Many iPhone apps allow you to buy additional features, functionality, and content, or in games, expansions, in-game resources, or character upgrades. Buying these sorts of upgrades from within apps is called in-app purchasing.
Having the option of in-app purchasing can be useful and fun, but those won't be the first words that come to mind if you buy things without realizing you're doing it. And you may utter some strong words indeed if you have a child using your iOS device and ringing up huge in-app purchase charges without realizing what they're doing.
Luckily, you can turn off the ability to buy within apps to prevent this from happening. These instructions apply to all iOS devices: the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
To turn off in-app purchasing, do the following:
- From your home screen, tap the Settings app
- Tap General
- Scroll about halfway down the page and tap Restrictions
- Tap Enable Restrictions
- When you do this, you'll be asked to Set a Passcode. The Passcode is a password that locks certain functions of the iOS device. Use a passcode you'll be sure to remember, but don't share it with people you don't want making purchases. If they know your passcode, they can re-enable in-app purchases even if you don't want them to. Enter the passcode twice to set it.
- Once the passcode is set, scroll down to the Allowed Content section. Slide the In-App Purchases slider to Off (in iOS 6) or to the left so that it's white (iOS 7). This will prevent anyone who doesn't know your passcode from making purchases.
To learn more about what else the Restrictions function can control, read these articles:
Want tips like this delivered to your inbox every week? Subscribe to the free weekly iPhone/iPod email newsletter.