How To Disable In-App Purchases on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

After listening to the horror stories due to the in-app purchase feature, I thought it was high time I wrote a tutorial that shows parents how to disable the feature before giving a child an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Apple had added the feature to restrict access to In-App Purchases back in 2010, so I am quite sure many of you already know how to disable it. If you don’t then continue reading.

Here’s how you can disable in-app purchases on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch:

  • Launch the Settings app from the Home screen
  • Tap on General
  • Scroll down and tap on Restrictions

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  • Then tap on Enable Restrictions. You will be prompted to enter and re-enter a Restriction Passcode. Please note this can be different from the Lock screen passcode, so set a different passcode as there is a high likelihood that your child already knows the passcode.

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  • Scroll down and tap on the In-App Purchases On/Off toggle to turn it off.

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  • Exit the Settings app.

That’s it. In-app purchases is now disabled, no one will be able to purchase additional content or functionality for apps you have installed on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

If you give your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to kids then I strongly recommend disabling in-app purchases or at least set the Require Password setting under Restrictions to Immediately rather than the default 15 minutes.

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  • Alan

    I didn’t know about the Require Password settings. I think I will use that instead. Thanks for the tip!

  • blu

    Nice reminder for those who know, good info for those that don’t.

    My kids iPod and wifes iPad (which kids play on) have in app purchases disabled, wifes phone and mine (kids may occasionaly play on both) have immediate password required.

  • Coleco82

    These in app purchase should be banned or at least state that the app is not free

    • genXhippie

      I totally agree.

    • Pacomacman

      To be fair you are prompted with the cost of the In-App before you make the purchase, then have to confirm with a password.