How To Turn Off In-App Purchases on Your iDevice

In-App purchases made by children (or adults) unaware of the cost involved can wreak havoc on your budget. A cursory Google search highlights the horrors of unsuspecting parents whose children racked up bills in the thousands before they were made aware of the issue.

Protect yourself and your bank account from disaster by learning how to turn off in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad.

Just what are in-app purchases?

An in-app purchase is just what it sounds like: a purchase for extra content or subscriptions made inside an app or game after you’ve downloaded and installed it on your iPhone or iPad. You’ll note that apps and games that offer in-app purchase options do warn users of this before you download anything.

in-app purchases warning on Apple App Store


Still, for children just learning to read or busy moms and dads who are new to portable technology, this fine print can often go unnoticed.

The best solution: turn off in-app purchases by default. You can still buy in-app purchases, when need be, but you’ll have a little more control over your phone and your digital purchases by needing to mindfully make each purchase separately.

How to turn off in-app purchase options

Here are the basic steps you need to follow to turn off in-app purchasing:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Scroll down the page and click on Restrictions
  4. Choose Enable Restrictions

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be told to add a passcode that will need to be used to make future purchases. Enter a numeric passcode here, and remember not to share it with anyone you do not want making unauthorized purchases from your device.

After you’ve completed the above steps, turn the slider for the iTunes Store into the “off” position so that any future purchases made will require your secret passcode.

turn in-app purchases for iTunes off


Pro tip: Do not use your lockscreen passcode as your in-app purchase passcode.