Help with Apple Devices

Step-by-step instructions for setting up controls and restrictions.

Set up Screen Time (iOS 12)

 First set up Family Sharing

  1.  On your device, open Settings and tap on your name (iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings, iCloud)
  2. Tap Set Up Family Sharing, then Get Started. Follow the instructions to set up your family and invite your family members.
  3. You can either send a text to invite your child or choose Invite in person and enter their Apple ID and password.
  4. After you set up your child, you’ll be asked if you want to approve app downloads, share their location, share purchase and music, etc. Choose whichever makes sense for your family.

Now set up Screen Time

  1.  Once the child is added to Family Sharing, their name will appear in the list when you go to Settings, your name, Family Sharing
  2. To set up Screen time for the child, in Settings, tap Screen Time, scroll down to the child’s name and tap (or the Screen Time set up may pop up automatically after you add him/her to Family Sharing)
  3. You will be asked to set up a passcode, make sure it’s one they can’t guess!
  4. First, set up Downtime – these are the hours you want the phone to not be available, i.e. 11 pm – 7 am. Choose the hours that work best for your family. You can choose to set a time for every day, or customize by day. You can choose to block the device completely, and the child must ask for access.
  5. Set up App Limits – this is the maximum amount of time each day you want the child to have on each type of app: games, social networking etc. Just tap Add Limit, choose the type of app, and tap Add, then enter the time.
  6. Next choose what apps are Always Allowed from a list. It will list all the apps they have on their device. These are the apps they can have during Downtime. (For example, you probably always want the phone available, but might not want them to be able to text.)
  7. Next is Content & Privacy. This is like Restrictions on older iOS versions.
  8. Turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions
  9. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases – here you can block downloads and in-app purchases, and block deleting apps
  10. Tap Allowed Apps to block any apps they’ve downloaded that you don’t want on their device
  11. Tap Content Restrictions for music, movies, TV and book ratings, etc. Tap Web Content, then Limit Adult Websites to block explicit content and remove the private searching option on Safari. You can also block screen recording and adding friends here, if you choose.
  12. Share My Location should be Not Allowed for privacy
  13. Under Allow Changes
  14. Don’t Allow Passcode changes (and make sure you know what it is!)
  15. Turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving
  16. Decide what other options there are important for your family
  17. Make sure Include Website Data is on (green button) so you can see that when you look at your child’s info.

That’s it! Now, when you want to check your child’s phone usage, just go into Settings, Screen Time and tap their name. You’ll see: most used apps and how much time they’ve spent on those apps, how many times they picked up their phone, how many notifications they received and from which apps.

Stop use of screen recording

Kids are getting around Apple’s restrictions by using the screen recording functionality. Here’s how:

  • turn on screen recording
  • hand a parent their device and ask them to login to Screen Time to change a setting or upload an app for them
  • the recording, which is saved to their phone, shows the Screen Time passcode
  • with the passcode, they can turn off restrictions

Two ways to stop this:

  • In Screen Time, turn off screen recording (under Content & Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions)
  • If your child hands you their phone to do something, look for a red bar across the top of the screen, or the red recording icon at the top right. If you see either, they are recording

Disable private browsing on Safari (older than iOS 12)

  1. Open Settings on the device
  2. Tap General
  3. Open Restrictions (if not already set, turn Restrictions on. Make sure to use a passcode that cannot be guessed!)
  4. Scroll down to Websites, tap to open
  5. Tap Limit Adult Content
  6. Now when you open Safari web browser on the device, you will not get an option for Private Browsing.

Note: This must be done on each device separately.

No spending

Turn off in-app purchasing to block spending and spare your wallet. To do it on iOS (not Screen Time):

Go to Settings > Restrictions, enter your passcode, scroll down and turn In-app Purchasing off

Turn off Location Services (iOS)

1. Tap the Settings icon on the device
2. Scroll down, and tap the icon of the app that wants to use location (Snapchat, etc.)
3. Tap Location
4. On the screen that opens, tap Never

Find an app on an iOS device

1. Tap the Settings icon on the device
2. Scroll down to where all the apps are listed to see if it's there, OR
3. In Settings, tap Cellular
4. Scroll down to see all the apps using data. If the app is using data, it will be listed there, OR
5. Tap on the App Store to open it
6. Search for the app - when it appears in the search results if it says OPEN or UPDATE next to it, the app is on the device. If there is a cloud icon, it was on the device, but is no longer. if it says GET, it is not on the device

Block app downloads using Screen Time (iOS 12)

1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time
2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, enter your passcode
3. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases
4. Tap Installing Apps, and set to Don't Allow, tap Back Here you can also block in-app purchases.


Block app downloads using older iOS versions (no Screen Time)

1. Go to Settings, then General
2. Tap Restrictions and enter your passcode
3. Scroll down to Installing Apps, turn setting OFF
4. Scroll down to App Ratings
5. Choose Don't Allow Apps (or set an age rating)

If you don't see what you're looking for, please let us know so we can add it!