Skip to content
Home » Best Parental Control Software In 2024: The Ultimate Guide » Best parental control app for iphone

Best parental control app for iphone

Navigating the digital world can be a challenge for parents trying to keep their children safe online. With over 1 billion Apple devices in active use worldwide, parental control apps have become essential tools for parents.

This blog will guide you through the top iPhone parental control apps available, detailing their features, pros and cons, and how they can help protect your child from online threats.

Curious? Read on to discover which app could be the best fit for you and your family.

Key Takeaways

  • Qustodio is recognized as the best overall parental control app for iPhone, offering features like web filtering, screen time limits, and location tracking.
  • Norton Family is a great choice for large families, allowing monitoring of an unlimited number of iOS devices and providing features like web filtering and location tracking.
  • Bark specializes in web and social media monitoring, making it ideal for parents concerned about their child’s online activity. It offers extensive coverage across different apps and platforms.

Understanding Parental Control Apps

Parental Control Apps serve the purpose of monitoring and controlling a child’s online activity on their iPhone, ensuring their safety and promoting responsible technology use.

The purpose of Parental Control Apps

Parental control apps serve a critical role in today’s digital age by helping parents ensure their child’s online safety. These innovative tools are designed to monitor and regulate children’s internet use, providing parents with much-needed peace of mind.

They offer features such as web filtering, which blocks inappropriate content from being accessed on the child’s device. With geofencing capabilities, these apps enable parents to establish virtual boundaries for their children and receive alerts when those boundaries are crossed.

Parents can also control app usage, set screen time limits, and even read texts or log calls on some platforms like Android devices thus ensuring safe interaction with technology for kids at all times.

How Parental Control Apps Work

Parental control apps apply a variety of mechanisms to ensure your child’s online safety. Firstly, they use web filters to block inappropriate sites and content based on age-category settings.

They also monitor internet activity by tracking the websites visited and social media platforms used like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. These apps allow parents to set screen time limits for different activities limiting excessive usage.

Additionally, they have location tracking features that offer real-time information about the physical whereabouts of your children for their security. Some parental control applications including Qustodio even have call monitoring and text logging abilities which come in handy in detecting cyberbullying or sexting threats early on devices running Android operating system.

Noteworthy is that Google Family Link lets parents manage app permissions thereby controlling what can be downloaded from Google Play on Android devices.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Parental Control App for iPhone


When choosing a parental control app for iPhone, it is important to consider factors such as compatibility with your device, the features offered by the app, ease of use, and pricing.

Compatibility with your device

Choosing the right parental control app requires you to consider its compatibility with your device. This determines if an app can function optimally on your iPhone. The best apps support multiple platforms, providing convenience for homes with diverse devices.

For instance, Net Nanny is a great choice as it demonstrates excellent integration with iOS devices. Qustodio’s wide range platform support including Amazon Fire tablets and Chromebooks makes it highly versatile.

Alternatively, if your household utilizes Android or Windows, Norton Family proves to be a robust option due to its harmonious operation within these systems.

Features offered

Qustodio offers a wide range of features to help parents monitor their child’s online activity. With this app, you can set screen time limits, track your child’s location, and even monitor calls and text messages on Android devices.

It also includes web filtering technology to block inappropriate sites and content. Additionally, Qustodio provides detailed reports and alerts so that parents can stay informed about their child’s online behavior.

Ease of use

Choosing a parental control app for an iPhone can be made easier by considering the ease of use. Parents should look for apps that offer simple setup and navigation of screen-time controls.

This allows them to easily set limits on app access and overall phone use remotely, ensuring their child’s safety and well-being. Apple’s Screen Time is a recommended option for iOS households as it provides more insight and control over a child’s screen time compared to third-party apps.

Simplifying the process of monitoring and managing your child’s device usage makes it more convenient for parents to implement effective parental controls.


Kaspersky Safe Kids offers a free tier and an affordable paid tier, making it a budget-friendly option for parents. Norton Family is actually free when you use it with Norton’s antivirus suites, saving you money on both parental control and antivirus protection.

ESET Parental Control for Android provides app and time management, location tracking, and SOS messaging features at a reasonable cost. Net Nanny stands out as the best parental control app for iPhone, offering excellent web-filtering technology at a competitive price.

