How to find restrictions on an iPhone to customize settings

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Restricting access to certain apps or content on an iPhone is a great way to control what a third party can see. 

The iPhone allows you to regulate multiple aspects of your phone, from what apps you’re allowed to access down to the minutiae of whether or not explicit language is allowed. 

For iPhones that have an operating system earlier than iOS 12, the restrictions tab can be found by hitting “Settings,” “General,” and then “Restrictions.” For iPhones that have iOS 12 or later, the restrictions section is found under “Screen Time.”

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How to find restriction settings on an iPhone running iOS 12 or later

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap “Screen Time.”

3. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions.” 

How to find restrictions on iPhone

In the Screen Time menu, select “Content & Privacy Restrictions.”
Kelly Laffey/Business Insider


4. Toggle the slider to “Content & Privacy Restrictions” on. It will turn green once it is on.

5. From here, you can make decisions about restricting certain apps.

6. The first three menu items controls your “iTunes & App Store Purchases,” your “Allowed Apps,” and your “Content Restrictions.” 

  • The “iTunes & App Store Purchases” tab controls whether on not someone can install or delete apps, and whether or not in-app purchases are allowed. In this tab, you can also indicate whether or not a password is required for purchases.

7. Under the “Allowed Apps” tab, you can control which of the pre-downloaded apps, like “Mail,” “Safari,” and “Camera” are allowed. If you turn off an app, it won’t delete it, but will temporarily hide it until you change the settings.

How to find restrictions on iPhone

Above is a list of the content that you have the option to restrict.
Kelly Laffey/Business Insider


8. Under “Content Restrictions,” you have the most control over the type of content you can see. This controls access to the internet, movie rating restrictions, permitted TV shows, and explicit language.

How to find restrictions on iPhone

One of the settings you can restrict is explicit language.
Kelly Laffey/Business Insider


9. Under the “Privacy” section, you’re able to manage which apps use location services, and you can lock-in previously stored settings on a number of apps.

10. The “Allow Changes” section manages network controls, enabling you to control whether you’re allowed to make changes to your passwords, the volume limit, or background app activities, among others.

Note that the above steps allow you to restrict access to certain functions of your iPhone, while individual apps also have settings that allow you to restrict the amount of time spent on them as well.

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