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How to Prevent In-App Purchases from the App Store on iPhone

In-App Purchases have made life easier for developers and consumers alike. The ease with which you can make transactions from within the app has led to a sharp increase in freemium apps on the App Store.

But these In-App Purchases can become a problem, especially when young kids in the family might have access to your iPhone. The surprise of receiving those iTunes receipts in the email is definitely not a pleasant one! In cases like these, it becomes important to take steps to ensure you don’t find yourself at the receiving end of such a nasty surprise.

Sometimes, you could also end up approving these In-App purchases accidentally. And even though you could always ask for a refund from Apple, it is better to be safe than sorry!

You can take the following steps to prevent In-App purchases on your iPhone. The setting is a little bit buried, so it’s no surprise if you couldn’t find it. It is the whole reason we exist, to be your technical guides on these journeys.

Use Screen Time to Prevent In-App Purchases

Apple streamlined all restriction controls for iPhone under Screen Time, so it is easy to set up all restrictions from under one Setting. To get started, open the ‘Settings’ of your iPhone and go to ‘Screen Time’.

Tap on ‘Turn On Screen Time’. If Screen Time is already enabled on your iPhone, you can skip the next couple of steps.

Tap on ‘Continue’ on the next screen. Then, there will be two options on your screen: ‘This is My iPhone’, or ‘This is My Child’s iPhone’. Tap on ‘This is My iPhone.’

Note: If you are setting up ‘Screen Time’ on your Child’s iPhone, select the second option and follow the prompts on the screen. You’ll then reach the ‘Parent Passcode’ screen. Set up a password and you’ll be good to go. Your child won’t be able to change Screen Time settings on their phone without the passcode.

In ‘Screen Time’ settings, tap on ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’.

Then, turn on the toggle for ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’.

Now, tap on ‘iTunes & App Store Purchases’.

Under the ‘Require Password’ section, tap on ‘Always Require’ so that your Apple ID password is always required to make any additional purchases after making any purchase from the iTunes, Book or App Store. Setting up a password also ensures you don’t end up accidentally purchasing anything.

Change the password setting to ‘Always Require’ for In-App purchases.

But sometimes setting up a password is not enough, especially with kids. Your kids might know your password. In such a case, you can completely block In-App Purchases. On the same screen, under the ‘Store Purchases & Re-Downloads’ section, tap on ‘In-app purchases’.

Then, change the setting from ‘Allow’ to ‘Don’t Allow’.

Completely block In-App purchases.

For additional security, you can also set up a Screen Time Passcode so no one can change the settings but you. Go to Settings, then open Screen Time. Scroll down and tap on ‘Use Screen Time Passcode’, and create a password.

Use Screen Time Passcode so no no can change the settings but you.

Conclusion

Setting up restrictions for In-App Purchases is very important, especially if young kids use your phone. You can completely block In-App purchases from ‘Screen Time’ setting on the iPhone to prevent kids from exploiting your credit card playing freemium games.