How to manage in-app purchases on iPhone or Android


  • You can turn in-app purchases on or off in the Settings app on Apple devices and in the Play Store app on Android devices.
  • There are three types of in-app purchases: unlockables, consumables, and subscriptions.
  • Turning off in-app purchases can help you resist the temptation to spend money using an app or prevent kids from accidentally charging your credit card.
  • Visit Insider’s Technical Reference Library for More Stories.

An in-app purchase is any additional purchase made in an app, such as extra lives in a game. You can turn in-app purchases on or off on Apple and Android devices with just a few clicks.

Turning off in-app purchases can help you resist the temptation to spend money while using apps, and it can prevent kids from buying fictitious things with real money – your real money.

Here’s everything you need to know about in-app purchases.

What does “in-app purchases” mean?

Simply put, an in-app purchase is something you purchase when using an app on your computer or mobile device. They can take the form of an e-book, the ability to play a game without watching an ad, and more.

There are three types of in-app purchases:

  • Unlockable: In-app purchases that permanently unlock specific content or features. Examples include eBooks and game add-ons.
  • Consumables: Often found in free-to-play games, expandable in-app purchases allow users to purchase coins or bonuses to enhance the game by helping them pass levels or obtain fun digital items.
  • Subscriptions: In-progress purchases (often billed on a monthly or yearly basis) that give you access to an app or allow you to use advanced features beyond the free version.

How to enable or disable in-app purchases on iPhone or iPad

1. Open the Settings application.

2. Faucet Screen time, so Content and privacy restrictions.

Screenshot of the Screen Time page in the Settings app

On this page, you can also see recent statistics on how often you use your phone.

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3. Light up Content and privacy restrictions by pressing the cursor. It will turn green when turned on.

Screenshot of the Content & Privacy Restrictions page in the Settings app

You must enable this feature to disable in-app purchases.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest


4. Faucet ITunes and App Store purchases.

Screenshot of the iTunes and App Store Purchases page in the Settings app

Another way to avoid accidental purchases is to require a password.

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5. Faucet Integrated purchasing, then select To allow Where Not to allow.

How to enable or disable in-app purchases on Android

1. Open the Google Play at the store application.

2. Tap on your profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen, then select Settings in the context menu.

Screenshot of Settings option in Google Play Store on Android

Select “Settings”.

William Antonelli / Insider


3. On the Settings page, tap Authentication, then press Require authentication for purchases.

Screenshot of Settings page in Google Play Store on Android

Under “Authentication”, tap “Require authentication for purchases”.

William Antonelli / Insider


4. Then select one of the three options: For all purchases through Google Play on this device, Every 30 minutes, Where Never.

Screenshot of the Purchase Authentication context menu

Select a purchase authentication option.

William Antonelli / Insider


5. Enter your Google password when prompted.


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