And if you’re using an Android device, Google Family Link is a free option that gives you peace of mind without breaking the bank.

Qustodio: Best Overall Parental Control App

Qustodio is recognized as the best overall parental control app, offering a range of features to ensure your child’s online safety. Find out more about its capabilities and benefits in this blog post.

Features & Description (Qustodio)

Qustodio is a top-rated parental control app that offers a range of features to help parents monitor and manage their child’s online activities. Compatible with iOS, Android, Amazon Fire tablets, Macs, PCs, and Chromebooks, Qustodio provides web filtering to block inappropriate sites and content.

It also allows parents to set time allowances for screen usage and even block specific apps or games. With the ability to log calls and read texts on Android devices, Qustodio provides additional monitoring capabilities.

The user-friendly interface and intuitive design make it easy for parents to navigate the app and access insights into their child’s online habits. Qustodio goes beyond just internet safety by offering breach alerts, Dark Web monitoring, VPN protection, and antivirus software for comprehensive digital security.

Pros & Cons (Qustodio)

Qustodio, deemed as the best overall parental control app for iPhone, offers a comprehensive suite of features, each with its distinct advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a closer glance at Qustodio’s pros and cons.


Pros Cons
Qustodio is compatible with various platforms including iOS, Android, Amazon Fire tablets, Macs, PCs, and Chromebooks, providing extensive coverage. Qustodio’s comprehensive features might seem overwhelming to some users, particularly those not tech-savvy.
The app can detect and block over 9,000 iOS apps, an exemplary feature that ensures children are not exposed to inappropriate content. Some users might find Qustodio’s VPN technology for web filtering restrictive as it may limit access to some safe websites by mistake.
Users can set daily screen time limits and scheduling, useful tools for parents aiming to regulate their child’s device use. Though functional, Qustodio’s call logging and text reading features are only available for Android devices, leaving iOS users at a disadvantage.
Qustodio provides detailed activity reports that can be generated daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, offering parents insightful data about their child’s device use. Despite boasting a feature-rich suite, Qustodio’s pricing might be steep for some families, considering free alternatives or built-in iPhone features.
The app includes a Family Locator feature for real-time location tracking and geo-fencing options, giving parents peace of mind about their child’s whereabouts. Some parents might find Qustodio’s extensive monitoring features as an infringement of their child’s privacy.


Norton Family: Great for Large Families

Norton Family is a top choice for large families looking for comprehensive parental control. With its wide range of features and user-friendly interface, it offers an effective way to manage online activities.

Read more to discover why Norton Family is the perfect solution for keeping your family safe online.

Features & Description (Norton Family)

Norton Family is a popular parental control app that is specifically designed for large families. It offers a wide range of features to help parents monitor and manage their child’s online activities on their iPhone devices.

With Norton Family, parents can set up app and web filters to block access to inappropriate content. They can also set time limits to help regulate screen time and prevent excessive device use.

The app provides detailed activity reports, allowing parents to track their child’s screen habits and online behavior. Additionally, Norton Family includes a Family Locator feature for real-time location tracking and geo-fencing options, providing an extra level of safety for children when they are outside the home.

Pros & Cons (Norton Family)

Norton Family has its own strengths and weaknesses that make it suitable for some families but not for others. Let’s understand these features more deeply.


Pros Cons
Norton Family offers the ability to monitor an unlimited number of iOS devices, making it ideal for large families. For monitoring calls, text messages, and iMessages, a Mac is required, which can be a limitation for some families.
This app utilizes web filtering using VPN technology to block access to inappropriate websites, ensuring a safe online environment for kids. There’s no dedicated YouTube monitoring feature, which can be a letdown for parents worried about their kids’ exposure to inappropriate content on YouTube.
Norton Family provides location tracking and geo-fencing options through its Family Locator feature. Not all features are available on the iOS platform, with some features being more robust on other platforms.
It includes a parent app for easy management of screen time, allowing parents to control their kids’ screen time from their own device. The subscription price may be a bit steep for some families.
It offers a variety of predefined site categories for web filtering, enabling parents to customize the type of content they deem appropriate.


