Disabling In-App Purchases on iOS and Android Devices

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In-app purchases can pose one of the biggest headaches for parents whose children have smartphones or tablets. If you assigned your credit card to your child’s smartphone, you probably didn’t give it much thought. By why would you? They don’t have their own credit card, so it only made sense. But what parents usually don’t realize about these devices is that their child has easy access to three different types of mobile apps out there:

  1. Free
  2. Paid-for
  3. “Freemium”

The first two are self-explanatory, but freemium is a word that’s new to a lot of people, and it essentially means that the app is free to download and free to use, for the most part, but the user has the option to make purchases from within the app. These purchases are tied directly to your credit card account, making the entire purchasing process rather easy and fast for even the youngest child.

Months later, the unsuspecting parent takes a look at their credit card statement only to find a $5 charge here, a $10 charge there and a few more $1 charges from a company they’ve never heard of. At this point, of course, it’s a day too late, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent it from happening again. Below is a guide that shows you how to quickly disable in-app purchases in an Apple or Android mobile device, including smartphones and tablets. Please share it with other parents who you think would benefit from it.

Disabling In-App Purchases on Apple Devices (iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone)

  1. Tap the “Settings” icon
  2. Tap “General”
  1. Tap “Restrictions” and then “Enable Restrictions”   
  1. Enter a PIN and re-enter to confirm
  1. Now, scroll down and turn off in-app purchases

Disabling In-App Purchases on Android Devices

  1. Open the Google Play Store app
  2. Press the “Menu” button and then choose “Settings”
  3. Scroll down a bit and under “User Controls” select “Set or Change PIN”
  4. Enter a PIN and press OK
  5. Re-enter the PIN
  6. Check the box that says “Use PIN for purchases”

Now you can take comfort in knowing that your child is enjoying their smartphone without having to worry about an unexpected credit card bill or them seeing content that you don’t approve of. Technology should be enjoyed by all of us, especially our children, but only when parents are involved and proactive!

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  • I have an at&t gophone its a ZTE not sure of its model bit it was 60$ brand new relatively cheap for a 4g LTE “smartphone” although I am an advent user of apple products I am familiar with Android but this Android processor whatever it is looks nothing like the picture from above that’s the one I’m use to mind does not have this option and looks completely opposite can anyone help me out only thing it has is to restrict it by authenticating every app purchase sois that the same thing I’m a bit confused. Please if anyone out there can be of assistance to my dilema the help would b greatly appreciated for this little bubble that pops up almost every two minutes say in app billing not available is driving me insane lol:)

  • I play several games and have made in app purchases for the different games.
    I have updates for these games waiting for me to do. I’ve tried updating them but it pulls my debit card information up and asks me to verify with the security code. When I do it tells me the purchase was declined. I’m NOT trying to make a purchase. What is going on? I enjoy the mindlessness games I play in my downtime and meantimes lol but it’s not crucial it necessary so if it’s going to be a pain and this is going to be par for the course I can seek my entertainment elsewhere.

  • I’ve made a purchase of gold few times. It said there is an error but the transactions where already charged. I did not receive the gold that I bought but the money has been charged!

  • I fried to make a purchase of gold few times (5 times) And said there is an error but the five transactions of $0.99 appears in My Account debited. I do not received the gold that I buy And the money has been took from My PayPal acct.

  • I once purchased gold bars for candy crush on my iphone. I get a debit advice everyday for repeat purchase without me initiating the transaction and I dont even get the gold bars. The payment just goes off my account. I wrote to support but no response other than asking me to check in the forum. I have now made my payment information NONE to avoid further debits to my credit card. Whenever I enable for making any other payments, I again get charged for the gold bar without initiating the purchase. Can anyone tell me how to stop these serial debits.

  • I purchased the 50 bars and two hours of play. Got the bars but not the two hours. What recourse do I have? If any

  • I have google store set to require authorization to make purchases but King games seem to get past it. How can it be stopped?

    • Hi Tina, you may have already done this but try tapping the “restore purchases” button found in the menu options on the very first sceen when you open the game. It worked for me once.

  • I have been constantly ripped off by the site it always takes my gold and then says it can’t contact the store so I try a couple of times and then I have to get off the game in order for it to work again but when I go back to the site my gold is taken and the game is in the start over mode I am telling you that you are ripping me off that way for my money because it takes money to buy the gold and I am really tired of you ripping me off the next time it happens I will be contacting the authorities and will be telling them that this site is a ripoff

    • I’ve also experienced this where the game tells me cannot contact store and then when I quit it takes my gold anyway. this has happened several times to me. I’m gonna stop spending money on this game especially if it’s gonna continue to steal my money!!

    • I also have gold bars and it won’t let me purchase anything either. It just happened all of the sudden because it did let me purchase items about 20 minutes ago. I’m frustrated and don’t know how to fix this or even where to go for help! I tried restoring purchases and that did not work. Anybody out there with some ideas? Thanks!

  • please can someone tell me price of diamond digger 12 bars , 5moves and a bomb as my daughter accidently pressed it on iPad and it automatically charged me without asking for permission or adding password to buy not a happy bunny

  • To whom do I address a complaint about using a google gift card to purchase 100 gold bars? I have entered the gift card code, submitted the purchase only to have the connection time out, but the card has been depleted of funds with no gold bars. I have spent a fair amount of cash on your product and do not appreciate this type of chicanery. Stealing via computer error is still stealing. 24 hours to fix this issue or the proper authorities will be notified.

    • You go girl. I don’t even understand the new gold bar system, or if and how much I am being charged. Anyone know where I can find this info? Thanks.

  • Bought gold bars for extra moves but none appeared. I kept getting the “purchase gold bar” screen. I felt as though I was too close to end the game but this happened at least three times in that game. What do I do to solve this?

