How to avoid accidental in-app purchases by kids on your Smartphone?

Uncontrolled in-app purchases can result in huge bills for your Smartphone. However, the feature can be easily turned off.
Needless to say, ‘free’ apps in Google Play or iTunes Store are always more preferable than their ‘paid’ counterparts. However, these apps work using a ‘freemium’ model to generate revenue. Yes, you read it right; nothing is actually ‘free’!
The app itself may be free but various add-ons will be offered as in-app purchases. For example, it could be unlockable videos or levels to a highly addictive game, or upgrades etc. This works out fine till a child gets hold of the Smartphone. Then you can get mind-boggling numbers as bills!
Now, there are two sides to this story. First, you turn off in-app purchases. Second, don’t having your financial and/or passwords information stored for easy access on your Smartphone.
Let’s delve into the first side of the story. The steps below explain how in-app purchases can be turned off for Android and Apple iOS:
Google Android
Please remember that the steps provided below requires you to have Google Play version 3.1 or higher:
To restrict in-app purchasing for Android devices:

  1. Open Google Play.
  2. Press the Menu button.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Under User Control, select the option Set or Change Pin. Tap this and Android will ask you for a PIN.
  5. Enter a PIN Code and tap OK.
  6. Re-enter the PIN to confirm.
  7. Check the box next to Use PIN for purchases.

This will require anyone accessing your Smartphone to make an in-app purchase to know your PIN.
Apple iOS
The iOS platform allows you to set a password for in-app purchases or turn them off altogether. It is possible to prevent apps from being installed or deleted and restrict access to age-specific content.
To restrict in-app purchases for iOS devices:

  1. Press the Settings Icon.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Restrictions.
  4. Tap Enable Restrictions.
  5. Enter a PIN code.
  6. Confirm PIN code.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Off next to In-app Purchases.

The second side of the story is a little trickier. If you have a child who is good with gadgets, like most children now-a-days, then you have to make sure that you don’t have your PIN, passwords, credit card details etc., stored on your smartphones.
These are simple, yet effective ways to restrict in-app purchases. Let us know if this helped!

Nikhil More

Nikhil More


Your email address will not be published.


  1. Avatar Varinder GuptaMarch 6, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Thanks for your nice and timely guide.

  2. Thanks for Explaining the feature and its need.

  3. Avatar Sachin BoryalMarch 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Thanks for Explaining the feature and its need.

  4. Thanks…It’s really good & Helpful info for all… 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for information.