How to Enable In-App Purchases on iPhone and iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

Enabling in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad allows you to buy additional content or subscriptions within the apps you love. This could mean unlocking new game levels, buying books, or subscribing to a service. It’s a straightforward process that involves just a few taps in your device’s settings.

Once you’ve enabled in-app purchases, you can seamlessly buy content within apps without the need for additional confirmation or steps. This adds convenience and ease to your app experience, allowing you to enjoy your digital content fully.


When it comes to making the most out of your iPhone or iPad, understanding the nuances of its features can make all the difference. One such feature that can enhance your app experience is in-app purchases. But what exactly are in-app purchases, and why would you want to enable them on your device?

In-app purchases are additional content or subscriptions that you can buy within an app you’ve already installed on your device. It’s like going to a candy store and not just buying the initial bag of sweets, but also grabbing some extra goodies while you’re inside. This feature is crucial for app developers as it represents a significant revenue stream, but it’s also beneficial for users seeking to unlock premium content or services. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer looking to advance to the next level, an avid reader purchasing the latest ebook, or a fitness enthusiast subscribing to a workout plan, enabling in-app purchases can tremendously boost your app experience.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Enabling In-App Purchases

The following steps will guide you through the process of enabling in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad, ensuring you can buy content with ease.

Step 1: Open the Settings App

Open the ‘Settings’ app on your iPhone or iPad.

This is usually found on your home screen and has a gear icon. Think of it as the command center of your device where all the behind-the-scenes adjustments are made.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time

Scroll down and tap on the ‘Screen Time’ option.

Screen Time is your digital report card, showing you how much time you’re spending on your device and, importantly for us, where you can manage your in-app purchase settings.

Step 3: Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions

In the Screen Time menu, tap on ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions.’

This is like the bouncer at the club, deciding who gets in and who doesn’t. It’s here that you set up all the rules for what is and isn’t allowed on your device.

Step 4: Enter Your Screen Time Passcode

If prompted, enter your Screen Time passcode.

This is the secret knock to get past the bouncer. If you have never set one up before or forgot it, you might need to reset your passcode.

Step 5: Tap on iTunes & App Store Purchases

Once in the Content & Privacy Restrictions menu, tap on ‘iTunes & App Store Purchases.’

This is the VIP area where we tinker with the settings related to purchasing new apps and making in-app purchases.

Step 6: Tap on In-app Purchases

Find the ‘In-app Purchases’ option and tap on it.

Here’s where you decide whether to let the party continue inside the app, allowing you to buy additional content.

Step 7: Select ‘Allow’

Finally, tap on ‘Allow’ to enable in-app purchases.

Congratulations! You have now opened the gates to a world of additional content within your apps.


Enhanced App ExperienceEnabling in-app purchases allows you to fully enjoy and explore the additional content available in your apps. It’s like having a key to every locked door in a treasure-filled mansion.
ConvenienceWith in-app purchases enabled, you can make purchases quickly and easily, without needing to exit the app or enter additional confirmation details each time. It’s a seamless transition that keeps you in the flow of your app usage.
Supports DevelopersBy enabling and making in-app purchases, you’re directly supporting the developers who work hard to create and maintain the apps you love. It’s a way to give a virtual pat on the back for their efforts.


Potential OverspendingWith the ease of making in-app purchases, there is a risk of overspending, as it’s sometimes too easy to keep tapping ‘buy.’ It’s like having an open tab at the bar; things can add up quickly.
Parental ConcernsFor parents, enabling in-app purchases can lead to unwanted bills if their child makes purchases without understanding the implications. It’s like handing over your wallet to a kid in a candy store.
Security RisksWhile generally secure, in-app purchases do require your payment information to be on file, which could be a risk if your device falls into the wrong hands. It’s akin to leaving your house key under the mat.

Additional Information

When it comes to in-app purchases, there are a few extra tidbits worth considering. First and foremost, always make sure that you’re secure. This means having a strong password for your Apple ID and enabling two-factor authentication. You wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, so why take risks with your digital security?

Also, be aware of the different types of in-app purchases available. There are consumable purchases, like in-game currency, which can be used up and bought again. Then there are non-consumable purchases, like a premium app feature, which once bought, is yours forever. Think of these like a snack versus a kitchen appliance – one is gone quickly, while the other is a long-term investment.

Lastly, for those with kids or anyone else who might have access to your device, consider setting up Family Sharing. This feature allows you to share purchases among family members while also keeping control over who can make purchases. It’s like a joint bank account with training wheels.


  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app.
  2. Tap on ‘Screen Time’.
  3. Tap on ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’.
  4. Enter your Screen Time passcode.
  5. Tap on ‘iTunes & App Store Purchases’.
  6. Tap on ‘In-app Purchases’.
  7. Select ‘Allow’.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are in-app purchases?

In-app purchases are additional content or subscriptions you can buy within an app.

Are in-app purchases safe?

Yes, in-app purchases are safe if you take precautions such as having a strong Apple ID password and enabling two-factor authentication.

Can I restrict in-app purchases for my child?

Yes, you can use Family Sharing and Content & Privacy Restrictions to manage and restrict in-app purchases for your child.

What happens if I accidentally make an in-app purchase?

If you accidentally make an in-app purchase, you may be able to get a refund by contacting Apple Support, but it’s not guaranteed.

Can I disable in-app purchases after enabling them?

Yes, you can disable in-app purchases at any time by following the same steps and selecting ‘Don’t Allow’ at the end.


Enabling in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad can open a wealth of possibilities, allowing you to augment your app experience with additional content and features. However, with this power comes responsibility. Always be mindful of your spending, secure your device, and educate any other users about the implications of making in-app purchases.

By following the guidelines we’ve discussed, you can enjoy the benefits while mitigating the risks. So go ahead, dive into your favorite apps, and take advantage of all they have to offer—responsibly, of course!