How to Enable Parental Controls on the iPad

iPads are phenomenal devices for younger users. Regardless of the age range, there’s something for everyone. From education to entertainment, tablet devices have become a hot ticket item for kids across the globe. However, like any internet-capable device, there are drawbacks to letting a child or young person have free reign of the internet.

How to Enable Parental Controls on the iPad

If you were wondering how to enable parental controls on the iPad, you are in the right place. Read on and find out how to do it, alongside some useful tips and tricks. Parental controls can help keep your children away from inappropriate content and also block in-app purchases.

Enabling iPad Parental Controls on iPadOS 12 and Above

Apple knows how vital parental controls are; thus, they have customized them thoroughly to assist the parents. We actually have a lot of control over our children’s iPad activities thanks to Apple’s Screen Time and content restrictions. For those of you with updated iPads, let’s dive in.

Parental Controls on the iPad can are under the Screen Time tab. Here is how you can enable them:

Open the Settings app from the Home screen. Select Screen Time.

You can set a passcode with the Use Screen Time Passcode. Enter a four-digit passcode and confirm it. We highly suggest enabling this option for extra control, even though it is not necessary.

Then choose Content and Privacy Restrictions. Also, take note of some of the other options on this screenshot. We’ll review those in a moment.

When prompted, enter the passcode you created just now. Enable the Content and Privacy Restrictions by tapping the slider. It will turn blue when on, otherwise it is gray.

That is how you enable the base parental controls on the iPad. However, you need to customize them. While you’re on the same page (Content and Privacy Restrictions), you can customize the parental controls.

Simply tap on ‘Content and Privacy restrictions to visit the customization page. From here you can block explicit content, apps, and even search engine capabilities. That last one may not seem like a big deal, but if you blocked the YouTube app, your child can easily pull it up with a quick search.

Content and Privacy Restrictions – Overview

Enable Parental Controls on iPad

There are three major parental control options on the Content and Privacy Restrictions page.

iTunes and App Store Purchases – a self-explanatory option. It blocks anyone who doesn’t know the passcode from making purchases, deleting, or installing apps on the iPad.

Allowed Apps – this option is also easy to understand. You can limit certain apps from appearing on the Home screen of the iPad as if they didn’t exist.

Content Restrictions – this option is pretty neat. It allows you to block certain content from the iPad. You can block explicit websites, R-rated movies, music, etc.

The Privacy section right below has many other great customization options. You can disable the use of Bluetooth, Microphone, Photos, Location Sharing, etc.

Below the Privacy tab, you can find the Allow Changes tab. Here you can prevent your child from accessing the settings, changing the Apple credentials, and, most importantly, changing the passcode.

Family Sharing

Another helpful tool to monitor and control your child’s iPad activity is the Family Sharing feature. All you need to do is add their Apple ID to yours in the Settings under your phone using the ‘Family Sharing’ link.

Once done you can turn on ‘Ask to buy,’ ‘Purchase Sharing,’ and ‘Screen Time.’ Ask to buy not only prevents your child from purchasing apps, but it also means you’ll get a notification before they download free apps.

Enabling iPad Parental Controls on iOS11 and Below

Enabling parental controls on iPads with iOS11 or older operating systems is slightly different. Instead of the Screen Time menu, you need to use the Restrictions menu.

Follow the steps to enable parental controls on older iPads:

  1. Go to Settings, followed by General, and finally, Restrictions.
  2. Select Choose Enable Restrictions and confirm with the four-digit passcode.
  3. All the parental controls are bundled together on the Restrictions page. Move the slider on each option to enable or disable it.

The main parental control options here include in-app purchases, privacy settings, content restrictions, and app blocking. Carefully consider all of these options, and which ones do you want to enable.

There is no right or wrong way about this. You can choose all the parental controls that you deem fit for your child, or even an elderly family member.

How to Enable Parental Controls

Managing Parental Controls

Based on experience, parental controls aren’t something you set and forget about. Today’s youngest generation is much more determined and tech-savvy when it comes to bypassing the controls you’ve set in place. Parental controls across the board aren’t bullet proof. It’s a good idea to do a periodic check to ensure that the parental controls are still intact if you have an especially determined child. If we’re being honest, there are tons of TikTok videos alone waiting to show your child how to bypass controls (and many more on YouTube).

Do you use parental controls on your devices? If so, which ones do you leave on, and which ones do you disable? Feel free to talk about your experience with the iPad’s Parental Controls app in the comments section below.

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