How-To

How to Disable the Camera on iPhone and iPad

how-to-disable-camera-ios-iphone-ipad-hero

You can easily turn off the iPhone camera using Apple’s Screen Time feature. When doing so, your child (or yourself) can no longer snap photos.

One of the best features of any iPhone is the camera, but that doesn’t mean it’s useful for everyone. For example, parents may wish to stop children from using the camera entirely. To disable the iPhone camera, you need to use Screen Time.

First introduced with iOS 12 and iPadOS 12, Screen Time allows you to monitor and limit the amount of time someone uses a device, restrict certain apps, deny access to inappropriate content, and more.

If you want to know how to turn off the iPhone camera using Screen Time, here’s what you’ll need to do.

How to Disable an iPhone or iPad Camera

It’s an easy process to disable the iPhone camera using Screen Time. However, before you begin, you’ll need to enable Screen Time by heading over to the Settings app on your device. From there, choose Screen Time > Turn on Screen Time.

With Screen Time activated, you can then move to switch off your camera. Disabling the camera on an iPhone or iPad using Screen Time limits access to the tool. Additionally, it removes the camera swipe shortcut on the lock screen.

iPhone camera options

To disable your iPad or iPhone camera:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Choose Screen Time.
  3. Turn On Screen Time if you haven’t already done so.
  4. If you’re turning off the camera options for yourself, tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.content restrictions
  5. Alternatively, tap the family member you wish to restrict under the Family section.  And then choose Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  6. Toggle on Content & Privacy Restrictions.content restrictions minor
  7. Tap Allowed Apps.
  8. Finally, toggle off the Camera. The iPhone camera is now disabled.

disable iPhone camera

How to Enable an iPhone or iPad Camera

If you wish to activate the iPhone or iPad camera again, follow these steps:

  1. First, tap the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Choose Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions if you’re turning off the camera options for yourself. Or tap the family member you wish to restrict under the Family section.  And then choose Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Tap Allowed Apps.
  5. Finally, toggle on the Camera. The iPhone camera is now once again on.

Enable camera

Other Ways to Restrict Camera Access on iPhone and iPads

If you don’t want to restrict camera usage on a 24/7 basis on the iPhone and iPad, there are two other solutions. In Screen Time, you can set up Downtime and App Limits.

Downtime

With Downtime, you can set a schedule specifying when your child can and can’t use their device. By default, it’s set from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., but you can adjust it to whatever time works best.

When Downtime is in effect, there will be a small hourglass icon next to each app’s icon. If they try to launch the app, it can’t be used, and they will see a message that the time limit has been met. Under this scenario, the iPhone camera works outside of the Downtime.

To establish Downtime for a minor:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Choose Screen Time.
  3. Tap the family member you wish to restrict under the Family section.
  4. Choose Downtime. Type in the Screen Time passcode, if necessary.
  5. Toggle on Schedule and establish a time for Downtime.

screen time downtime

You can delete Downtime at any time by turning it off in Screen Time.

App Limits

With App Limits, you can control the amount of time your kids can use certain apps. You can set restrictions on all apps or just apps in specific categories. Once apps are locked, only you can unlock the device to add more time to it.

To limit iPhone camera usage using App Limits:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Choose Screen Time.
  3. Tap the family member you wish to restrict under the Family section.
  4. Select App Limits.
  5. Choose Add Limit. Type in the Screen Time Passcode, if necessary.
  6. Tap Creativity.
  7. Next, select Camera.
  8. Select Next.
    camera limit
  9. Establish the amount of time your child can use the camera daily, setting the hours and minutes.
  10. Customize the days, if necessary.
  11. Toggle on Block at End of Limit.
  12. Tap Add.

Camera limit

To remove the App Limit:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Choose Screen Time.
  3. Tap the family member under the Family section.
  4. Select App Limits.
  5. Choose the recently added App Limit. Type in the Screen Time Passcode, if necessary.
  6. Tap Delete Limit.
  7. Confirm by tapping Delete Limit in the box.

remove app limit

Although it’s probably unnecessary for most users, disabling the camera on an iPhone or iPad is possible thanks to Screen Time. This stops your children from using the camera without your supervision.

If you’re really worried about your kids, you could go further and lock an iPhone or iPad down to just a single app. Just don’t be surprised if your child isn’t happy about it!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Paul M. Fullmer

    Many, many thanks for this article! My camera, QRC Scanner, and flashlight have been disabled for months. I took the phone to three different iPhone stores; employees told me that extensive repairs would be necessary.

    No longer! Following your steps, I found all features enabled. However, turning the camera off then on again solved my problem.

    I’m concluding that somehow this feature was inadvertently, perhaps while in my pocket.

    So glad to have my camera back!!!

    • Steve Krause

      Great to hear Paul. I’m glad the article got you back up and going!

      Steve
      groovyPost

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

To Top