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Step by step guide on ways to access restrictions and parental controls settings on your iPhone and iPad in iOS 12

parental restriction


The restriction feature on your iOS device, otherwise known as parental controls, helps you exercise control over the applications, features and content a child can get access to when using an iPad, iPod touch or even an iPhone. If an application has been switched off under parental control, this means your child cannot use that specific application on the phone. This does not necessarily mean that the specific app has been uninstalled it’s only hidden from the home screen at the moment. This has been very helpful for many parents in managing the child’s usage of the smart device as well as maintaining healthy parameters for a growing child when exposed to a smart device. For instance, if you do not want a child to use the phone to take pictures and videos, you use the parental control to restrict the usage of the camera. This means that all the features that use the camera in your phone will not get the access once it has been turned off. This can also be used to restrict a child from installing or uninstalling third-party applications and also making in-app cash transactions knowingly or unknowingly. Other applications that can be restricted by parental control are such as; safari, can play, Facetime, Siri & dictation and even airdrop. In iOS 12, these features have been modified and thus renamed and moved to a whole new section in the setting feature of the phone. The modification has come with the expansion of the parental control feature in iOS 12 offers even better control measures over the phone’s utility. If your child has the privilege of having an iPhone, iPod touch or the new iPad model it is advisable for you to exercise absolute control over the age-restricted applications, media and other features that are not healthy for them to get exposed to at their formative age. The pre-installed parental control feature has been specifically developed for you so that you can have peace of mind when your child enjoys the smart features in these elite devices.


Accessing the Parental Control Feature on iPhone and iPad 

iOS 12 has applied a couple of changes in its settings moving the parental control set up to the new screen time settings function. This tutorial has comprehensively covered the navigation process to the parental control features within iOS 12 and even provides a comparison of the new changes for those used to older versions.


Parental Controls/ Restriction Settings for iOS 12

Actual management of parental controls for the new models of the Apple phone like other features is prone to new modifications, and for iOS 12, it features an integral part of the new screen time settings included in the digital well-being policy of the company in providing convenience for users in any age bracket. Most importantly the defining features of the parental control set up present in iOS 11 and even the earlier versions are present iOS 12 making it easier for users of apple to make custom changes even with the new software.

Step 1. Navigate to the settings application on your iPad or iPhone

Step 2. Find the ‘screen time’ section and tap on it

Step 3. Enable the screen time function by tapping on the turn on screen time feature and then tap on the continue function which will display “this is my child’s iPhone” option. If you had enabled the screen time feature at an earlier time, just skip to the next step.

At this point, the phone will display on its screen a set of instructions that will lead you to create a new passcode which will then give you access to the different parental controls features that you can activate and deactivate at will. Such include app limits, downtime, content and age restrictions among others.

Step 4. Navigate to the content and privacy restrictions option

You will need to slide from OFF to ON the “switch Content and Privacy Restriction” bar to enable the restrictions.

For the new version the important thing to know is that despite the change of the initials to content and privacy restrictions function, this is the same place you find all the parental control settings for iPhone and iPad that you had gotten accustomed to with the older iOS versions. The only variation is that the new screen time section offers a wider range of new options to choose from.


Things you can do with the screen time option in iOS 12

  • App limits- This function allows you to set specific time limits for the different app categories you would like to manage the amount of time that your kids spend on these particular applications. An example of such is setting a time limit of an hour every day on social media applications and game apps.
  • Activity Reports- This feature gives a comprehensive activity report of the kid’s devices; specific applications launched, the total time they spend on specific applications, amount of notifications received on the device and the frequency at which the child utilizes the Apple device.
  • Always allowed- For those applications that you want unlimited access for your kids you have the option of whitelisting them. This may include the messaging and the phone application among others.
  • Downtime- This is useful in scheduling time that your kid should spend away from the mobile device. Whitelisted applications will continue to function, but a parent’s authorization will be required to increase more screen time once the limit has been reached.
  • Content and Privacy Restrictions- This gives you the parental control options that you could access in previous versions by navigating to Settings -> General -> Restrictions.

The password to the Screen Time feature is very crucial and should be private as it prevents your young ones from altering the settings. Screen time settings and data can be synchronized across all devices through iCloud giving you the convenience of a fast set up even for new devices. This is because the Screen Time setting is account based and hence can be applied across all children’s devices at a go.

The screen time has offered real solutions to parenting as through the utility of reports and allowed applications there are no ways of cheating around the elaborate settings. This feature can work with the Apple Family sharing function which is convenient for parents as they can make specific settings remotely from a single family sharing group. Although it is important to state that setting up screen time properties locally from the kid’s device does not need family sharing.


Differences between iOS 12 with the older apple versions

The main variation is the location of the parental control function in the setting function within the different versions. For the older versions, it was quite basic navigating from the Settings icon to the General function which presents you with the Restrictions option. When you enable the restrictions option, the device will ask you to create a passcode to be able to restrict individual apps and features. Many often confuse the restriction passcode with the device’s passcode but the setup of the two is completely independent of each other. After the set up you will be able to restrict different changes to the privacy settings, restrict access to specific built-in apple applications and features, restrict changes to specific settings and phone features, prevent the access to graphic content and content ratings and prevent access to certain website and online content that you deem harmful to the development of your child. The parental control feature is accessible for additional features within your phone such as iTunes and also in your Mac device. For the Mac OS, parental control feature gives you control options to content through rating and all the other features present for iPhone and iPad. Restrictions or the parental control feature for Apple phones has been an exemplary application that helps parents feel comfortable with their kids using different Apple devices at will since its inception in 2008.


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