    • I had the same problem. I had one card left and purchased a joker. They took my ~oney but never gave me the joker. Dont know who to talk to about it.

  • Pyramid Solitaire Saga on Android. Purchased 10 gold coins to enable getting extra moves. Got 10 coins, used for extra moves but DID NOT get the moves. Have tried to contact King by email through website but keep receiving message saying message couldn’t be sent it was rejected. Any suggestions on solutions?

  • I’ve purchased in app boosters on candy crush with the only reason being that I was promised 2 hours+ of free play. My “lives” show the infinity simple, but I’m told I have no lives when I go to play. This has happened numerous times and I want my money back. Where do I go for a refund? Phone number, please!

    • I have had the exact same thing happen to me lately. I never had the problem before, just recently. I sent a message via the ” contac us” email in the App Store, but have not received a reply. If you learn anything, please share!

      I’m considering reaching out to investor relations or some other market related entity. Their stock price wouldn’t like this kind of news floating out there… They did just do an IPO.

  • I have sent 3 troubleshooting emails to regarding my issue with Pet Rescue. I have spent a lot of money through inapp purchases. I have yet to receive a single reply. I am referring to use of the game on my android phone. I havnt had any problems till now. I am stuck having to either pay or request tickets or whatever they are to move on to the new puzzles that have finally been finished (still not available for iPad) my payments were being charged to my cell phone bill. I know payments also go through google, so I updated my info on my google wallet and even transferred funds thinking that might work. Every time I click to pay in the app I get the message that says my purchase cannot be completed and no payment was taken from my account. Not exact wording but close. So what’s up why can’t I get my payment to work?

  • I have been overcharged for extra bubbles on Bubble Witch. The game says .99 cents for 30 extra bubbles and 2 rainbows, however, I have been repetedly charged $9.93+ for each purchase. What do I do to obtain a refund?

  • Every time I try and connect candy crush to face book on my phone I get a message sorry you don’t have access to the kingdom please try later. I removed it from my phone and reinstalled that only worked one time now its not connecting AGAIN.

    • I cannot get a connection to purchase more moves on any game.

      Also, I want to change the credit card I used before.

      Can you send me directions or a phone number so someone can help me get thru this.
      Thanks, Helen

  • Why is it you only give 4 trys went it should be 5 and also got rip off last went I purchase 5 lives and theres no way to reedeem

  • Hola, hace mas de un mes no puedo jugaren la app descargada en mi ipad 1, la aplicacion no abre y si abre e inicio el juego se cierra a cada momento y me de ja sin vidas, alguien que me ayude que puedo hacer?

  • For the last three days, I have not been able to see how my friends r doing on candy Crush. I keep getting this msg”sorry, you r not connected to Kingdom now”. My friends have sent me extra lives but am unable to receive them. I have access when I have to pay for extra lives. Fix this problem ASAP n give me my lives. Stop ripping me off.

  • At level 345, the “play on” button is too close to the “give up” button. I am being charged 1.99, when I select the give up button. Please make the necessary changes which asks, do you want to buy a play on. Otherwise you are applying charges that are not being asked for by the customer.

  • My email address was incorrect when I selected a password. Now that it has been corrected, my password no longer works and I cannot make candy crush purchases. Can you help?

  • Ik heb level 350 uit ge speelt op mijn androit pc en wacht nu tot de volgen episode vrij komt voor androit pc. Op de gewone pc zit ik al veel verder dan op de tabledt pc

  • To purchase some more lives for farm heroes for 50 lives it costs £2.99 , but on this level you can not buy just one lot you have to buy two. Why the odd numbers ie 9 for a recharge and on other games 44 why?

  • Boa noite. Sempre que entro no jogo com o wi-fi ligado sai automaticamente do jogo (isto desde que houve uma atualização do jogo). Agora não consigo fazer pedidos nem enviar. O que devo fazer?

  • I purchased a Facebook game card and redeemed it on my Facebook account from my desktop PC. So, now I have $25 credit to use for in-app purchases. So, I used that to purchase gold bars, which is what Candy Crush requires. However, I can’t seem to use it, or even have access to it when playing Candy Crush on my iPad. Every time I try to make an in-app purchase from my iPad it takes me into iTunes and wants me to put in my credit card info. How do I make in-app purchases from the iPad without going through iTunes?

  • I updated my iPhone and cannot access my candy crush. I was on level 197. I did not lose it on my iPad or PC and would like it back. Plse help

  • I want to remove my credit card info from Google play, I do not want any more charges. Please tell me how to do this on my tablet and cellphone. Thanks.

  • I was not aware of being charged for playing Candy Crush. When a pop up scree would come up my nephew would X off of it and I toke him that if he didn’t hit purchase that it should be okay. Well to my surprise it wasn’t because now my account is being charged for this. I think that instead of advertising FREE that there shoukd be a warning beside of FREE. I would greatly appreciate it if the money could be refunded. I have no other choice but to delete this game. I am not going to give it a good rating and I will try to warn others what will happen to their account.

  • Fed up of being billed for in app purchases I have not made – what are you going to do?

    Had another bill today.. I have not purchased anything


    • KING is always charging double If you buy twice .99 cents they send you à Bill of 10 or 12.00. They are thieves. I am FED up with those charges. I took out my crédit card. Now i buy iTune cards but Its the same. I buy for 2.00 and they tell me that i have not enough crédit to buy more moves. The best thing is not to buy moves They are stealing money They must stop stealing money. They always charges and we do not buy.

  • I am trying to purchase the next level and I keep getting error code involving URL not able to connect. All my restrictions are disabled to allow e to purchase

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