Apple Screen Time – control content & privacy

This week, we’ve been looking at how to use Apple’s Screen Time feature to monitor usage and control how much time you and other users can spend using devices or apps on Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Click here to read part 1 and learn how to monitor usage.

Click here to read part 2 and learn how to set time limits of devices and apps.

Today, we’ll learn how to use Screen Time to control access to certain content. This is a great idea if kids or other users are sometimes on your device. This prevents them from seeing inappropriate content, using your device to make purchases, or contacting people you might not be comfortable with.

We’ll start by opening Screen Time. Access it by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing System Preferences from the drop-down menu. Then choose Screen Time.


The Screen Time window will open. If should be turned on by default, but if it isn’t, click the three-dot menu icon at the bottom left and turn it on.


To control which apps people using your device can access, click on Content and Privacy in the left panel.


Turn On on Content & Privacy Restrictions if it’s not already activated.  Click the Content tab at the top. From here you can choose to have either unrestricted access to the Internet or limit access to adult websites.


Choose Allowed Websites Only and you can customize so that only certain sites are permitted. This is really a must if you allow kids to use your device. And it’s a pretty good idea if you let anyone else access it, too.


Click on Customize and you can select from suggested websites or click on the plus sign to enter the web address of sites you wish to allow. Hit Done when you’re finished.


Click the Stores tab to control what types of purchases can be made on your device. Here you can choose whether apps can be installed or in-app purchases can be made. It’s also a great idea to require a password for any purchase, just in case little hands get their hands on your device.

You can control whether explicit books, music, news, and podcasts are permitted. Click the drop-down arrows next to Movies, TV Shows, and apps to select content ratings.  Or you can choose not to allow Movies, TV Shows, or Apps at all.


Click the drop-down arrows next to Movies, TV Shows, and apps to select content ratings.  Or you can choose not to allow Movies, TV Shows, or Apps at all.


Select the Apps tab to control access to the Camera, Books Store and Siri. You can also control access to iOS apps like Apple Wallet and FaceTime.


Click on Other to restrict access to important things like the ability to change the passcode or make changes to your account or cellular data.  Do Not Disturb While Driving is a great feature to turn if you have teens driving. If you password-protect this change, kids won’t be able to turn it off.


Apple gives you a lot of control over what can be accessed on your device. I’d suggest you use every option available to you. Passcode protecting purchases and changes no only stops children or other people from making changes to your phone or unwanted purchases, it can prevent you from making accidental changes.





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