Parents do really have a lot of control over what their kids can do on their devices. And you can decide, or in a conversation with your child, which apps are appropriate for them.

Option 1: For the Most Control…
  1. Download all the apps you want your child to have access.
  2. Turn off the App Store by going to Settings > General > Restrictions.
Option 2: To Give Your Kids Freedom to the Explore the App Store…
  1. Settings > General > Restrictions.
  2. Select Apps (under Allowed Content section), and choose which apps your children can download by applying age-level restrictions.
  3. Your child will have the freedom to download any apps from the App Store within the age-appropriate range that you selected.

Note: if your child is 11, and you set Restrictions to up to 12 (by selecting 9+), then your child won’t be able to download apps like YouTube. This seems fairly straightforward until you realize that Pinterest has disappeared on your child’s device (it’s rated 12+). The only way to override this is to allow all apps up to 17 by checking 12+.

Apple, this is a major area for improvement–parents need more flexibility so they can only allow the apps they’re comfortable with.

Option 3: Somewhere in Between–You Want to Give Your Kids Freedom to Explore, but Want to Limit the Number of Apps They Can Download…

Some parents what to keep close tabs on what their kids download, so they can familiarize themselves with what their kids are doing, check the app’s privacy settings, disallow multiplayer games, confirm the app is quality content and to delete apps with inappropriate ads.

  1. Settings > General > Restrictions.
  2. Under Allowed Content, select Password Settings, Always require. This means that your child will have to enter her Apple ID password every time she downloads an app instead of letting her download as many as she wants within 15 minutes.
  3. Apple has a feature called Asked to Buy found under Family Sharing, but I find it clunky, so instead to manage App downloads, I make sure my kids don’t know their Apple ID password.
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