Block YouTube and/or App Purchases on iPhone or iPod Touch

   Posted September 14, 2009 by David Kirk in Apple iPhone

Kids love using the iPhone and iPod Touch. However, parents may want to limit what their children can access through these devices. This simple tutorial shows how to use parental restrictions to block the viewing of YouTube videos or the purchasing of applications.

A friend of mine has a son approaching his teenage years and asked me how to limit access to YouTube on his iPhone. Another friend of mine was worried about giving their kids an iPod Touch for similar reasons. However, there is no reason to be concerned. These devices have excellent parental restrictions that allow the owner to limit what content and features can be accessed. Here is how to do it.

1. Click the SettingsGeneral
3. Click Restrictions

iphone parental restrctions enable

4. Click Enable Restrictions button.

iphone parental restrictions enable

5. Enter and confirm a 4-digit PIN
6. Select the restrictions you wish.

if you want to limit access to YouTube, slide that selection to OFF. Settings for content, including apps and music, is found at the bottom of that screen.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

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  • i4

    This is a well known way…But when you apply this the icon gets removed completely! So is there any other way so that i can limit the youtube access without removing the icon from the menu?

    • Rob

      Good point, I freaked out when I turned on restrictions, and suddenly my iPhone screens were missing icons, and generally were arranged differently.

      I can’t think of any non-jailbreak way to do it. If you put your device in Airplane Mode, and then go to YouTube, it brings you to your settings in one click.

      These restrictions are a pain to turn on and off, kind of a hassle if there are features you want on, but have to turn off every time you give the device to your kid (and back on when you take it back).

      I’m biased towards BubCap home button covers, so you can lock toddlers in whatever app you want. Well, as long as the app doesn’t have a link that takes you out.

  • Sarahmint

    Thank you, David.

  • Laks

    It is true that YouTube can be blocked using restrictions section on iPhone settings. But pls note that YouTube can still be accessed using safari icon. Hence there has to be a more smarter way of blocking YouTube on the iphone

  • jenny

    I am trying to set up parental controls on my 12 & 13 yr. olds Ipod Touch devices.

    I can go thru google and get You Tube still, R rated movies and all!

    Safari is off, music is rated ‘clean’, r -rated movies are restricted…I might note that YouTube is not an option in my restrictions area (set up for parental controls) for Mobicip app. Why would this occur, as that webpage, shows that itshould be an option for me to disable. I did try installing Youtube app to see if it had to be an icon before I could disable it-nope.

    I really would appreciate some troubleshooting.
    Thank You, mom of 2 boys

    • rene

      Hey Jenny, we had the same problem and did alot of asking around – my husband kinda found the sollution to this problem. You load a family save search engin like AVG Family Save (that we loaded) and when you open that browser you type in on the bottom of the screen there is a little box with an swishy kinda arrow in it, if you click on that it opens a screen that says block this site! and it works! hope it helps.