Worried about buying your child an iPhone for Christmas? We’ve got you covered.

The time has finally come. An iPhone has made its way onto your kid’s Christmas list and suddenly you’re overcome with this feeling of worry and panic. It’s totally understandable, but we’re here to tell you about the parental controls you can set up on their iPhone, to help keep them a little safer.

Apple have lots of different steps you can take, from restricting web search access to controlling payment permissions. All so you can sit back on Christmas day, watch your little nipper’s face light up and let the worry fade away.

Content and privacy restrictions.

If your main concern is that you don’t want your child to access content that they shouldn’t, you can set up restrictions to prevent this.

1) Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Continue, then choose ‘This is my child’s device’.

3) If you’re setting up Screen Time on your child’s device, follow the prompts until you get to Parent Passcode and then choose a passcode. (You’ll want this to be different from the one used to unlock the device!)

4) After this is done, tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, enter your new passcode, then turn on Content & Privacy.

This will stop your little ones from being able to access restricted websites and content as well as keeping their information and data safe.

It’s 4 easy steps that will give you peace of mind! As they get older, you may want to turn off these restrictions, which is simple too.

1) Tap Settings and select Screen Time.

2) Then tap Turn Off Screen Time Passcode.

3) You will be asked to authenticate the change with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.

Prevent iTunes & App Store purchases.

If you’re worried about your child installing lots of expensive apps and racking up a hefty bill on your bank card, you’ll want to take some precautions to stop this.

1) Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. You may be instructed to enter your passcode.

3) Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.

4) Choose a setting and set to Don’t Allow.

A photo of an iPhone displaying the iTunes restrictions.
iTunes restrictions mean no surprises on your bank statement!

You can also change your password settings for additional purchases. Simply follow steps 1-3 and then choose Always Require or Don’t Require.

This way you can take full control of what your children download and whether they make purchases on games or other apps. There will be no hefty Roblox bills this year!

Control what apps and features they can access.

You may not want your kids to have access to certain apps and features, and that’s no problem. There’s a simple way to hide anything you don’t want them to see.

1) Go to Settings and select Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.

3) Enter your screen time passcode.

4) Tap Allowed Apps.

5) Select the apps you want to allow.

A screenshot of an iPhone displaying the app control feature.
Take control of which apps your little one's can access. 

This won’t delete apps, but it will temporarily hide them. If you wanted to bring back the previously hidden apps, simply follow the same five steps and click allow.

Prevent any explicit content.

There’s lots of content that you can choose to restrict from being shown on your child’s iPhone.

· You can prevent the playback of music, music videos, podcasts and news that contain explicit content.

· You can change the ratings on their iPhone, so that they’re only allowed access to content within their age rating.

· You can prevent them from finding or accessing music videos. (Probably a good move, given some of the releases this year – we’re looking at you Cardi B!).

· You can prevent films with specific ratings – so they can’t sneak any horrors in under the duvet at night! This goes for TV programmes, books, and apps too.

To restrict explicit content and control their ratings, you can follow 3 simple steps.

1) Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then tap Content Restrictions.

3) Choose the settings you want for each feature or setting under Allowed Store Content.

Prevent access to certain web content.

Apple’s operating system is extremely smart and can automatically filter website content to limit the access to adult content in Safari and apps on your device.

If there are certain websites that you specifically want to prevent access to, you can add them to a blocked list. You can also create an approved list, which grants your child access to certain websites.

An iPhone displaying the web content restrictions.
This handy feature lets you choose which websites they can access.

Here’s how to do this:

1) Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and enter your screen time passcode.

3) Tap Content Restrictions then tap Web Content.

4) Choose Unrestricted Access, Limit Adult Websites or Allowed Websites Only.

Restrict Siri web search.

Siri is super useful for letting you search the internet and ask questions, but if you want to add a few restrictions to Siri, you can.

By following a few simple steps, you can prevent Siri from searching the web and from displaying explicit language. Here’s how:

1) Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then tap Content Restrictions.

3) Scroll down to Siri, then choose your settings.

This way, your children can still ask Siri to do simple tasks like, ‘call mum’ or ‘FaceTime dad’, but will still be safe from inappropriate content on the internet.

Make changes to privacy settings.

You’ll want to ensure that you control which apps have access to the information stored on your child’s phone.

· You can restrict which apps and websites can access their location. For example, you’ll want to allow maps access but maybe won’t want Twitter to have access.

· You can prevent apps from accessing your child’s contacts.

· You can prevent apps from accessing their calendar.

· You can prevent apps from accessing your child’s photos.

· You can prevent other devices from sharing data through Bluetooth.

· You can prevent apps from requesting access to your child’s microphone.

An iPhone display showing the camera privacy settings.
Choose which apps can access certain features on your child's phone. 

This is super-simple to do, you just need to follow these 3 steps.

1) Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. If prompted, enter your passcode.

3) Tap Privacy, then choose the settings you want to restrict.

Which iPhone will it be?

We hope that we’ve put your mind at ease and now you can start to look for the perfect iPhone. Whether you opt for our best-selling iPhone 11 or the brand-new iPhone 12, you’re guaranteed a safe experience for your children.

Want to take a closer look? Check out our Apple iPhones to find the perfect Christmas gift.