How to Set Up iOS Parental Control (Apple)


Parenting is complicated, and parenting in the digital world can be even more complicated. We’re here to help you by unpacking iOS parental control for your child’s device.

There are various boundaries and guardrails you can put in place to help you parent in the digital world, just like you do in the real one.

Before you get started, check if you have the latest operating system on your device and your child’s. Learn more about updating your device here.

Family Sharing: Managing Your Child’s Device from Your Device

If you would like to manage iOS parental control on your child’s device from your own device, you will use Family Sharing. To get started, each child needs to have their own Apple ID. The minimum age for one is 13 years old, but a parent can create an Apple ID for their child if they are too young to do it themselves.

Once you have set up Apple IDs for each person in your family, you can manage your children’s device through the Screen Time option in the Settings on yours.

Managing Your Child’s Device Directly

You can manage your child’s device directly from it by setting up a password.

  1. Go to the Settings App and select Set Up Screen Time for Family
  2. Tap Use Screen Time Password and create a password so your child cannot change the settings without your permission.

iOS Parental Control: Screen Time Settings

Screen TIme is the system Apple uses for parental control on iOS devices. Through Screen Time, you can create up various boundaries for your child under Settings.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your child’s device
  2. Scroll down and select Screen Time
  3. Tap Continue at the bottom of the first screen
  4. Select This is My Child’s iPhone.

From there, you walk through several screens with various options:


Downtime allows you to decide when your child can or can’t use their device. Apple, appropriately, suggests to “think of this as a nap for your screen.” Unless specified elsewhere in Screen Time, your child cannot use their device. They will receive a 5-minute warning before this activates, and they can send a request for more screen time if needed.

As a parent, consider when you want your child on their device.

Perhaps it is while they sleep, at school, or need the distraction of a particular device removed. Remember, you can still permit calls and messages from certain contacts and specific apps to work during this time.

Seasoned parents and adults who work with adolescents strongly recommend having a conversation with your child about the settings you are selecting. No matter who is ultimately making what choice, inviting your child into the process will help them feel empowered and heard. Healthy communication is a big part of building healthy relationships.

App Limits

App Limits allow you to “set daily time limits for categories you want to manage.” You can choose the categories of apps you’d like to manage and then set the amount of time each day that a child can use that category of apps, such as Social or Games. Every night at midnight, this feature is refreshed, so a child has the same amount of time each day unless it’s been updated or deleted.

Communication Limits

When you set up Communication Limits on an iOS device, you have two basic categories: During Screen Time and During Down Time. While the phone is being used (Screen Time), you can decide if your child can communicate with their Contacts Only, Contacts & Groups with at Least One Contact, or Everyone.

During Downtime, when the device is “taking a nap,” you can decide if you would like your child to still be able to communicate with Specific Contacts or Everyone.

Always Allowed

Always Allowed is similar to Communication Limits but applies to apps. On this screen, you can select the apps that your child can still use while the phone is set in Downtime. Your child can request permission to an app during their Downtime, and you can choose whether or not to allow it.

Content & Privacy Restrictions

This is the most thorough and detailed section of Apple’s Screen Time. You can manage permissions, choose privacy settings for various services, and determine if your child can make changes to certain settings.

Possibilities for Managing Permissions

  • iTunes & App Store Purchases
  • Allowed Apps
  • Content Restrictions

Possibilities for Privacy Settings

  • Location Services
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Reminder
  • Photos
  • Share My Location
  • Bluetooth Sharing
  • Microphone
  • Speech Recognition
  • Advertising
  • Media & Apple Music

Possibilities for Allowing Changes

  • Passcode Changes
  • Account Changes
  • Cellular Data Changes
  • Reduce Loud Sounds
  • Do Not Disturb While Driving
  • TV Provider
  • Background App Activities

Canopy and iOS parental control make a great team!

Canopy works well with Apple devices to help you protect those you love most. It prevents any unintentional, explicit content from reaching the screen of the devices it protects, no matter what kind of web page it might be on. It also has features, like sexting deterrence, that are unique to its technology.

If your child has an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer, begin protecting them with your free trial of Canopy today!

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