Avoid that surprise big bill! Here’s how to turn off in-app purchases

how to turn off in-app purchases
weedezign/123RF

If you downloaded an app recently, chances are it contained in-app purchases, especially if it was a game. What was once a rarity has turned into the norm and apps are now full of opportunities to buy virtual goods that essentially don’t exist outside the game. From gems and extra lives to costumes and ammunition, if there is a way to charge money for it, a developer has done so.

While most adults can (sometimes) resist the temptation, there are kids that can’t and with your credit card now an integral part of iOS thanks to the wonder of Apple Pay, it’s all too easy for someone to spend money just to get a little further in a game. A great deal of money, actually. There are stories of totals in the tens of thousands of dollars being racked up. No one wants that. Not even to unlock every world in Super Mario Run. Luckily, there is a way to curb in-app purchases entirely so let us take a look at how to turn off in-app purchases.

Don’t miss out on more of these helpful features and check out our picks for the top iOS tips and tricks.

How to turn off in-app purchases on an iOS device:

Step 1: Locate and tap Settings while viewing the Home screen.

Step 2: Tap General inside the main Settings menu.

Step 3: Scroll down and tap Restrictions.

Step 4: Tap the Enable Restrictions button.

Step 5: Enter your desired passcode when prompted.

how to turn off in app purchases ios iphone ipad enable restrictions 6

The previously unavailable options should now be active, and restrictions in place throughout your phone. Now, scroll down to find the one related to in-app purchases, which should be switched on. Turn off any other restrictions, such as those pertaining to installing or deleting apps, that may not be relevant. From now on, whoever is using the device will be required to input a passcode in order to make any in-app purchases. That should keep your wallet safe, and your bank manager heart attack-free.

Alternatively, if you’re using Family Sharing and want to prevent your kids from making in-app purchases on their own devices, you can use the Ask to Buy setting. This will notify you (as the person who set up Family Sharing) when your child attempts to make a purchase, and it will only proceed once you sign in with your Apple ID and approve it.

To enable Ask to Buy on an iOS device:

how to turn off in app purchases ios iphone ipad enable restrictions 1

Step 1: Tap Settings while on the Home screen.

Step 2: Tap your name and select Family Sharing.

Step 3: Find your child’s name and tap it.

Step 4: Tap Ask to Buy to enable it.

Update: We clarified some of the steps to reflect the changes in newer iOS versions.