How to Disable In-app Purchases/App Installations on iPhone and iPad

Although the iPhone (or other iOS devices) is supposedly an adult-device, it’s widely used by kids and teenagers. Parents pass along their old iDevices to their kids or get them a new one. All that is okay but when it comes to controlling content on an iPhone, things can be a little tough.

Apple brings in a lot of parental controls on its Mac line-up but for the iPhone (iOS), there’s little you can do. But it’s important and vital.

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  • You can prevent your kids from installing apps
  • If you’ve got apps that you don’t want your kids to use, you can disable them
  • You can prevent in-app purchases (this has become a problem of late)
  • You can set permissions for certain apps and let the others be available for use
  • You can prevent TV shows and movies from being downloaded

We’ll be going over a list of parental controls on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7:

How to Turn-Off In-app Purchases on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
Apple has made in-app purchases particularly safe so as not to allow accidental purchases but still, if your kid has an Apple ID of his/her own and knows the password to it, you might end up with lots of in-app purchases and an inflated credit card statement.

It’s easy to switch this feature off.

Step 1: Go to Settings

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Step 2: Scroll down and tap on General

Step 3: Tap Restrictions

Restriction Settings in iPhone and iPad

Step 4: Enter the passcode (or set a new one if this is your first time) {if Restrictions is disabled, you won’t be asked for the passcode}

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Step 5: Tap on “Enable Restrictions” and enter the passcode (twice)

Step 6: Now, scroll down to where it says “In-App Purchases” and turn it off.

Disable In App Purchases in iPhone or iPad

Controlling Content
Under Restrictions, you’ll find various options beneath Allowed Content. These allow you to control the content that is shown/allowed for download on iTunes TV Shows, Music, and Movies. If you think your kid would be taking a look at content on iTunes (like Music, TV Shows etc.), make sure you’ve set the ratings appropriately.

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App Store Remembering the Password For A Purchase
You’ll no longer have to enter your Apple ID password for every purchase you make from the App Store. This is a cool feature that enhances usability but for parents with kids around, this is a small risk.

If you just downloaded an app (in the process, entered your Apple ID password), you can buy/download apps or content from App Store without entering the password again for the next 15 minutes. What if your kid opens the App Store right after you downloaded an app and made some purchases?

To prevent this from happening, you can go back to the older feature (in iOS 5) where every time you purchase something on the App Store, you are asked to enter your Apple ID password. Here’s how:

  • In the restrictions menu, tap on “Require Password”
  • Select “Immediately”

Required Password Setting on iPhone and iPad
You’re done.

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Disable Apps to Prevent Kids from Seeing Apps You’ve Installed
You can also disable all apps on the iPhone (although that might not be useful to your kid then!) Just in case your kid only wants to use the stock app (like that cool compass app, or the weather app), you can disable all apps (display none of them). To do this:

  • Go to Restrictions
  • Tap on Apps
  • Tap on “Don’t Allow Apps”

Don't Allow Apps Restrictions in iOS
This will make all the downloaded apps disappear from the home-screen. Besides this, your kid will no longer be able to install any app from the App Store. The same feature (of preventing App Installations) can be activated by switching off “Install Apps” from the restrictions page.

How to Disable Installing and Deleting Apps from iPhone and iPad:
With kids, there’s no saying what will happen. One of yours might just accidentally delete an app! There’s nothing shocking about it today because Apple’s iCloud storage makes sure you can get back your apps at all times. But just in case you run out of luck and you didn’t enable iCloud sync and your kid got so far as to delete an app?

You can disable that too.

  • Go to Restrictions
  • Scroll down to where it says “Installing Apps” and “Delete Apps” and switch them off

Restrict Installing and Deleting Apps on iPhone or iPad
That’s it.

We hope that helps you take control of your iPhone and iPad in a better way and lets you hand out your smartphone to your kids confidently.

Dhvanesh Adhiya
Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.


  1. My kids school is going to introduce BYOD next year, but they want the IPADs to have all apps/songs/ games removed and only use the ones for school.
    Is there an app or setting that will allow the kids to have their games etc while at home on the family wifi, but the apps disabled once the school wifi is detected by the ipad?

  2. After deleting social media apps on my teens phone i disabled adding or deleting apps Suddenly they are back on her phone ! How can she add apps back on her phone when i restricted her from adding ? I know she doesnt have the restrictions passcode bc i see the failed attempts message. She does have her own itunes acct.. Can she add apps from Itunes? A friend said maybe she jail broke the phone ? I need to get her off social media and i need to track the content of her texts. Do u have advice ?


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