Apple iOS: Enable Restrictions to Secure Your Device

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and want to prevent kids or anyone from accessing certain apps – lock them down. Enable restrictions to block users from using apps and accessing inappropriate media content.

On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch go to Settings >> General >> Restrictions.

iOS Enable Restrictions

Tap Enable Restrictions. You’ll need to enter in a four digit Passcode twice.
iOS Set Passcode

Now go through and set the restrictions. Move the slider to the Off position to disable access.

You can turn on restrictions to disable music and in-app purchases from iTunes. Very handy if you let your kids use your device.

Enable Restrictions on Apps

It also lets you turn off links in Safari and only allow TV and music content by ratings.

iPad Allowed Content

Configure Allowed Content Settings. Select the top age rating for apps and games on your device.

Restrictions iPod touchsshot-2011-12-26-[20-37-37]

Now when you or anyone else tries to access an app or content that’s restricted. The passcode you set will be required.

iPad Enter Password

You’ll also notice that apps you’ve restricted will no longer display as icons on the Home Screen or Dock.

iPad Home Screen

If you don’t want anyone to get into your iDevice is the first place, make sure to enable a strong passcode.



  1. Carpemanana

    The thing most parents don’t realize is that EVEN with Safari disabled (as well as ‘Installing Apps” disabled so they can’t just download some other wide open browser) there are many, many apps with built-in browsers where kids can instantly go anywhere and see anything on the web with NO filtering and No record at all of that taking place. (Obviously if you have a router-level firewall like OpenDNS they would have to be on the carrier network or someone else’s Wifi, and unfortunately it’s often easy to find an open wifi network even without having to go to a friend’s house). I know many, many people who have kids and they use Apple’s ‘Restrictions’ setting on all iPad’s, iPhones & iPod Touch devices which their kids have access to or play games on so that their kids aren’t inadvertently exposed to pornography. Or if their kids are older, they want to keep them from having a wide open avenue to the internet where the teenagers could look for porn, especially without the parent’s knowing about it. And as these parents get familiar with iOS they don’t purchase ANY iOS apps that have a built-in browser in them (browsers that open up when ads are clicked on, that are built-in to the app to facilitate a feature or link to the app developers website for support info). To keep their kids from pornography (or other adult content like violence, adult language, etc.) these parents also delete EVERY single app they might already have if it has a built-in browser anywhere in it. It doesn’t make sense that Apple allows all these in-app browsers when:

    1) Apps with built-in browsers completely ignore and neutralize Apple’s browser ‘Restrictions’ setting.
    2) This problem inevitably decreases app sales revenue, in-app purchases, and even advertising revenue because if these apps didn’t create a potential problem for their kids, so many adult parents would definitely prefer to purchase, keep and use those apps for themselves rather than having to delete them from all the iOS devices their kids might use at some point.

    And there must be a simple way to have hyperlinks in all apps (for ads, app support/help, privacy statements, etc.) that only activate through Apple’s Safari app (hyperlinks that would only be ‘disabled’ on iOS devices where Safari has been turned off in the ‘Restrictions’ setting). I know there is because there are already a number of apps where, only if Safari has been disabled in Apple’s ‘Restrictions’ setting, when you click on an ad or on any live ‘hyperlink’ anywhere in the app it just doesn’t do anything (except offer to ‘copy’ the hyperlink address into memory so that you can go and paste it into a browser other than Safari or paste into an email or text message).

    • Steve Krause

      Hmm… Those are good points if you want to lock down the device. It’s a tough one to control if the apps have a built-in browser. Another option is to lock down the App Store from the restrictions settings so then no new apps can be added to the device.

      I agree, you should know what apps your kids are playing with or downloading for that matter as that could get a bit expensive. Better to secure it and be the proxy to add new apps to it.

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