Disable In App Purchases for the iOS App Store on iPhone / iPad

Dec 12, 2010 - 6 Comments

disable in app purchases If you plan on giving a child an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a gift, or even for them just to use for a little while, you may want to disable in-app purchases (IAP). This prevents accidental and unintentional purchases, and it can avoid receiving a shocking iTunes account bill down the road when a young one inadvertently taps a bunch of the IAP’s that are becoming more and more common in apps these days.

This is how to turn off in-app purchases on all iOS hardware and for all versions of iOS

This will work regardless of being on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Tap on Settings app to open it
  2. Tap on General
  3. Tap on Restrictions
  4. Enter a Restrictions Passcode when asked
  5. Tap on “Enable Restrictions”
  6. Scroll down and tap “In-App Purchases” so that it is “OFF”
  7. Exit Settings

In-App purchases are now disabled, which will prevent someone from racking up a huge iTunes bill when using your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. I would recommend disabling the app purchases in addition to setting an iTunes allowance for kids, the combination of the two is a strong way to control an iTunes bill.

Large in-app purchase bills are not particularly uncommon, and the Apple Discussion Boards have some horror stories of young children inadvertently charging up large bills – in this case, $1500, yikes! Don’t let this happen, set some limitations!

If all else fails, you can also try to get an iPhone app refund from Apple. They’re usually pretty forgiving with obvious cases of error, but no guarantee.

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Posted by: Jeff Hurst in iPad, iPhone, iTunes


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  1. LunchboxSW says:

    Do this early before you get a $75 bill for additional levels, I learned my lesson :P

  2. […] this with disabling in-App purchases is a good way to control spending habits and avoid excessive bills. If it comes down to it, you can […]

  3. […] is one of those must-have restrictions along with disabling in-app purchases if you’re letting little kids use an iPad or iPhone because it’ll stop them from […]

  4. […] of the best ways to kid-proof (and generally fool proof) an iPhone or iPad is to turn off in-app purchases. That’s great for the iOS world, but for the desktop you can do something similar by […]

  5. Steve says:

    Looked in my settings and found it “on”. Do you have to re-disable it after every OS update?

  6. Katie says:

    The only thing I’m having trouble with is that I don’t know my password . For some reason it “reset” my password , but it won’t let me change it . It’s really hard for me to make a new password and new email . I REALLY NEED HELP !!! 😭

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iPhone / iPad