Recommended Device Settings

The settings below are what we recommend as best practices for kids under the age of 16. With these settings you are providing a functional smartphone with a mostly secure and safe environment.


  1. Enable Block at Downtime to disable apps (this excludes 'Always Allowed' apps in Step 4)
  2. Set the times and customize days to work for your kid’s age and family schedule

App limits

  1. Set a total daily limit using the ‘All Apps & Categories’
  2. Set a limit for entertainment categories & individual apps
    (social networking, games, entertainment)

Communication limits

  1. Set specific contacts your kid can communicate with during downtime
  2. Enable contact management is recommended except for older teens

Always allowed

  1. Set apps that can be used during downtime or once time limits are reached
  2. Include apps that support intentional and purposeful use
  3. Exclude entertainment and addictive apps

Content & privacy restrictions

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  1. Enable Share My Location to allow finding your family
  2. Disable the ability to make other changes unless functionality is necessary for your kid

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  1. Set Don’t Allow to prevent deleting and reinstalling apps
  2. Consider allowing if you watch usage closely to catch prohibited apps

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  1. Allow Safari and limit elsewhere
  2. Disable airdrop used to share pictures including explicit images
  3. Other apps lower risk when following other recommendations

Image 4

  1. Set to preferred rating levels
  2. Web content is one of the most important settings!
    Recommend 'allowed websites only'

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Are they (and you) ready for the next step?

In phase 3, you setup your phone in a way to keep them empowered and safe for years to come. Now they are trying out new apps and learning how they handle the added responsibility.

Coming up next is a slow introduction to social media. To justify access to Instagram (or similar), they should have an interest or hobby they wish to pursue that is hard or impossible without access to a social media platform.

You have to be ready too! With added responsibilities, it's important that you stay engaged to help with the teaching moments.