How to Enable iPad Parental Restrictions

Was this page helpful?
01
of 03

How to Turn On Parental Restrictions for the iPad

Wikimedia Commons

The iPad contains customizable parental controls called "restrictions" that allow you to disable features like FaceTime, iMessage and the dreaded in-app purchases.  You can also regulate certain features, such as limiting the websites your child is able to visit using the Safari browser or restricting downloads from the App Store to age-appropriate apps.

The iPad parental controls work by setting a four digit passcode on the iPad.  This code is used for getting into and out of the restriction settings and is separate from the passcode used to lock and unlock the tablet.  

After you create a passcode, you can tailor the restrictions to your child's age and what areas of the iPad you want them to have access.  

How to Turn On Parental Restrictions for the iPad

The first step is going into the iPad settings by touching the settings icon. It looks like a bunch of gears and is one of the default icons for the iPad.

Once in settings, scroll down the left-side menu and locate General.  It should be near the top, just under Do Not Disturb.   Tapping General will bring up a list of generic settings for your iPad.

The Restrictions settings are located just below the Auto-Lock settings.  If you are holding the iPad in landscape mode, you may need to scroll down to locate Restrictions.   

02
of 03

How to Turn On iPad Restrictions

The next step for enabling parental controls on the iPad is to turn on the iPad restrictions. Simply touch the top of the screen where it reads Enable Restrictions.

You will be prompted for a four digit passcode. Choose something you will remember, but not something your child can guess like a birthday or the last digits of a driver's license. If there is a significant date your like to remember in your past besides birthdays and anniversaries, that would be perfect.

The passcode for the iPad's restrictions will need to be entered twice to make sure you don't accidentally tap a different number than intended.

03
of 03

iPad Parental Control Settings

Once you have the iPad's parental controls enabled, you will be able to set different restrictions and even restrict some of the default applications that came with the iPad. This includes the Safari browser, the Camera, Siri, the App Store and iTunes, so you can restrict your child's ability to view websites, take pictures and buy music or movies for their iPad.  You can also turn off AirDrop, which is a feature that allows wireless transfers between devices such as sharing a photo.  

You can also turn off the ability to install apps. You can still download apps to the iPad by installing them to iTunes and syncing them to the iPad, which will allow you to have complete control over which apps are on the iPad.  If you don't want to hook your iPad up to your PC, you can also turn on the ability to install apps once every few weeks to download new apps to the iPad and then disable the App Store again.  

If you don't need that much control, you can set a ratings restriction for what type of apps can be installed on the iPad. (Find out more about the different iPad app ratings.)

Another good thing to turn off is in-app purchases. Many free apps allow in-app purchases, which is how they make their money. This type of monetization can be seen in apps like Pocket Legends, which is a great iPad app, but parents must be aware that it allows for the purchase of in-game money.

Don't forget the Privacy settings.  This section will allow you to modify how the iPad behaves and what features are allowed.  For example, in the Photos section you can either restrict access to Photos or simply disable the ability to share Photos on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.  

How to Fully Childproof Your iPad