iOS: Understanding Restrictions (parental controls)

You can enable Restrictions, also known as parental controls, on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Restrictions stop you from using specific features and applications. Learn more about the types of Restrictions and how to enable or disable them on your device.

Using Restrictions

You can enable and adjust Restrictions on your device to prevent access to specific features or content on the device.

  1. Tap Settings > General.
    iPad Settings
  2. Tap Restrictions.
    iPad Settings
  3. Tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. You can use the passcode to change your settings or turn off Restrictions.
    Important: If you lose or forget your Restrictions passcode, you'll need to perform a factory restore to remove it.
    iPad Settings

You can restrict access to these applications and features on the device1

  • Safari
  • Camera (also disables FaceTime)
  • FaceTime
  • iTunes Store
  • iBooks Store2
  • In-App Purchases
  • Siri
  • AirDrop
  • CarPlay3
  • Installing apps
  • Deleting apps

You can prevent access to specific content types

  • Ratings (select the country in the ratings section to automatically apply the appropriate content ratings for that region)
  • Music and podcasts
  • Movies
  • TV shows
  • Books2
  • Apps
  • Siri
  • Websites
  • You can also adjust the time necessary before a password is required to purchase content

You can prevent changes to privacy settings, including

  • Location Services
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
  • Photos
  • Bluetooth sharing
  • Microphone
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Advertising

You can prevent changes to these settings and accounts

  • Accounts4
  • Find My Friends5
  • Cellular data use6
  • Background app refresh
  • Volume limit

You can restrict features within Game Center:

  • Multiplayer games
  • Adding friends

You can also turn on or enforce Restrictions using a profile (typically installed when using the device for business or education purposes). Check for installed profiles in Settings > General > Profiles. For additional information, contact the administrator or the person who installed the profile. To learn more about iOS software, see the user manual.


  1. You can restrict access to YouTube in iOS 5 and earlier.
  2. Learn more about iBooks and iBooks Store Restrictions.
  3. CarPlay is only available on iPhone 5 or later.
  4. You can prevent changes to Mail, Contacts, Calendars, iCloud, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr, iTunes, App Store, iMessage, and FaceTime.
  5. This is available only when you install the Find My Friends app.
  6. This is available only on cellular-enabled iOS devices.

Get help

If your iOS device is missing a particular application or a certain feature isn't available, make sure that Restrictions are off. Symptoms can include:

  • App missing from the Home screen (such as Safari, Camera, or FaceTime)
  • Feature or service unavailable (such as Siri or Location Services)
  • Setting missing or dimmed (such as Mail, Contacts, and Calendar; iCloud; Twitter; FaceTime)

Learn how to use Restrictions (or parental controls) in iTunes and how to prevent In-App Purchases.

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