apple logo
Tech Guides

How to Set Up Parental Controls on iPhone

**This tech guide was updated on June 25, 2024.**

Whether your child inherited one of your pre-loved iPhones or has the latest release with all the new bells and whistles, it’s important that you help keep them safe while they’re texting, playing games, and surfing the web.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to put parental controls on iPhone devices like screen time limits, web filters, privacy settings, and more. Apple Screen Time and Bark are our two preferred options because Apple Screen Time comes built-in and is free, and Bark because we built it to be completely customizable for parents — and hey, it’s us!

How to Set Up Parental Controls on iPhone

  1. On your child’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time.
  3. Tap Continue.
  4. Select This is My Child’s [device].
  5. Now, you can set parental controls like blocking websites, setting screen time limits, allowing apps, and more.

You can set up Screen Time and create settings on your child’s device or you can use Family Sharing to configure your child’s device from your own device. After you set up your child’s device, you can also use Family Sharing to view reports and adjust settings at any time, from your own device.

Click here to watch how to limit screen time on iPhone devices using Apple Screen Time.

What You Can Do With Screen Time

Apple Screen Time allows you to see how much time your children spend on apps, websites, and more. Additionally, you can set screen time limits, block or limit certain apps and features, restrict explicit content, and prevent purchases and downloads on your child’s device.

Setting Down Time and App Limits

Downtime allows you to decide how long your child can use their phone each day. Use the Start and End times to set a schedule regulating your child’s screen time, then tap Set Downtime.

App Limits allow you to set up time limits on the apps your child uses. Note that you’ll only be able to restrict apps based on pre-selected categories chosen by Apple, which are:

  • All Apps & Categories
  • Social Networking
  • Games
  • Entertainment
  • Creativity
  • Productivity
  • Education
  • Reading & Reference
  • Health & Fitness
  • Other

Putting Content and Privacy Restrictions in Place

This feature will allow you to prevent your child from viewing mature or explicit content in native Apple apps like iTunes or the App Store. You will also be able to set permissions to restrict them from changing the privacy settings on the iOS device.

Select Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy to begin. Options on this page include:

  1. iTunes and App Store Purchases: Restrict the ability to install/delete apps and make in-app purchases.
  2. Allowed Apps: Restrict the native Apple apps your child can use (Mail, Safari, FaceTime, etc).
  3. Content Restrictions: Restrict the content your child can access across the entire device. Generally speaking, this feature ensures that your child can’t access explicit content, such as movies or TV shows over a certain rating, explicit books or music, or explicit web content searched through Safari.
  4. Privacy: Restrict location services and apps that rely on user data and input.

How to Set Parental Controls with Bark

Bark is the perfect choice for blended tech families — that is, families in which a parent has an Android device and children have iPhones. Dedicated iOS families are also great candidates for Bark! We use kid-proof technology that allows parents to manage screen time and filter websites easily with little fuss. Setting healthy boundaries around tech use is crucial as kids grow up, and Bark provides unparalleled customization not only for each family but for each individual child.

Screen time features you won’t find anywhere else

Bark’s approach to screen time centers on the idea that different times of day call for different screen time rules — one size definitely doesn’t fit all. For example, when your kids are in school, you can block access to everything but educational sites. And at bedtime, you can allow apps to help them wind down for the evening. And because all kids deserve to blow off a little steam, you can designate free time hours just for play.

Web filtering as unique as your family

Our world-class web filter lets you select exactly which websites your child can access on their devices. You can allow or block specific sites — or even whole categories like streaming services, online gaming, sexual content, and more. You can also decide exactly which apps (especially potentially dangerous ones like Snapchat or Omegle) your child can access and when.

Need More Help with Parental Controls for All Your Kid’s Technology?

We hope this blog post has helped you learn how to put parental controls on iPhone devices, but as a parent, you know that your kids have access to all kinds of technology, devices, games, and apps. Check out our Ultimate Parental Control Guide for a comprehensive list of parental controls. We also have an interactive website called Barkomatic where you can enter all of the technology and devices your child uses and receive all of the parental control instructions in one convenient location.

More guides

How to Set Up Parental Controls on a Bark Phone

The Bark Phone comes with Bark’s award-winning parental controls built right in, giving families the ...

Read guide

How to Set Up Windows 11 Parental Controls

Windows 11 is the latest operating system available for PCs. It allows for seamless connection ...

Read guide

How To Set Up Ventura Parental Controls

Ventura was released in Fall 2022 and brought an interface called Stage Manager that helps ...

Read guide