Kid with phone

As parents, ensuring our children’s safety in the digital world is a growing concern. With the prevalence of smartphones, it’s crucial to have effective measures in place to protect our kids from potential online threats. One such measure is remotely locking your child’s iPhone, granting you control over their device usage.

In this article, we’ll explore various methods and tools that allow parents to remotely lock their child’s iPhone, providing peace of mind while promoting a safe and healthy digital environment for their young ones.

What are the Reasons to Lock My Child’s iPhone Remotely

There are several compelling reasons why you might want to remotely lock child’s iPhone. Here are some key reasons to consider:

  1. Protecting Personal Information: By remotely locking the iPhone, you can prevent unauthorized access to your child’s personal information, including contacts, messages, and photos.
  2. Safeguarding Against Inappropriate Content: Remote locking enables you to restrict access to explicit or age-inappropriate content, shielding your child from potentially harmful or disturbing material.
  3. Managing Screen Time: With remote locking, you can set time limits and schedules for device usage, helping your child develop healthy digital habits and ensuring they have ample time for other activities.
  4. Preventing Cyberbullying: By remotely locking the iPhone, you can limit your child’s exposure to cyberbullying incidents, providing a safer online environment and promoting their emotional well-being.
  5. Mitigating Online Predators: Remote locking allows you to control your child’s online interactions, reducing the risk of them falling victim to online predators or engaging in unsafe conversations.
  6. Protection against Scams and Malware: By having remote control over the iPhone, you can prevent your child from accidentally downloading malicious apps or falling for phishing scams that can compromise their security.

By considering these reasons and taking advantage of remote locking features, you can actively protect your child’s well-being in the digital realm while nurturing their healthy development.

How to Lock Your Child’s iPhone Using Screen Time

iPhone Screen Time settings

Apple offers its users the ability to secure their child’s iPhone using features like Family Sharing and Screen Time. To make use of these features, your child must have their own Apple ID. Children aged thirteen and above can create their own Apple ID, and so can you. Additionally, you’ll need to set up a Family Sharing group and add your child to it. Through Screen Time, you can manage various aspects of your child’s iPhone from your own device.

To create an Apple ID for your child:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on your name.
  3. Select Family Sharing.
  4. Choose Screen Time.
  5. Tap on Add Family Member.
  6. Select Create a Child Account.
  7. Tap Next.

To create a Family Sharing group:

  1. Tap Set up Screen Time for Family.
  2. Follow the instructions to add a child to your Family Sharing group. You can also add other family members later in the Family Sharing settings.

Note: To use Screen Time with Family Sharing, you need to be the family organizer or parent/guardian in your family group. Your device must be running on iOS 12 or a newer version. Your child must be under 18 years old and have their own Apple ID on a device with iOS 12 or a newer version.

Once you have created your child’s Apple ID and the Family Sharing group, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Tap Continue, and then choose “This is My [Device].”
  4. Tap Use Screen Time Passcode to set a passcode.
  5. Re-enter the passcode to confirm. (In iOS 13.4 and above, you may be asked to enter your Apple ID and password after this confirmation to allow passcode reset in case you forget it.)
  6. On your child’s phone, go to Settings.
  7. Select Screen Time and tap Use Screen Time Passcode.
  8. Enter the passcode you created on your phone.
  9. Re-enter the passcode to confirm. (Without this passcode, your child won’t be able to change the settings.)
  10. Use Family Sharing to set locks and parental controls on your child’s iPhone.

Set a Screen Time Limit on Apps

Time Limit on Apps image

You have the option to establish a screen time limit for specific apps, or even all apps, on your child’s iPhone. When the time limit is reached, the app will automatically lock. Apple has categorized apps to simplify this process. For example, you can choose categories like Social or Games, and set a time limit for all apps within that category or select specific ones. This allows you to effectively restrict access to all apps on their iPhone, essentially locking their device.

To set a screen time limit on your child’s apps, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Screen Time.
  3. Select App Limits.
  4. Tap Add Limit.
  5. Choose the desired apps or categories.
  6. Set a time limit (you can also customize the days).
  7. Turn on Block at End of Limit.

Set a Downtime Schedule on Your Child’s iPhone

Downtime Schedule on Your Child’s iPhone settings

During downtime, only the apps, calls, and texts that you authorize can be accessed. Your child can receive calls from approved contacts and use the apps that you have selected at all times.

Enabling downtime provides your child with a five-minute reminder before it begins. Apple allows you to activate downtime at any time for your child, either directly on their device or through Family Sharing on your own device.

