Parents try to limit what their kids are allowed to access, but it can be hard to control how and when they are able to use their iPhones, iPods, or iPads if parents are unsure where to find the parental controls. These controls are normally found in the Settings app under the Screen Time section. The following article will explain the Screen Time section and how parental controls can be set up within this setting on an iPhone.
Turn On iPhone Parental Controls
The parental controls feature on an iPhone can be found by accessing the Screen Time feature in the Settings app. From there, the available settings include Content and Privacy Restrictions, Always Allowed Apps, App Limits, and Downtime.
iPhone parental controls were once called Restrictions, which were later incorporated into Screen Time under the Content and Privacy Restrictions section. The Restrictions setting didn’t offer parents enough tools to control what their children could and couldn’t do on their phones.
Overview of Screen Time
There are four different sections of Screen Time which will be discussed in the following paragraphs. Step-by-step instructions below demonstrate how these features can be accessed and set up.
Downtime means exactly what it says – it allows someone to set a period of time for putting down their iPhone so they can do something else. The only apps that can be used during Downtime are those that the user has preselected. Calls can still be made and received while Downtime is on as well.
This feature is extremely useful in the evenings, as it can help a person put down their device before heading to bed. If there’s a family game night or movie night, a family won’t be distracted by their iPhones while they’re spending quality time amongst themselves.
In the Settings section, tap Screen Time, and then Downtime. From there, tap the switch to turn the feature on. There is an option that will allow Downtime to remain on every day or a selected number of days. Likewise, a period of time can be set to keep Downtime on. For instance, during bedtime, it could be set from 10:00pm. to 7:00am.
The App Limits feature allows time limits to be set for applications within a specific category, including Entertainment, Games, and Social Networking. Time restrictions can be set for specific websites using this feature. A child’s iPhone gaming time can be limited to an hour a day, as an example.
Under Screen Time, select App Limits, and then tap Add Limit. From there, a category or website can be chosen to set a limit for. Tap Next, select a desired time limit, and tap on the Add button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
The Always Allowed feature can choose the apps a person wants to access even while other Screen Time features are running.
Maps, FaceTime, Messages, and Phone are allowed by default. The only app that cannot be disallowed is the Phone app.
Apple has options to always allow other applications. Say a child is working on a book report and they downloaded a digital copy of the book to their phone. It would be wise to allow the Books app so they can complete the report on-time without any issues.
The green plus button located on the left side of the app will allow additional applications to be added to the Always Allowed feature.
Privacy and Content Restrictions
This feature gives people the most control over what they can do on their iPhones. Make sure that the switch near the Privacy and Content Restrictions towards the top of the screen is in the “on” position.
After the switch is turned on, a variety of things can be restricted on the device. When iTunes and App Store Purchases is tapped, in-app purchases can be disallowed by accessing in-app Purchases and tapping Disallow. Children can spend a fortune on games and other forms of entertainment in the App store alone.
When the Content Restrictions button is tapped, explicit podcasts, songs, and books can be restricted, as well as movies and TV shows above certain ratings such as PG 13 or R.
Certain apps and location services, account changes, passcode changes, and more can also be disallowed.
Can Children Turn Parental Control Settings Off?
A Screen Time passcode is not only a recommendation but a “must,” in order to keep a child from undoing any of the above-mentioned settings.
Open up Settings and tap Screen Time, and then tap Use Screen Time Passcode. A four-digit passcode can be entered. Enter the passcode to set this feature up. It would be best to choose a passcode different from one a child would use to unlock their phone.
Additional Parental Control Features
There are numerous iPhone parental controls built into the Screen Time feature. Guided Access, however, will do even more. There is another article available on this site that discusses iPhone Guided Access in more detail.
Being In Control
At long last, a parent can be in control of their child’s iPhone once again after parental controls have successfully been set up. No longer will a parent have to worry about their child using their phone in an inappropriate manner.
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