iOS 9 Restrictions Photos iPhone screenshot 001

Are¬†you a parent to a kid who just¬†can’t get enough¬†of¬†that iPhone? If so, you’re probably concerned that the¬†junior might¬†post¬†candid shots¬†from your photo library to¬†social media, be it by accident or intentionally.

Your photos are your business and iOS lets you determine which apps are allowed to access your Photos library. As you know, this can be set on a per-app basis in Settings → Privacy → Photos.

This tutorial goes one step further, leveraging parental controls to lock down Photos privacy settings for apps. This should be enough to prevent your kids from re-enabling apps to access media in Photos without your restrictions passcode.

How to restrict photo and video sharing on iPhone and iPad

1) Go to Settings ‚Üí General ‚Üí Restrictions on your device.

2) If asked, provide your Restrictions passcode.

enter passcode enable restrictions

If you have¬†not used Restrictions before, tap Enable Restrictions at the top. Then,¬†create¬†a restrictions passcode that you’ll need¬†to¬†enable or disable Restrictions and¬†adjust restricted settings on your device.

Tip:¬†Your restrictions passcode should be different from the passcode for unlocking your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Forgetting it¬†will prevent you from making any changes to¬†Restrictions. You’ll need to¬†restore your device in order to reset the restrictions passcode.

3) Scroll halfway down and tap Photos underneath the Privacy heading.

4)¬†You shall¬†be presented with a list of apps installed on your device which¬†have requested access to your media library in Photos. Toggle¬†any¬†apps that you don’t want to access your¬†photos and videos.

Tip: Changes you make here are also reflected in Settings ‚Üí Privacy ‚Üí Photos.

5)¬†Lastly, tap the Don’t Allow Changes¬†option at the top of the screen.

Prevent apps from posting photos

6) Go back to the root-level menu or exit Settings.

The effects of restricted Photos library

Tapping Don’t Allow Changes¬†is the¬†crucial step.

This switch basically¬†disallows all further changes to¬†Settings ‚Üí Privacy ‚Üí Photos unless you turn off Restrictions for Photos. As a bonus¬†safeguard,¬†any new apps you install won’t be allowed to use¬†Photos library on this device when this option is enabled.

As an illustrative example, I disabled¬†Facebook Messenger in Settings ‚Üí General ‚Üí Restrictions ‚Üí Photos and then locked down my settings by tapping Don’t Allow Changes.

Can't post photos to Messenger

From now on, attempting to¬†post a photo to¬†Messenger‚ÄĒeither through¬†the app or using¬†Messenger’s Share sheet extension from another¬†app‚ÄĒwill yield no result.

As evidenced on the screenshot above, up pops a prompt asking me to enable Photos access for the Messenger app. But as I have locked down my Photos restrictions, the option to enable Photos access for Messenger is now greyed out in Settings → Privacy → Photos.

This is an effective way to bar my nephew from re-enabling Photos access for Facebook Messenger: he would need to know my restrictions passcode to disable Restrictions on my device. Conversely, tapping Allow Changes in Settings → General → Restrictions → Photos would allow anyone in possession of my device to permit specific apps to use my Photos library.

Other Restrictions tips and tricks

Much like Parental Controls on macOS and iTunes, the Restrictions feature on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad makes it simple to prevent certain features on your device from being used or exposed to the user.

Parents might want to use this feature to prevent kids from deleting apps on their device, disable In-App Purchases, set content restrictions, restrict explicit music from appearing in playlists, block certain websites, filter mature language for Siri and Dictation, disallow changes to certain settings like the volume limit and prohibit the use of certain apps, such as FaceTime.

Need help? Ask iDB!

Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device?

Let us know at¬†[email protected]¬†and our¬†future tutorials might cover your¬†specific problem and hopefully provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions¬†at¬†[email protected].