If you wish to establish a downtime schedule on your child’s iPhone, which will automatically lock their device when the scheduled time is reached, follow these steps:

  1. On your child’s iPhone, go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time, then tap Continue, and select This is My Child’s iPhone.
  3. To set the downtime schedule, enter the start and end times, and then tap Set Downtime.
  4. Create a Screen Time passcode for your child’s Screen Time settings.

Turn on Block at Downtime

You also have the option to completely block your child’s device during downtime, either on their own device or through Family Sharing on your device. Here’s how you can block your child’s iPhone during downtime:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Activate Screen Time by turning it on.
  3. Tap Downtime.
  4. Enable Block at Downtime.
  5. To disable downtime instantly, tap Turn Off Downtime.

Lock Your Child‘s iPhone by Turning on Lost Mode

There is an alternative method to lock your child’s iPhone, although it may not be conventional. You can utilize the Lost Mode feature on the iPhone, provided that you have already enabled iCloud and Find My iPhone, and you possess your child’s Apple ID password. Follow the steps below to implement this approach:

  1. Visit
  2. Open Find Devices.
  3. Click on All Devices.
  4. Select the specific device you wish to put into Lost Mode or lock.
  5. Click on Lost Mode or Lock.

It’s important to consider the following points:

  • Passcode: If your child’s iPhone already has a passcode, they will need it to unlock the device. If they don’t have a passcode, you can create one during this process. If you don’t want them to be able to unlock their iPhone, you should change their passcode beforehand.
  • Family Sharing: If you intend to put your child’s iPhone in Lost Mode and they haven’t set a passcode on their device, you will need to enter your child’s Apple ID password.

However, we recommend against using this method. The Lost Mode feature was not originally designed to manage your child’s screen time, and using it for this purpose may lead to complications for both you and your child.

Restrict Your Child’s iPhone to Phone-Only Use

Restrict Your Child’s iPhone settings

iPhone also offers a lesser-known feature called Guided Access, which can be utilized to restrict your child’s device to a specific app. If you want to prevent your child from accessing distracting apps on their iPhone while still allowing them to make phone calls when necessary, this feature can be quite useful. With Guided Access, you can limit access to specific areas of the screen and even set a screen time limit.

While this feature doesn’t provide the ability to remotely lock your child’s phone, it allows you to lock their phone to a single app, such as the phone app. In essence, you can simplify their iPhone’s functionality to that of a basic phone solely for making calls.

To set up Guided Access for the first time, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Select and enable “Guided Access.”
  4. Set a passcode for enabling/disabling Guided Access.

Once you’re in the Phone app, you can activate Guided Access by triple-clicking the side button on iPhone X and newer models. The Guided Access menu will prompt you to outline the areas on the screen that you want to deactivate. After selecting those areas, tap “Start Guided Access.” If you haven’t set a passcode for Guided Access yet, you will need to do so now. Re-enter the passcode to confirm.

To end Guided Access, simply triple-click the side button again and tap “End Guided Access.” Enter your passcode to conclude Guided Access.

Parental Control App: Simple & Easy

mSpy home screen

mSpy is a powerful and comprehensive monitoring software specifically designed to cater to the needs of parents and guardians who want to ensure the digital well-being and safety of their children. With its wide range of features and functionalities, mSpy enables parents to effectively oversee and protect their child’s digital activities.

By tracking and monitoring various aspects such as calls, messages, social media usage, and real-time location, mSpy provides valuable insights and information that can help parents make informed decisions about their child’s online behavior. Additionally, the web monitoring and geofencing features offer further control and security, allowing parents to keep a watchful eye on their child’s internet usage and establish safe boundaries. With mSpy, parents can gain a deeper understanding of their child’s digital world and take proactive measures to ensure their well-being.

Try mSpy


In conclusion, when it comes to activating and using iPhone parental controls to ensure their safety and promote a healthy digital environment, mSpy emerges as the best option. While Apple’s built-in features like Screen Time and Guided Access offer some control over device usage, mSpy provides a comprehensive solution for parents to monitor your child’s computer or phone remotely and protect their child’s digital activities.

mSpy offers a wide range of features, including call and message tracking, social media monitoring, real-time location tracking, web monitoring, and geofencing. These features empower parents to gain valuable insights into their child’s online behavior and take proactive measures to safeguard their well-being.

By remotely locking your child’s iPhone using mSpy, you can effectively protect their personal information, safeguard against inappropriate content, manage screen time, prevent cyberbullying and interactions with online predators, and ensure protection against scams and malware.

Overall, mSpy’s comprehensive monitoring capabilities and its focus on providing parents with the necessary tools to oversee everything on your child’s phone without them knowing and creating a safe and secure digital environment for them.


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