Bark: Good for Web & Social Media Monitoring

Bark offers advanced web and social media monitoring features, making it a great choice for parents concerned about their child’s online activity. Find out more about this powerful app by reading further.

Features & Description (Bark)

Bark is a comprehensive parental control app that specializes in web and social media monitoring. With over 30 different apps and social media platforms, Bark provides extensive coverage to keep an eye on your child’s online activity.

It offers features like location tracking, screen time management, and website blocking to ensure their safety. What sets Bark apart is its ability to send alerts and notifications to parents about potentially concerning content or interactions on social media platforms.

This makes it particularly useful for monitoring messaging apps and tracking your child’s location, making it valuable for parents of teenagers. Plus, with its user-friendly interface and easy setup process, Bark can be easily managed by parents with varying levels of technical expertise.

Pros & Cons (Bark)

Bark, as a top-rated parental control app, comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them in the following table:


Pros Cons
Bark offers comprehensive monitoring for over 30 different apps and social media platforms, making it a robust solution for tracking your child’s online activities. Despite its extensive features, Bark might be perceived as too invasive by some, potentially straining the parent-child relationship.
With Bark, you can schedule and limit screen time effectively, thereby ensuring your child’s healthy digital habits. Some users have reported that the app’s settings can be difficult to navigate, potentially causing frustration and confusion.
The app has the ability to block inappropriate sites, providing an additional layer of protection for your child. Bark’s extensive features might be more than what some parents need, making it a bit overwhelming for those looking for simpler controls.
Bark includes breach alerts, Dark Web monitoring, VPN protection, and antivirus software, offering an all-rounded security solution. These extensive features come at a cost, making Bark more expensive than some of its competitors.
It is particularly useful for monitoring texting activity on iOS devices, perfect for parents whose children primarily communicate via text. Some parents might find that Bark offers more than they need for monitoring calls and text messages, particularly for younger kids who might not be using these features as extensively.


FamiSafe: Good for Monitoring Teen Driving Habits

FamiSafe is an excellent choice for parents who want to monitor their teen’s driving habits. With features like GPS location tracking and real-time alerts, you can ensure their safety on the road.

Read on to learn more about FamiSafe’s capabilities and how it can benefit you as a parent.

Features & Description (FamiSafe)

FamiSafe is a powerful parental control app designed specifically for monitoring teen driving habits on iPhones. With FamiSafe, parents can easily track their child’s physical location and receive detailed driving reports directly through the app.

This ensures that parents are aware of their teen’s whereabouts and driving behavior at all times. The app also allows parents to set speed limits and receive instant alerts if their teen exceeds the designated limit while behind the wheel.

Additionally, FamiSafe enables parents to create geofences and receive notifications whenever their teen enters or leaves a predetermined area while driving. Overall, FamiSafe is considered one of the top parental control apps for monitoring teenage driving habits on iOS devices in 2023.

Pros & Cons (FamiSafe)

FamiSafe is a standout among parental control apps due to its specialized features in monitoring teen driving habits. However, like any app, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Here, we delve into the pros and cons of FamiSafe.


Pros Cons
FamiSafe provides comprehensive monitoring of teen driving habits, including real-time GPS tracking, driving reports, and speed alerts. Some users have reported issues with the accuracy of the app’s tracking features.
Parents can set geofences to receive notifications when their teen enters or leaves specific areas.
FamiSafe offers detailed driving history data, providing information on routes, speed, and mileage.
Speed limits can be set, and alerts are sent to parents if those limits are exceeded by their teens.
Parents can also monitor their teen’s device usage, which includes apps they use and websites they visit.
The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, making it versatile and accessible.


Mobicip: Detailed Scheduling Feature

Mobicip offers a detailed scheduling feature that allows parents to set specific time limits for device usage, creating a structured and balanced routine for their children. Find out more about how Mobicip can help you manage your child’s screen time effectively.

Features & Description (Mobicip)

Mobicip is an iOS parental control app that offers a range of features to help parents monitor and manage their child’s device usage. One of its key features is the detailed scheduling feature, allowing parents to set specific time limits for when their child can use their device.

This helps in ensuring that screen time is limited and balanced with other activities. Additionally, Mobicip provides customizable app and web filters based on the time of day and day of the week, giving parents more control over what content their child can access.

