How do I stop my kids from making in-app purchases on my iPhone or iPad? There is an option in the restrictions settings!

Restrictions — often referred to as Parental Controls, let you manage which features, apps, and content your kids can and can't access on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. That includes in-app purchases (IAP). Originally designed to enable extra content like additional levels in games or new issues of magazines, IAP are now routinely used in a casino-like manner — to feed addiction through ego and instant gratification.

Classic examples include free games that lets you spend money to pass levels faster or build a better dingus than your friends and rivals. Farmville, Smurf Village, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Pokémon Go have all made their fair share of money using this model. It can be hard enough for adults who know better to avoid the trap, never mind kids. Luckily, parental controls let you lock out in-app purchases completely. That way, your kids are free to play but won't be able to buy any Pokéballs or lucky eggs, saving you from a nasty credit card bill.

How to block in-app purchases on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad you want to block in-app purchases on.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Restrictions.

    Launch the settings app, tap on General, tap on Restrictions.

  4. Tap on Enable Restrictions if you don't already have them on. If you do, skip to step 6.
  5. Choose a passcode that only you will know — it should not be the same as the Lock screen passcode and be sure you never give it to your child.
  6. Tap on the On/Off switch beside In-App Purchases. If the switch is green that means in-app purchases will be allowed, if the switch is grey that means in-app-purchases are disabled.

    Tap on Enable restrictions, choose a passcode, and then tap on the on/off switch beside in-app purchases

How to unblock in-app purchases on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad you want to block in-app purchases on.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Restrictions.

    Launch the settings app, tap on General, tap on Restrictions.

  4. Enter your Restrictions Passcode.

  5. Tap on the On/Off switch beside In-App Purchases. If the switch is green that means the is allowed, if the switch is grey, in-app-purchases are disabled.

    Enter your restrictions passcode and the tap on the on/off switch next to In-App Purchases.