iTunes Parental Controls and Safe Syncing

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10_6_parental_controls1 Knowing how to set parental controls on iTunes is just as important as settings parental controls on the home computer, web browser, and social networking accounts that your kids use. Because iTunes is essentially the media center for any iDevice that your child uses, making it safe for them should go hand-in-hand with making their iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad safe as well—you’ll see exactly what I mean in the “Safe Syncing” section of this post.

To get started, follow the step-by-step guide below.

1. Open iTunes and click on “Edit” (Windows PC) in the top menu, or “iTunes” for Mac users.

2. Then, click on “Preferences”.



3. A Preferences window will pop up, and at the top you’ll see seven different tabs. One of them is called “Parental”, click that.

Itunes24. From here you can choose to disable certain iTunes content/features altogether, like Ping or the iTunes Store. You can also set restrictions for movie, TV show and application content by age range.

  • The important thing to do here is to check the box that says “Restrict Explicit Content”. This will disable the ability to download/purchase explicit music and other explicit content on your iTunes account.

5. Clicking the little lock will make it so the admin password is required to change these settings. Click it, type in your admin password and click OK.

Safe Syncing –

It’s important to understand a couple of key things after you’ve set and locked iTunes’ parental controls:

1. Any explicit content that you had in iTunes prior to setting the parental controls will still be in iTunes. Furthermore, you/your child will still be able to sync this explicit content to any iDevice when it’s connected to iTunes. Because of this, it’s important that you also configure the parental controls on the iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad itself.

2. Since any previously downloaded explicit content will still be in iTunes, you might want to consider deleting the content from your music/TV playlists.

  • If this isn’t a practical solution for you, you may want to create a separate user account for your child on your home computer. Then you can download iTunes on their user account and set the parental controls there so they have their own settings and you have yours.

3. Your iTunes parental controls DO NOT have an effect on content that you’ve imported into your library. It only affects content that’s bought in the iTunes Store either through iTunes or an iDevice.

That’s it, parents! Remember to take the time to set the parental controls on all three iDevices, not just iTunes. Also, it might be good idea to let your kids know that you’ve set and locked the parental controls on iTunes so they know you’re on top of things. That said, parental controls are never a substitute for parental involvement. Open dialogue about your child’s online activities is, and always will be the best “parental control”.

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