Parent Controls for Young Kids on iPad and iPhone

The following post is from Lauren Rothlisberger of Get Me Geeky:

source: Lauren

If you are one of those parents that lets your kids use your iPhone or iPad (I am), I am sure you have run into one of these problems:

1. Photomania
One of your kids goes into the Camera app and proceeds to take about 800 pictures of their thumb, the floor, or their sibling’s eyeball. Not only is this maddening because it takes up space, it takes forever to delete them all. They are also known for taking the most flattering (not) pictures of their parents.

2. Dis-APP-earing
Have you ever grabbed your iPhone to check something on an app. Then it happens, you start looking, then looking, your flipping through the pages trying to find that one app.

The app that can solve all your problems right now. And you realize your sweet child managed to delete that app with their grubby little fingers. Now not all is lost, you can re-download that app free of charge, but what a pain!

3. Mortgage Payment Spent on In-App Purchases
If you haven’t had this unfortunate experience yet, it is probably just a matter of time. App developers are always trying to find clever little ways to make a little extra money. Kids have no idea that buying more jewels, or buying the next level in their game is going to cost you.

I have great news. Hidden in the mysterious Apple settings are the solutions to all your problems!

Note: This requires an iPad2 or higher.

1. Control Photomania with Child Lock (aka) Guided Access

To turn on Guided Access follow these steps:

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Go to “General”
  • Scroll down, choose “Accessibility”
  • Scroll down, Under “Learning” chose “Guided Access”
  • Turn it on and set your Passcode

Visual learners, watch this video:

How does this help you?
Next time your child has your iPhone/iPad get them in the App you want them in, then triple-click the “home” button. Press the “start” in the upper right-hand corner to start Guided Access. Once you start it your child can not leave without the passcode you set up. Triple-click to end the Access.

2. Restrict Deleting Apps

Guided Access helps a lot with the deleting App issue. But in case you are not really into the Guided Access idea, Apple also gave you an option to prevent your Apps from being deleted:

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Go to “General”
  • Go to “Restrictions”
  • Choose “Enable Restrictions”
  • You will set a Passcode
  • You will see a list of items you can restrict. If the restriction is “OFF” that item will disappear from your phone. So, if Safari is restricted you will no longer see the icon.
  • To restrict deleting your apps, scroll to “Deleting Apps” and turn it “OFF”
  • Be sure to adjust your other restrictions.

Visual learners, watch this video:

How does this help you?
When your child manages to get your iPhone or iPad in edit mode, those little Xs with circles that delete the app will no longer be available.

3. Prevent In-App Purchase

It is the simple switch of a button to prevent In-App purchases:

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Go to “General”
  • Go to “Restrictions”
  • Choose “Enable Restrictions” (if you haven’t already)
  • You will set a Passcode
  • Scroll down to “In-App Purchases” turn it “OFF”

Visual learners, watch this video:

How does this help you?
Bottomline, you are saving money. There are horror stories out there about kids racking up hundreds to thousands of dollars of in-app purchases. Probably best to just turn off the option.

That’s it! I hope these three tips help save you money and frustration.

What parental controls do you have on your tech devices?

Lauren Rothlisberger blogs and consults over at Get Me Geeky. As a military wife and mom of three girls five years old and under, she loves focusing on technology and productivity and finding new ways to simplify her life. She recently started putting together MacMinis, which are easy to follow videos for Mac users, and also wrote an ebook, Evernote for Moms.
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