Last updated: February 17, 2017
You might discover that you need to know how to disable in app purchases on an iPhone if someone in your family, such as a child, inadvertently makes app purchases that they should not. Many apps that can be downloaded for free will include methods within the app that allow for purchases to be made. These are called “In-App Purchases” and are commonly found in iPhone games. If your child likes to play games on their iPhone, then you might be concerned that they will make some in-app purchases within those games, possibly spending a lot of money.
Luckily there is a way to combat this problem, and it involves using a feature on the iPhone called “Restrictions.” By following our guide below you can find out how to turn on Restrictions for the device and prevent any in-app purchases from being completed.
How to Disable In App Purchases on an iPhone
These steps were performed on an iPhone 6 Plus, in iOS 9. However, these same steps will work for iPhones running iOS 7 or higher.
This tutorial will require you to enable Restrictions on your iPhone, which will require you to create and remember a passcode. This passcode can be different than the one that you use to unlock your device. Additionally, anyone with the Restrictions passcode can adjust the settings on the menu. If you are creating a passcode to prevent a child from making in-app purchases, then it is typically a good idea to avoid using a passcode that they may be able to guess, such as a birthday or address.
Step 1: Open the Settings menu.
Step 2: Scroll down and select the General option.
Step 3: Scroll down and tap the Restrictions option.
Step 4: Tap the blue Enable Restrictions button at the top of the screen.
Step 5: Create a Restrictions passcode. It is very important to select a passcode that you will remember, as you will not be able to access this menu without that passcode, and will need to factory reset the device to adjust any restrictions on the device if it is forgotten.
Step 6: Confirm the passcode that you just created.
Step 7: Scroll down and tap the button to the right of In-App Purchases. The ability to make in-app purchases is disabled when there is no green shading around the button. For example, in-app purchases are turned off in the image below. Users on this iPhone will no longer be able to make purchases through any apps on this device until this setting is turned back on.
Summary – How to disable in app purchases on an iPhone
- Tap Settings.
- Select General.
- Open Restrictions.
- Enable Restrictions.
- Create a Restrictions Passcode.
- Confirm the passcode.
- Turn off the In-App Purchases option.
It may be worthwhile to investigate some of the other options on this menu as well. There are some other settings that might be beneficial if you are configuring an iPhone for your child. For example, you might want to block some websites on the iPhone so that they can’t visit them in a Web browser.
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Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.