How to enable content restrictions on iPhone and iPad

How to Set Up Content Restrictions On iPhone and iPad

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

By default, Apple’s iOS is a pretty safe and secure system. It doesn’t easily allow access to your content – be it others or apps that access these data. When apps try to access your location, photos, contacts, etc., you might have noticed that 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.

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


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.

Music, TV Shows etc.

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


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

Prevent access to your location in two ways:

  • Turn off Locations via Settings → Privacy → Location Services
  • Go to Settings → General → Restrictions → Location Services.

You can disable the Allow Changes option in the second route, 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.

Photos, Contacts and Calendar

A lot many apps have access to Photos or Contacts. For apps like Whatsapp, both are almost “default” 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 the most trusted apps.

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

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. It prevents anyone from adding a new account or modifying existing ones. It 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.

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