Parental Controls to Prevent In-App Purchases

December 3, 2013

In-app purchases are the Holy Grail of revenue for app producers, especially those who make free gaming apps. The hook is that you love the game so much once you download it for free that you pay for access to new levels, weapons, tools, etc. This is only truer around the holidays, when app producers insert Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed versions of their games to entice users.


You being a responsible adult, of course, aren’t swayed by such temptations. Never.

Your kids, on the other hand, are a different matter. It’s not real money to them even if they do understand the implications of paying for added features, but younger kids especially won’t get it.



Apple’s iOS includes a password-protect feature to prevent unwanted in-app purchases.

To enable it, go to the device’s Settings and tap General, then tap Restrictions.


Photo Credit: Apple Support

Then tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode.


Photo Credit: Apple Support

You will have to enter this passcode to make changes to these settings or to disable the restrictions, but you should know that if you lose or forget the restriction passcode, you can only remove it by performing a factory reset, which will wipe your device of all data.



Like Apple, users can protect against unwanted in-app purchases by adding password protection via the Google Play Store app.

To do this you must first open the Google Play Store app, then tap Menu, then tap Settings.


Photo Credit: Tech Republic

Find User Controls and check the box under it that says Password, then enter your desired password when prompted.


Photo Credit: Tech Republic

And voila! You’ve stopped your kids from buying unwanted level-ups and required yourself to at least think about it a little bit before doing it yourself.