictions."
Just enable the same, and you're done here.
Now, once you enable the restrictions, you'll be asked to create a password, which should be a four-digit code, no letters. This passcode will allow you to access the restrictions whenever you want. Your kid won't be able to change the restriction settings even if he/she wants to, because of that password protection. Don't use your birthday date or things like that which can be easily guessed by your kid (yes, they are smarter than you think). So, make up a random combination of four digits and remember it for every future access to the restriction section when you want to alter the settings. Also, do not make the mistake of setting up the same passcode as your phone unlock code, you can rest assured that your kid will try that code the very first time he wants to enter to the restriction page.
Now, once you set the passcode, you have to enter the same for the second time to enable the restrictions.
Make yourself familiar with all the options on the restriction section
Once enabled, the restriction section will present you a long list of options which can be blocked as per your wish. You should take the age of your child into consideration and decide what he/she can access based on that. You'll see a slider next to each option. Moving of the slider to the "ON" position means you've allowed your kid to access that option, and "OFF" means the access is denied. Starting from iOS version 7, a green bar indicates ON, and a white bar indicates OFF.
For a more flexible approach to controlling purchases, consider setting up Family Sharing and requiring your approval for downloads from these stores
Here's what each of the sections in setting means and how they can affect your child's access to the phone
First, you'll see the section named "Allow," which allows you to enable or disable mainly the built-in apps and features that come with iPhone. These apps include the Camera, FaceTime, Safari, Siri, and a few others. Anything you disable in this section will completely be disappeared from the iPhone home, and there's no way to enable or access that app. However, you can always enable that app by coming back here in the same section later. Then the app will reappear on the phone with all the functions restored as it was previously.
Here's something you need to know. You can't block a particular feature of an app while keeping it enabled here. For instance, if you allow the Safari browser here, your kid can use the private browsing option to access websites without keeping any trace of browsing history. You can't just disable the private browsing from Safari by any means, so either it will be ON with all of its functionality, or you can set it OFF.
Moving to the next section, and from here, you can control the access to the online app store of Apple. All the Apple cloud-based and other online apps like iTunes, app store, iBook, podcast library, Apple Music, News, etc. are listed under this section. Like the first section, you can enable or disable any specific app or for that matter, all the apps in this section. Disabling all the apps here will prevent your kid from buying or downloading content from any Apple online service. Or you can set up Family Sharing option which will require your approval every time your kid wants to download or purchase anything from Apple apps. Thus you can keep those service enabled, but at the same time, nothing can be downloaded without your permission.
Two more options you'll find here in this section. The first option is "Deleting Apps," disabling which would make sure not apps get deleted or uninstalled from your device, even accidentally. And the other setting is "In-App Purchases" which as the name suggests, gives you control over any in-app purchase. If you deactivate it, no purchase can be made without your authorization.
Coming to the third section, and this section controls the content quality. Here you can allow certain types of content, or you can disallow any content with a specific maturity level, for your kid to view. The settings are as below –
Rating For: You can choose any content rating system of any country; it's recommended that you select the country where you live, but any country can be selected.
Music and Podcasts and News: Whether any explicit content be allowed to play on the phone or not, can be determined here. However, the iPhone can only detect explicit content if it has been downloaded from iTunes, in case of music. For anything else which are not downloaded from iTunes or stored locally, it simply allows them to play. It works similarly in cases of movies or TV shows; it doesn't prevent them from being viewed if stored locally.
Movies: Here, you can select the rating of movies to be allowed.
Siri: You can disallow Siri to search or speak the explicit language from this setting.
Websites: This setting will be useful to block accessing any adult website. Or if you want ultimate control over what your kid can browse online, just set some specific sites here, and your kid won't be able to browse anything else.
What if you don't need restrictions anymore?
It's easy to enable all the options to make the iPhone to its default state. You need to go to the restriction settings once again, and then you can reverse all the limitations you put previously. The process is the same as described above.