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How to set up parental controls on your child’s iPad

Three kids sitting on a couch using various tablet devices

Fast Fix

  1. Go to Settings> Screen Time> Content & Privacy Restriction. 
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions on.
  3. Tap Content Restrictions> Web Content.
  4. Here you can tap Limit Adult Websites or Allowed Websites to specify acceptable sites. 

Giving your children their first iPad® can help keep them happy and entertained. But keeping them safe along the way is crucial. That’s why Apple® created Kids Mode and its built-in parental controls. They’re easy to use. We’ll show you how. 

At Asurion, we help millions of people with their tech—and we get a lot of questions about keeping kids safe online. We’ve seen it all—and we’re here to help.  Here's our guide to iPad Kids Mode. 

Turn on Screen Time limits

This feature lets you schedule a specified amount of screen time for your child or prevent them from using certain apps.

Here's how:

  1. On your iPad, tap the Settings app to open it. 
  2. Scroll down until you find Screen Time> App Limits.
  3. Tap Add Limit.
  4. Select the category of app (or all apps) that you want to limit> Next.
  5. Set the amount of time that you’re comfortable with. You can also customize by days of  the week. Tap Add to finish. 

Prevent app purchases and downloads

Turning off in-app purchases can ensure that your kids can’t access harmful apps, and also prevent them from racking up a bill. 

  1. Go to Settings> Screen Time> Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  2. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
  3. Here you have several options: Installing Apps, Deleting Apps, and In-app purchases. Tap to select Allow or Don’t Allow
  4. You can also tap to Always Require or Don’t Require a password. 

Block content

You know your child best, so choose what you want them to be able to access —whether it’s Bluey or a bedtime story app.  The Content Restrictions section of Screen Time has a slew of restriction options from music and movies to books and apps and more. 

To restrict specific web content: 

  1. Go to Settings> Screen Time> Content & Privacy Restriction. 
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions on.
  3. Tap Content Restrictions> Web Content.
  4. Here you can tap Limit Adult Websites or Allowed Websites to specify acceptable sites. Theres is a list of approved websites under Allowed Websites, or you can tap Add Website to choose one of your liking, 

Help your child avoid distractions

To help your kid focus, try turning off notifications and turning on Do Not Disturb mode.

How to turn off notifications

  1. Open Settings> Notifications. 
  2. Your iPad will display a list of all apps with notification permissions. Tap on the app for which you want to disable notifications.
  3. At the top of the app's notification settings, you’ll see a switch next to Allow Notifications. Tap this switch to turn off all notifications for the selected app. It should change from green to gray, indicating that notifications are disabled.

How to turn on Do Not Disturb

  1. Tap the Settings icon on your iPad's home screen.
  2. Scroll down until you see Do Not Disturb and tap it to turn it on.
  3. If you want Do Not Disturb to turn on and off automatically, tap Scheduled and set the start and end times.

Turn on Guided Access

Guided Access is a great tool for keeping your child within one app—and on task. 

To activate Guided Access 

  1. Tap Settings> Accessibility> Guided Access.
  2. Tap Passcode Settings, then tap Set Guided Access Passcode.
  3. Input a passcode and then confirm it by entering it again. Additionally, you have the option to use Face ID or Touch ID to conclude a Guided Access session.

To start a guided access session

  1. Open the app that you want to use. 
  2. On an iPhone X or later, triple-click the side button. On an iPhone 8 or earlier, triple-click the Home button.
  3. Tap Guided Access, then tap Start.

You can also use Siri to start Guided Access, which may be easier with tiny grabby hands. To start a Guided Access session with Siri, simply open the app you want to use and say “Siri, turn on Guided Access.”

Choose the right apps and set boundaries

Parental controls can only do so much. Make sure you pick age-appropriate apps and set time limits to help your children learn and develop healthy screen time habits. Want to learn more? Check out our guide to setting up your iPad for a child.

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