How to Use Parental Controls on iPhone & iPad to Keep Apps from Being Added or Deleted

How to Prevent Your Kids from Accidentally Deleting Your Apps

Face it; kids are going to use technology as a regular part of their lives. Whether it's a home or at school, for recreation or education, or all of the above, your children and grandchildren will learn all the ins and outs of your iPhone, iPad, and whatever other devices you may have around the house. We already know it's important to limit screen time to keep our kids well rounded, but what about other parental controls? Apple has created several iPhone and iPad restriction settings that adults can put in place without ever needing to purchase a parental control app, and even more settings are coming with iOS 12! There are many reasons you might enable restrictions on your iPhone; they act like a child lock app and control major aspects of privacy, allowed content, and more. Here are two restrictions I find very helpful; preventing kids from adding or deleting apps on your devices. Let's get started learning how to use these parental control settings.

  • Open the Settings app.

  • Tap General.

iphone parental controlsiphone settings

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  • Select Restrictions.

  • If you haven’t enabled Restrictions, tap Enable Restrictions and set a Restrictions Passcode (don't use your device password, but make sure it's one you’ll remember; if you forget your Restrictions Passcode, you won't be able to turn Restrictions off or change them!)

  • If your Restrictions are already enabled, simply enter your Restrictions Passcode.

parental controliphone restrictions passcode

ios 12 guide - a step-by-step guide to all the new features
  • Scroll down to Installing and Deleting Apps and toggle them off.

iphone restrictions

While you’re in the Restrictions menu, if your kids will be playing games on your phone, it’s probably a good idea to turn off in-app purchases too; no one likes a surprise bill!

Top Image Credit: Tom Wang /

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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.