How to Set Contact Restrictions on an iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Setting contact restrictions on an iPhone is a straightforward process. Simply navigate to your settings, choose “Screen Time,” enable it if it’s not already on, and then tap “Communication Limits.” From here, you can decide who your contacts can communicate with and when.

After you’ve set up these restrictions, the selected contacts will only be able to communicate with the allowed individuals during the time you’ve specified. This is particularly useful for managing who your children can contact and when.


Are you concerned about who your child is chatting with on their iPhone? Or perhaps you want to limit distractions during certain hours of the day? Well, you’re in luck because iPhones come with a built-in feature that allows you to set contact restrictions easily. This function is part of the Screen Time feature, which helps to monitor and restrict device usage.

Setting contact restrictions is essential for parents who want to protect their children from harmful online interactions. It can also be beneficial for anyone trying to manage their time better by limiting calls and messages during work or study hours. This article will walk you through the steps to set up these restrictions, discuss the pros and cons, and provide additional insights into managing your iPhone’s contact limitations effectively.

Step by Step Tutorial

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Setting contact restrictions on your iPhone allows you to control who can call, text, or FaceTime you or your loved ones. It’s a way to ensure safety and productivity by managing communications.

Step 1: Open Settings and tap on Screen Time

Navigate to your iPhone’s settings and select “Screen Time.”

This step takes you to the Screen Time section, where you can manage various aspects of your iPhone usage, including contact restrictions.

Step 2: Enable Screen Time if it’s not already on

If Screen Time isn’t enabled, tap “Turn On Screen Time” and follow the prompts.

Screen Time needs to be active to set contact restrictions. This feature tracks phone usage and allows you to set limits.

Step 3: Tap on “Communication Limits”

Once Screen Time is on, select “Communication Limits” to start the process.

In this section, you’ll find options to restrict communication based on your contacts and during certain times of the day.

Step 4: Choose who can be contacted

Select “During Allowed Screen Time” and “During Downtime” to specify the contacts that can be reached.

You can choose to allow everyone, only contacts, or specific contacts during these periods. This helps maintain the desired level of communication control.

Step 5: Save your settings

After selecting your preferences, ensure all changes are saved before exiting the menu.

Your new contact restrictions will immediately take effect, providing peace of mind and reducing unwanted distractions.


Enhanced SafetySetting contact restrictions on an iPhone ensures that children or vulnerable users are only communicating with trusted individuals.
Improved FocusBy limiting calls and messages during specific times, users can concentrate better on tasks without interruptions.
Easy to UseThe process of setting up contact restrictions is user-friendly and can be done quickly without the need for additional apps or services.


Limited FlexibilityOnce restrictions are in place, it can be inconvenient to make exceptions for unexpected but important calls or messages.
Possible OverrestrictionThere’s a risk of being too restrictive, potentially missing important communications from contacts not on the allowed list.
Dependence on Screen TimeSetting contact restrictions is reliant on the Screen Time feature, which must be enabled and could affect other device usage aspects.

Additional Information

While setting contact restrictions on your iPhone, remember that this feature is part of a larger tool called Screen Time. Screen Time not only allows you to manage communications but also keeps track of device usage, set app limits, and schedule downtime. It’s an all-in-one solution for digital wellbeing.

Be mindful that when you restrict contacts, emergency calls can still be made. This ensures that even during downtime or if a contact isn’t on the allowed list, the user can still reach out for help if necessary. Also, if you’re managing this feature for a child, you can use the Family Sharing option to set up Screen Time remotely on their device.

Another tip is to regularly review and update your contact restrictions. As circumstances change, such as your child growing older or changes in your work schedule, you’ll want to adjust the allowed contacts and permitted communication times to fit the current situation.

Lastly, remember that this feature is only as effective as its configuration. Make sure to use it thoughtfully to balance safety and necessary communication.


  1. Open Settings and navigate to Screen Time.
  2. Enable Screen Time if it’s not already active.
  3. Tap on “Communication Limits” within Screen Time.
  4. Choose who can be contacted during allowed screen time and downtime.
  5. Save your settings for the restrictions to take effect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can emergency calls still be made if contact restrictions are set?

Yes, emergency calls can always be made, regardless of contact restrictions.

Can I change the contact restrictions later?

Absolutely, you can adjust contact restrictions at any time by going back into Screen Time settings.

Are contact restrictions different during allowed screen time and downtime?

Yes, you can set different contact restrictions for allowed screen time and downtime.

Will setting contact restrictions affect text messages and FaceTime calls?

Yes, contact restrictions apply to all forms of communication, including calls, text messages, and FaceTime.

Can I set contact restrictions for specific apps like WhatsApp or Messenger?

Contact restrictions through Screen Time are limited to the built-in Phone, Messages, and FaceTime apps on the iPhone.


Learning how to set contact restrictions on an iPhone is a powerful skill in our digital age. It helps us to create a safer environment for our children and a more focused space for our personal and professional lives. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can quickly and effectively manage communication on your iPhone, ensuring that you stay connected with the right people at the right times.

Remember, technology is here to enhance our lives, and with features like Screen Time, we have more control over our digital interactions than ever before. So, take the time to set up your contact restrictions today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with it.