How to Disable In-app Purchases in iPhone?
One of the successful factors of iPhone is to make purchasing easier sitting on your home. You can order starting from few dollars of game app to thousand dollars of furniture items. Ecommerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba and other companies bring everything online to order from your iPhone apps. You can simply connect your credit card or payment system and shop quickly.
Why You Should Disable In-app Purchases?
Though it sounds good to order online quickly, it will become biggest headache for you to control the spending behavior. Especially when you have kids using the same phone, can spend your full month salary in few minutes for buying accessories to play games. The simple solution to control spending on your iPhone is to disable in-app purchases. This will first stop your kids or anyone wrongly trying purchase from the apps. Secondly, you can also remember to control your spending behavior.
Sometimes, you may wrongly touch the purchase or subscription button inside an app. This will spend the money in few seconds and purchase the items unless if you have not disabled the in-app purchase.
How to Disable In-app Purchases in iPhone?
Apple changed the in-app purchase settings in iOS 12. Open you iPhone and tap on the “Settings” app and tap on “Screen Time” option.
Here you will see how much you have been using the iPhone in a graphical manner. Under that, tap on “Content & Privacy Restrictions” option. Basically this option is to control inappropriate content like blocking pornography websites. We don’t understand why Apple moved the in-app purchases under this setting. But for now, you should navigate here to make changes.
First enable the “Content & Privacy Restrictions” by turning on the button. Then tap on “iTunes & App Store Purchases” option.
Now tap on “In-app Purchases” which by default will be set as “Allow”.
Finally tap on “Don’t Allow” option and go back or close the settings app. Now that you have enabled in-app purchases and your iPhone will stop you when you or your kid wrongly pressed the purchase button.
How to Check In-app Purchase is Disabled?
Well, that’s a good question. If you are in doubt, then open any of the apps on your iPhone that offer in-app purchases. Touch the buy button; you should see the error message that in-app purchases are not allowed in the phone.
Let us take few examples to see how it works. First, Disney Junior Appisodes app which offers subscription based in-app purchase as well you can buy appisodes separately. After disabling the in-app purchase as explained above, we tap on the subscribe button. The app will clearly show the below message indicating purchases are not allowed.
The second app is an internet phone call app. It shows a decent message that the device is not allowed to make a purchase.
Stop Modify Screen Time Setting with Passcode
We have shown the above two examples for a good reason. The second case should not be a problem. But if you notice message in Disney app the problem is clear. It shows clearly where to go and change the in-app purchase settings. Fortunately it still shows the wrong path in iOS 11, which was changed in iOS 12. But we believe it will get updated soon. Now that your kid can go to the settings and enable in-app purchase and buy the item.
So merely disabling in-app purchases may not be sufficient with smart kids. Apple has another level of restriction to prevent someone modifying the restriction settings.
Go to “Settings > Screen Time” and tap on “Use Screen Time Passcode” option.
Type four-digit passcode to prevent someone changing the settings. Whenever you or your kid try to open Screen Time setting, it will prompt you to enter the passcode. So without passcode no one change the in-app purchase settings.
Stop Purchases with Apple ID
For purchasing items, you should use the Apple ID logged into App Store. You can setup your iPhone or prompting password for each purchase. Go to “iTunes & App Store Purchases” section and set “Require Password” section as “Always Require”. This is another way of stopping purchases by asking Touch ID or Apple ID password.
What Else You Can Restrict in Screen Time?
Screen time have many options to stop accessing apps like Safari and restrict adult web content. You can also set time limits for apps to control the time spend on social media or games apps.
As explained above, don’t forget to set passcode for screen time so that only you can change the settings.
Using Guided Access
Sometimes you may get annoyed with the apps showing ads or small buy button that you hit frequently. The screen time settings will allow you to disable in-app purchase on entire phone. We did not find any iOS settings for disabling purchases only for particular app.
If you don’t want to disable in-app purchase then use guided access or child lock option. This will help you to lock the screen as well as disable portion of the screen untouchable. You can select the ad or buy button portion and make untouchable. Learn more about how to setup child lock in iPhone and iPad.