Your iPad's Restrictions Tools - dummies

Your iPad’s Restrictions Tools

Parents and bosses may love the iPad’s Restrictions tools, but kids and employees usually think otherwise. You can clamp down, er, provide proper parental guidance to your children by preventing them (at least some of the time) from using the Safari browser, Camera, FaceTime, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, Siri, or Game Center.

Or you might not let them install new apps or make purchases inside the apps you do allow — or (conversely) let them delete apps.

When restrictions are in place, icons for off-limit functions can no longer be seen. Tap Enable Restrictions, set or enter your passcode — you have to enter it twice if you are setting up the passcode — and tap the button next to each item in the Allow or Allowed Content lists that you plan to restrict. Their corresponding settings should be off (gray is showing rather than green).

You can also restrict the use of explicit language when you dictate text. An asterisk (*) replaces a naughty word.

Moreover, parents have more controls to work with. For instance, you can allow Junior to watch a movie on the iPad but prevent him from watching a flick that carries an R or NC-17 rating. You can also restrict access to certain TV shows, explicit songs and podcasts, and apps based on age-appropriate ratings. In Game Center, you can decide whether your kid can play a multiplayer game or add friends.

Apple lets you choose whether to let the kids read books with explicit sexual content. You can also restrict access to websites that have adult content.

Stop feeling guilty: You have your users’ best interests at heart.

If guilt gets the better of you, you can turn off Restrictions. Open the Restrictions setting by again typing your passcode. Then switch the setting on for each item you are freeing up. Tap Disable Restrictions. You have to enter your passcode one more time before your kids and office underlings return you to their good graces.

Under Restrictions settings, you’ll find privacy controls as well. And in this area, you can allow or restrict changes made to your accounts, Find My Friends, cellular use, background app refreshes, even volume limits.

There’s a lot here, and even if you’re rather liberal about policing your kids’ activities, you might want to poke around and consider all your options.