How to set parental controls on your child's iPhone, to limit screen time with specific apps, websites, and purchases

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  • Like computers, the iPhone can be set up with parental controls that let you specify exactly what your kids can and can’t do with their iPhones. 
  • The iPhone’s parental controls can be found in the Screen Time section of the Settings app.
  • After turning on Screen Time and setting up a passcode, you can limit screen time with specific apps, choose which websites can and can’t be visited, limit iTunes purchases, and more. 
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The iPhone includes a wealth of tools for parents to manage how their kids use their iPhones. 

You can restrict the amount of time they use the phone, which apps they can use, whether they can make purchases in iTunes and the App Store, and more. 

All of these controls can be found in the Screen Time section of the Settings app.

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How to set parental controls on your child’s iPhone

1. Start the Settings app and then tap Screen Time.

2. On the Screen Time page, tap “Turn on Screen Time.”

3. After reading a summary of what the Screen Time feature can offer, tap “Continue.”

4. If you are setting up parental controls on your kid’s iPhone, tap “This is My Child’s iPhone.”

5. On the Downtime page, configure the hours you want your kid’s iPhone to be offline. For example, you might want to prevent them from playing games or using social media after dinner. Regardless of what hours you choose, calls and text messages will still get through. 

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6. On the App Limit page, you can choose how long your child can use various kinds of apps. For example, you can limit social media apps and games to two hours a day, then tap “Set App Limit.”

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7. On the Content & Privacy page, tap “Continue,” then create a passcode so you have access to the Screen Time parental controls, but your child does not.

After this initial setup, you can return to Screen Time in Settings at any time to make changes to this initial configuration.

How to specify which websites your child is allowed to visit on an iPhone

Once you’ve configured parental controls, you might want to specify which websites the iPhone is allowed to visit. 

1. Start the Settings app and then tap Screen Time.

2. On the Screen Time page, tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions.” You might need to enter your Screen Time passcode. 

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3. If it’s not already turned on, swipe the button for “Content & Privacy Restrictions” to the right. 

4. Tap “Content Restrictions.”

5. In the Web Content section, tap “Web Content.”

6. Depending upon how restrictive you want to be, tap “Limit Adult Websites” or “Allowed Websites Only.” Once you make that selection, you can fine tune the controls by adding websites to the list of allowed (or not allowed) sites. 

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How to control iTunes and App Store purchases on an iPhone

1. Start the Settings app and then tap Screen Time.

2. On the Screen Time page, tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions.” You might need to enter your Screen Time passcode. 

3. If it’s not already turned on, swipe the button for “Content & Privacy Restrictions” to the right. 

4. Tap “iTunes & App Store Purchases.”

5. Choose which settings you want to allow or not allow. You can also choose to always require a parental password to be entered for purchases. 

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Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to use Parental Controls to block websites on a Mac to help protect children or to increase productivity

  • 7 ways to fix your iPhone when it has no service

  • How to use the ‘Screen Time’ feature on an iPad to customize and set parental controls for your children

  • How to manually update the carrier settings on your iPhone to improve its performance and cellular connection

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

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