Content restrictions are a way to prevent unnecessary access of apps / data by other people when they use your iPhone. This comes in very handy when you’ve got kids and they use the iPhone. Content restrictions are also a better way to make sure your photos, contacts etc. are accessible only by apps that you trust. We’re taking a look at how you can setup content restrictions on your iPhone/iPad.

By default, Apple’s iOS is a pretty safe and secure system. It doesn’t very easily allow access to your content – be it others or apps that access these data. You might have noticed that when apps try to access your location, photos, contacts etc., you are shown a notification dialog. You are given the keys to your data so you can either allow or deny access to these things.

How to Set Up Content Restrictions On iPhone and iPad

We’ve already taken a look at parental controls for restrictions, but let’s delve a little deeper into the Restrictions area and find out what can be controlled. And here’s how to enable content restrictions for these things.

  • Apps
  • Music, TV
  • Location
  • Calendars, Contacts and Photos
  • Securing Mail

1. Apps: One of the first things you want to secure access to in apps. Although iOS still doesn’t let ndividual app restrictions, you can restrict them based on the age-rating. For instance, if you run apps that are rated for age-group 12+ and you’ve got toddlers around using the iPhone, you might want to turn off apps that are 12+ and others. To do this, you can go to Settings → General → Restrictions → Apps and turn off the apps that are rated outside the limit.

You can also switch off the toggles in Restrictions to disable apps like Safari, Camera etc.

2. Music, TV Shows etc. : Pretty much the same thing applies for iPads which is often used to download and view Music, TV shows and movies. If you want prevent your kid or anyone using the iPad from accessing certain music or TV shows that are rated PG or above, you might want to disable them in Setings → General → Restrictions → Movies (or TV Shows / Music & Podcasts). Note that by default, everything is accessible.

3. Location: Location data is a very personal information. Although we don’t usually care about it, location data is actually a very serious information that someone can gain access to. Of course, we have this general trend to let a lot of apps know our location (weather, maps etc.) but you must be careful to provide that info only to trusted apps.

You can prevent access to your location in two ways: turn off Locations via Settings → Privacy → Location Services or, go to Settings → General → Restrictions → Location Services. In the second route, you get to disable the Allow Changes option which prevents other apps from accessing your location data. You can also turn ON/OFF location here and if you turn it ON, you can control which apps have access to your location data.

4. Photos, Contacts and Calendar: A lot many apps have access to Photos and/or Contacts. For apps like Whatsapp, both are almost “defaultly” enabled. But of course this is not a mandatory thing. You can disable access to your most sensitive data. Between these, make sure your contacts are accessible only by most trusted apps.

In Settings → General → Restrictions → Contacts, make sure you enable ‘Dont Allow Changes’ as this will prevent any app for changing your contacts in any way. The only downside is when you are using automatic contact managers like IntouchApp Contacts which auto-update contact details. They won’t work if you enable ‘Dont Allow Changes’.

5. Securing Mail and Contacts: Under Restrictions, you can also head over to Accounts and disable changes so no one gets to add or remove accounts in Mail/Contacts and Calendars via Settings. This is a less-known and less-used feature but once you’re done adding and syncing your mail, contacts and calendars, it’s best to disable the changes. This prevents anyone from adding a new account or modifying existing ones.