How to limit access on your iPad

The iPad has the ability to set controls for what your child has access too.  There are restrictions that you can put in place which can only be changed by entering a 4 digit pin code.  It doesn't need to be anything too difficult, just something your child doesn't know because they will get into settings as some point.

To get to the restrictions menu, from the home screen go to Settings > General > Restrictions

You can see it below on the right handside, if you haven't set it before it will say "off".

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You'll then be asked to enter a 4 digit code (use something easy that you will remember, your postcode, last 4 digits of your phone number), it's only there to stop you child accessing that menu to undo the restrictions.

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Now that you have accessed restrictions you can turn on and off features on your iPad.  Here an image of the restictions menu.

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The available options are

Disable Restrictions button

If you click disable restrictions your iPad functions normally without any restrictions. When you enable resitrictions again you will have set it up again.


Safari Web Browser ON/OFF

Disables/Enables Safari web browser. Once disabled the icon is removed from the iPad preventing access to the internet via web browser

I have my iPad set to ON, but if accessing the internet becomes a distractions, you can turn it off here.

YouTube App ON/OFF

Disables/Enables YouTube app. Once disabled the icon is removed from the iPad preventing access to the YouTube via the app icon

I have my iPad set to OFF, and I turn it on when my older son wants to access Youtube while I'm with him checking the content of his viewing.

iTunes App ON/OFF

Disables/Enables iTunes app and removes it's icon. This prevents you child purchasing music/videos etc. Also ping it turned off by default.

I have my iPad set to OFF.  Unless you are buying music or media (movie/tvshows etc) via the iPad there is no need to have this on.


Disables/Enables Ping, which is social networking for music, allowing other people to see what you are listening to.

I have my iPad set to OFF because it's automatically turned off when iTunes is set to off.  Also I doubt anyone would be interested in what my you kids are listening too.

Installing Apps ON/OFF

When disabled apps will not be installed, or sync'd from your PC. I leave this ON because any purchases require my password, and I want my iPad to sync new apps when connected to my PC.

I have my iPad ALWAYS set to ON, I turned if off once, and spent many hours trying to figure out by the iPad wouldn't sync, so be warned, if you turn it off it won't sync/download/install any new apps.

Deleting Apps ON/OFF

When disabled the apps cannot be removed. They will still wiggle, so they can still be moved around, but not deleted, a must have for little ones!

I have my iPad ALWAYS set to OFF so that apps cannot be deleted by my child.  You can delete apps when the iPad is connected to the computer, or toggle this temporarily to remove any unwanted apps.

Allow Changes:


Allows/Disallows apps to know your location.

I have my iPad's location setting turned OFF.  In the submenu select "Don't Allow Changes" and all the location settings are turned off.  None of the apps my child is currently using will use this feature. 


Allows/Disallows changes preventing adding, removing or modifying accounts in Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

I have my iPad's accounts setting turned OFF.  In the submenu select "Don't Allow Changes".  Even if you don't use mail this is a good idea because it means if you child accidently accesses the mail app, which can't be removed, they can't get lost if set up pages for a new mail account.  If you have an email account set up, use this to stop any accidental detetions of your accounts.

Allowed Content 

In this part of the menu you can set restrictions, by age/type and turn off in app purchases and set how often a password is required for puchases.

Ratings For

Set to Australia (if you live in another country you'll need to change this)

Music & Podcasts

Allow Music & Podcasts Rated, setting is either Explicit ON or OFF

I set this to OFF, so my young kids don't end up listening to Eminem and back at the restrictions menu it will now say CLEAN.


You can restrict Movie content by rating, Settings are Don't Allow Movies, G, PG, M, MA15+, R18+ and Allow All Movies.

I have left this with allow all movies because I only sync movies appropriate for my children on the iPad

TV Shows

You can restrict TV Show content by rating, Settings are Don't Allow TV Shows, P, C, G, PG, M, MA15+, AV15+ and Allow All TV Shows.

I have left this with allow all tv shows because I only sync tv shows appropriate for my children on the iPad.


All Apps submitted to the app store have a rating.  Settings are Don't allow Apps, 4+, 9+, 12+, 17+, Allow All Apps.

I have mine set to allow all apps, because you can customise what apps are loaded onto the iPad.  When I did change these settings the apps do get removed, but when I changed them back I found all the apps did not return to the folders.  Took me ages to fix that up!

In-App Purchases ON/OFF

Turns ON/OFF purchases made from within and app.  Many apps are "free" but purchases can be made within the app for additional features or items.  Beaware, this can cost you dearly if left turned on!  For example, some parents downloaded the free smurf village game.  Harmless fun right?  Their child clicks an in app purchase, and buys $100+ in app purchase (yes really) and this is billed to your credit card and Apple won't refund your money! 

I have my iPad set to OFF (see above warning for reasons why).  If I do need to make an in app purchase I will turn this on temporarilly and then switch it back to OFF)

Require Password (Immediately/15 minutes)

If you set this to immediately you will be asked for you password for every purchase, if you set it to 15 minutes you will only have to enter your password once, and any further purchases & in app purchases (if turned on, see above) will be charged to your account without any password.

Mine is set to IMMEDIATELY and so should yours, or you child might buy a $200 app (yes they exist) or buy half of Smurfs Village in that 15 minute window.

Also NEVER let you child see you enter your password.  Children no matter what the age like to copy their parents!  Be warned!

Game Centre

Multiplayer Games ON/OFF

Allows you to play games via game centre with other online players

I have this turned OFF, my children don't need to use this feature.

Adding Friends ON/OFF

Allows friends to be added to game centre

I have this turned OFF, my children don't need to use this feature.


So as you can see it’s quite customisable and based on the age/ability of your child you can have it set so that they can play apps, but can’t surf the web, or buy things, and can only watch G or lower rates movies.  Or if you have older children you can turn these features back on, but still control what they buy and in app purchases.

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