How to Stop Kids from Buying Apps on your iPad and iPhone

How to Stop Kids from Buying Apps on iPad and iPhone

One of the biggest problem handing our iPhone or iPad to kids is that they download anything that looks fancy. Without worrying about money! In the end, you are the one paying the bills. To eliminate this problem permanently, Apple has introduced customizing restrictions under Screen Time feature.

Although we have covered using Screen Time in detail already, this post is dedicated to managing app downloads, in-app purchases, and other App Store related customization that will save your hard-earned dollars.

How to Use Screen Time to Prevent Child from Buying Apps on iOS device

The post is divided into three parts:

Earlier, Apple ID owners had the privilege of removing their Credit Card information that solved the issue straight away. But that’s not the case anymore, you cannot remove card information from your account. Apple integrated this as part of blocking spam accounts.

Without wasting any further time, let’s check out all three possibilities one by one.

Method #1. Turning off Installation of Apps

One of the easiest ways to make sure your kid doesn’t end up purchasing an app from the App Store – or even download a free app – is to turn on restrictions for this. To do this:

  • Go to Settings → Screen Time → Content & Privacy Restrictions.
    If Restrictions are disabled, enable them. If they’re enabled, you may have to enter the passcode
  • Tap on iTunes & App Store Purchases and then tap on Installing Apps
  • Now, tap Don’t Allow
Turn Off Installation of Apps on iPhone and iPad

The only downside to this is that your kid won’t be able to download even free apps.

Method #2. Turn-off In-App Purchases

Over 70% of the cases of accidental purchases come from in-app purchases. This is not shocking because in-app purchases have so far been little sliding-under-the-table types (although Apple fixed this). Turning off in-app purchases is easy.

  • Go to Settings → Screen Time → Content & Privacy Restrictions
  • Tap on iTunes & App Store Purchases and then tap on In-app Purchases
  • Now tap on Don’t Allow
Turn Off In-app Purchases of Apps on iPhone and iPad

Again, this doesn’t prevent your kid from purchasing apps from the app store. To prevent the whole fiasco, there are only two more steps.

Method #3. The Require Password Lock

There are two ways you’ll be prompted for a password every time you download an app from the App Store. You will either be asked to enter the password for every download, or you will be asked to type the password once, and that will be authenticated for fifteen minutes. In those fifteen minutes, you can download as many apps as you want, and you won’t be asked for the password.

If you just entered the password (not just for apps but for music or any other authentication) and your kid just happens to use it in the next fifteen minutes to download/buy apps, that’s purchase will go through without asking for any authentication.

The process to turn this off is simple:

  • Go to Settings → Screen Time → Content & Privacy Restrictions
  • Tap on iTunes & App Store Purchases
  • Now tap on Always Require under REQUIRED PASSWORD field
Enable Password Requirements of Apps on iPhone and iPad

That’s it. You’ll need to enter a password every time you want to download any app from the App Store, regardless of whether it is paid or free.

Wrapping up

Following the above-mentioned steps, you can be assured that there won’t be any unnecessary purchase on your account from the App Store. However, your kids may bug you every now and then as they won’t be able to download what they want. I wish Apple could help with that too!

Do you know of any other trick to stop kids from download paid apps? Share it with fellow parents in the comment section.

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