How to Control Your Child's Use on iPhone with Parental Controls and Restrictions

October 17, 2019Nicole Jones

The Restrictions feature in iOS device, also known as Parental Controls, enables you to control which features, apps, and content your kids or other people can or can't access on your own iPhone/iPad or your kid's iPhone/iPad. Some iPad users may find that they cannot find iPad Restrictions when updating to iOS 17. It's because that after updating to iOS 17, there is a new section in the Settings app, which is titled Screen Time. It's an upgrade to the Restrictions feature in iOS 11 and earlier, and enables Apple users to get a better handle on how you use and spend time on iPhone or iPad. Whether you are using an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11 or earlier or iOS 12 or later, read this guide to learn how to set parental controls on iPhone/iPad in order to protect your kid from adult content, or protect your device from a mess after giving it to your kids to play with.

Set Parental Controls on iPhone

Part 1. How to Set Parental Controls on iPhone/iPad Running iOS 12 or Later

Step 1.
Go to Settings > Screen Time on the iPhone you want to set parental controls.
You can check what you can manage with Screen Time.
Step 2.
Tap Continue and select "This is My [Device]" or "This is My Child's [Device]".
  • If you choose "This is My [Device]", tap Use Screen Time Passcode to set a passcode and re-enter the passcode to confirm.
  • If you're setting up Screen Time on your kid's device, follow the prompts until you get to Parent Passcode and enter a passcode. Re-enter the passcode to confirm.

There are four sections in the Screen Time feature, here we will introduce one by one.


The Downtime feature allows you to set a schedule for time away from the screen. During Downtime, only apps that you choose to allow and phone calls will be available.


App Limits

On the App Limits page, you can set how long your kid can use different kinds of apps. For example, you can limit games to 2 hours one day. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1.
Load to App Limits page, enter the Screen Time passcode you set and tap Add Limit.
Add Limit
Step 2.
Choose the app category of Games, and other categories you want to set limits altogether, then tap Next.
Step 3.
Now set the time you want your child to use the apps you choose. And turn on Block at End of Limit option, the apps will be blocked when the time limit expires. Finally click Add to save your change.

Always Allowed

You can set always allowed apps you allow your child to use during downtime.

Always Allowed

Content & Privacy Restrictions

This section is similar to the Restrictions feature in iOS 11 and earlier. Check what you can make control in this part.

Prevent iTunes & App Store Purchases

You can prevent your child from installing/deleting apps, in-app purchases by changing the settings as Don't Allow. In case your child make in-app purchase without letting you know, you can enable Always Require password for any additional purchase.


Allowed Apps

You can also restrict the use of built-in iPhone/iPad apps or features. If you turn off an app or feature, it won't be deleted from your device, it'll be temporarily hidden from your Home screen.

Allowed Apps

Content Restrictions

This section allows you to set parental controls on explicit content and movies or TV shows with specific ratings that you don't want your child to access to. Check how to do with detailed guide below.

Step 1.
Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Restrictions.
Step 2.
Enter Screen Time passcode and choose Content Restrictions.
Step 3.
In the Ratings For option, select the country or region in the ratings section to automatically apply the appropriate content ratings for that region.
Step 4.
Now you can make settings in the types of content below.
  • Music, Podcasts & News: set the content as Clean to prevent your kid from music, music videos, podcasts and news containing explicit content.
  • Music Profiles & Posts: If you turn it off, you can prevent your child from sharing what he/she is listening to with friends and seeing what they are listening to.
  • Movies: You can choose the movie ratings that you don't allow your child to watch.
  • TV Shows: Prevent TV Shows with specific ratings.
  • Books: Set the content as Clean to prevent your kid from explicit contents.
  • Apps: Prevent apps with specific ratings.

You can also restrict web content to limit access to adult content, restrict Siri web search and Game Center features if you think it's necessary.

Allow changes to privacy settings

You can also define whether you allow your child to make changes to your privacy settings like Locations Services, Contacts, Calendars, Share My Location, Bluetooth Sharing and more.

Privacy Settings

Allow changes to other settings and features

You can also allow Passcode changes, Account changes, Cellular Data Changes, and more according to your need.

Part 2. How to Set Restrictions on iPhone/iPad Running iOS 11 or Earlier

If you are using iPhone or iPad with iOS 11 or earlier, the steps to set up parental controls will be easier.

Step 1.
Open Settings > General > Restrictions.
Step 2.
If this is your first time to enable Restrictions feature, you will be asked to set a 4-digit passcode.
Step 3.
Re-enter the Restrictions passcode, now you can set restrictions to built-in apps and features, prevent in-app purchases, prevent explicit content of Movies and TV Shows, change privacy settings and more the same as the steps in Part 1 .

Bonus Reading: How to Recover Mistakenly Deleted Data by Your Child?

If your kids still mistakenly deleted some important data like photos, videos, messages, etc. in your iPhone or iPad even though you have set up parental controls, you need a professional iPhone data recovery software to find back the lost data. Here we recommend you to use FoneLab - iPhone Data Recovery.

iPhone Data Recovery


Aiseesoft FoneLab – iPhone Data Recovery

  • Easily and safely recover lost data from iOS device, iTunes and iCloud.
  • Recover Text Messages, iMessages, Contacts, Photos, WhatsApp/Kik/Line/Viber/Facebook Messenger Data, Notes, Call History, etc.
  • Preview scanning result and choose the data you want before recovery.
  • Compatible with iOS 17 and available for both Windows and Mac version.
Free DownloadFor Windows

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

Free DownloadFor macOS

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.


Whether you are using iPhone or iPad with iOS 11 or earlier, iOS 12 or later, you can easily know how to set up parental controls on your device after reading this guide. We have also shared a useful iPhone data recovery tool if you have lost important data even if you have set restrictions on your iPhone.

What do you think of this post?


Rating: 4.9 / 5 (based on 110 votes)Follow Us on

Disqus IconLeave your comment and join our discussion

Parental Control on iPhone

Set Parental Controls on iPhone Turn Off Parental Controls on iPhone Forgot Parental Control Password iPhone
iPhone Data Recovery box

The best iPhone data recovery software ever, allowing users to safely recover lost iPhone/iPad/iPod data from iOS device, iTunes/iCloud backup.

Free DownloadFor Windows

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

Free DownloadFor macOS

Secure100% Secure. No Ads.

Back to top