If you’ve downloaded any apps on your iOS device recently, then chances are it features in-app purchases, especially if it’s a game. What was once a rarity has turned into the norm, and apps are now full of opportunities to buy virtual goods that don’t exist outside of the game. From gems and extra lives to costumes and ammunition, if there is a way to charge money for it, a developer has probably done so. In this article, we’ll show you how to block in-app purchases on your or your child’s iPhone and iPad to prevent unwanted purchases.
Why disable in-app purchases on iPhone or iPad?
If you have a kid that uses your iPhone or iPad, and if you don’t want to get a bad surprise, it might be a good idea to restrict in-app purchases. This will ensure they don’t make these purchases accidentally, even if their fingerprint or Face ID is added to the device!
Plus, turning off in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad will prevent you from making a purchase accidentally in the heat of the moment.
How to turn off in-app purchases on iPhone or iPad
To turn off in-app purchases, you will need to set up or change the Screen Time settings.
- Start the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Go into Screen Time.
- Now, if you haven’t set up Screen Time yet:
- Choose Turn On Screen Time.
- Choose from This is My [iPhone]or This is My Child’s [iPhone].
- Follow any onscreen instructions. When you are prompted, tap on Use Screen Time Passcode or Parent Passcode, then create and verify a 4-digit passcode. Enter your Apple ID and password so that you can use it to reset your Screen Time passcode if you ever forget it.
- Now, with Screen Time set up, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions. Next, toggle the switch next to Content & Privacy Restrictions slider so that it becomes green (i.e., so that it’s switched on).
- Tap the iTunes & App Store Purchases button.
- Tap In-app Purchases, then select Don’t Allow.
- If this is the child’s device, you may want to also disallow Installing Apps. If it is your own device, this may be too much trouble, as you will need to change the Screen Time settings anytime you want to install an app; you won’t even see the App Store icon on your device.
You may also consider using Ask to Buyon your child’s device. This is separate from Screen Time. Ask To Buy sends a request to the parent or guardian’s device anytime the child wishes to buy something. Then, the purchase can be allowed using either the parent or child’s device. In order to use Ask to Buy, you must first set up Family Sharing. You might use this instead of, or in addition to, using Screen Time restrictions.