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.

What You Can Control

Apple is a parent-friendly company, providing several content management features and making it easy to control what your child can do on their iPad right from your iPhone. Before we show you how to enable the parental controls, let’s first show you what you can control:

  • Content & Privacy Restrictions – You can use Screen Time to limit other users’ ability to change settings (i.e., parental control settings) and set screen time limits.
  • Purchases – If you do not want another user making purchases, you can restrict iTunes and App Store purchases.
  • Explicit Content – Set age-appropriate ratings for apps, websites, etc.
  • Web Sites & Siri – You can restrict access to particular websites and even the Siri assistant.
  • Game Center – From multiplayer games to private messaging, you can restrict most aspects of your child’s gaming experience.

You can also enable settings to prevent changes to things such as Driving Focus, Loud Sounds, Cellular Data Changes, and more.

Now that you know what you can control on your child’s iPad, let’s show you how to do it.

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:

  1. Open the Settings app from the Home screen. Select Screen Time.
  2. Tap This is My Child’s iPad.
  3. Tap Continue on the summary pop-up to move forward.
  4. Tap Continue again.
  5. Take this opportunity to set the users’ downtime or tap Not Now.
  6. Set up app limits or tap Not Now.
  7. Input a four-digit code that you won’t forget, but the user doesn’t know. You’ll need to input this code to bypass security features and change settings.

Now, you can follow the same steps to implement new restrictions or change the parental controls.

When you tap on Downtime, you can set the iPad to restrict access during certain times. For example, setting the downtime option for 7 pm to 6 am means the user can’t access any apps or the internet between those hours.

However, if you want to add more time, a window will pop-up asking for the Screen Time passcode. The user can also tap the option to ask the parent account. If the latter is chosen, you can input the Screen Time passcode on your device to allow more time.

Under Content & Privacy Restrictions, you can enable Ask to Buy, app restrictions, and content restrictions.

Tap on ‘Content 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.

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.

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

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

How to Enable Parental Controls

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to more of your questions about Apple’s parental controls.

At what age can I create an iCloud account?

While you have to be 13 years old to create your own iCloud account, a parent can create an account for a child of any age. This account is linked to yours, and you can control nearly all of the child’s activity on any Apple product that uses the minor’s iCloud account.

Is Screen Time available on all Apple devices?

Most of the Apple devices we use today are compatible with Screen Time. But, you won’t see the option on iOS 11 or older. The company introduced the feature in 2018 with the launch of iOS 12.

If you don’t see the Screen Time option, update your device to iOS 12 or later.

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 put in place. Parental controls across the board aren’t bulletproof. 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.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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