How to Set iPhone Parental Controls & Restrictions

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

It can be a nerve-wracking step, buying your child their first iPhone. There's a lot of inappropriate content in songs, movies, and apps, not to mention creepers and weirdos on the internet. Luckily, the iPhone has parental controls we can set to keep our children from accessing the more unsavory side of the digital world. In this tip, we'll learn how to use the Restrictions screen to enable restrictions and set a passcode so those settings can't be changed by anyone but you. Let's get started learning how to block websites, lock apps, and decide on Allowed Content, Privacy, Allowed Changes, and Game Center features. 

Related: Texting Etiquette & Safety: 5 Rules for Keeping Your Kids & Teens Secure & Drama-Free  

To begin:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap on General.
parental control appsparental control
  • Now tap on Restrictions.
  • Tap on Enable Restrictions.
restrictediphone parental controls
  • Choose a Restrictions Passcode your child won't guess but that you'll remember. And even if you're sure you'll remember, write it down and put it in a safe place. Forgetting your Restrictions Passcode means it will be almost impossible to ever turn restrictions off; but if you do forget, we have a tip that can help.
app lock iphone

Now you can choose which features and apps you'd like to disable on the iPhone your child will be using. 

  • Toggle off features that you don't want your child to access.
how to block websites on iphone
  • Scroll down to Allowed Content and tap on Music, Podcasts & News.
  • Toggle EXPLICIT off.
disable apps
  • Choose the ratings you'll allow for Movies, TV Shows, Apps, Siri, and Websites.
iphone restrictions

There are lots more parental controls that you can tailor to your child's age and maturity level; explore the restrictions section and decide which you'd like to set. Remember, you can always go back and loosen these settings later on, after your child has demonstrated they're ready. 

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.