The app also offers content filtering for websites, YouTube, and social media platforms, allowing parents to block specific websites or apps as needed. Furthermore, Mobicip includes location tracking, geo-fencing capabilities, social media monitoring functionality,and usage reports to give parents insights into how their child is using their device.

Pros & Cons (Mobicip)

Mobicip provides a myriad of benefits but also has a few drawbacks. A detailed examination of both its pros and cons will give you a clear understanding of its effectiveness as a parental control app for iPhone.


Pros Cons
Mobicip offers a detailed scheduling feature, allowing parents to set specific time limits for device and app usage. The app doesn’t currently support location tracking or geofencing, although these features are planned for future updates.
The app has excellent content filtering capabilities, enabling parents to block inappropriate content on websites, YouTube, and social media. Currently, the app can only be installed on one device with the Lite version, which may not be sufficient for families with multiple children.
The “pause all devices” feature can be a useful tool for parents wanting to limit their child’s device usage. The pricing starts at $2.99 per month for the Lite version, which may not be as affordable for some families.
Mobicip provides parents with usage reports that detail how a child spends their time on their device, allowing for the monitoring of their online activities.
The child dashboard feature helps children to understand their own device usage and even set their own goals.
The company plans to introduce exciting new features such as an SOS panic button and a goals and rewards system.


Net Nanny: Good Web Filtering

Net Nanny offers excellent web filtering features to keep your child safe online. Find out more about its advanced protection capabilities and how it can benefit your family’s digital safety.

Features & Description (Net Nanny)

Net Nanny is widely regarded as the top parental control app for iPhones. With this app, parents can easily set screen time limits and schedules to manage their children’s device usage effectively.

One standout feature of Net Nanny is its YouTube monitoring capability, which allows parents to track and filter inappropriate content on the popular video-sharing platform. Additionally, the app provides regular activity reports that give detailed insights into a child’s online behavior.

For added peace of mind, Net Nanny offers call and text message monitoring features, ensuring that parents can stay informed about who their child communicates with. Furthermore, the app includes Family Locator functionality for real-time location tracking of your child’s device.

With uninstall protection in place, Net Nanny ensures that your parental controls stay intact even if your child tries to remove the app from their phone or tablet.

Pros & Cons (Net Nanny)

Net Nanny, a top-rated parental control app for iPhone, presents both benefits and drawbacks.

Pros Cons
Net Nanny has an intuitive and modern design, contributing to user-friendly navigation. When compared to some competitors, Net Nanny offers fewer predefined categories for its web filtering capabilities.
The web-filtering technology offered by Net Nanny is excellent, allowing parents to block access to inappropriate websites.
This app allows parents to set time allowances, track their child’s location, and block certain apps.
One unique feature of Net Nanny is its ability to mask profanity on websites, providing additional protection for kids.
It provides detailed reports on web activity, aiding parents in keeping track of their child’s digital footprint.


Despite its minor limitations, Net Nanny proves highly beneficial, offering efficient tools to manage children’s digital life.

How to Use Parental Control Apps Effectively

Learn how to set reasonable screen time limits, monitor your child’s online activity, and utilize location tracking features to ensure their safety. Discover the best practices for maximizing the benefits of parental control apps on your iPhone.

Read more to become an expert in keeping your child safe online.

Setting reasonable screen time limits

Setting reasonable screen time limits is a crucial aspect of parenting in the digital age. It helps ensure that children have a healthy balance between technology use and other activities.

Experts recommend scheduling screen-free time, such as during meals or before bedtime, to encourage face-to-face interaction and quality sleep. By setting clear boundaries and communicating expectations with your child, you can help them develop responsible habits when it comes to using electronic devices.

Monitoring your child’s online activity

Net Nanny, the top-rated parental control app for iPhone, provides an effective solution for monitoring your child’s online activity. With features such as web filters, it allows parents to block inappropriate sites and protect their children from online predators.

Additionally, Net Nanny offers real-time alerts and notifications to keep parents informed about their child’s internet usage. By tracking the websites visited and providing detailed reports, Net Nanny ensures that parents have a clear understanding of their child’s online behavior and can take appropriate actions when necessary.

Using location tracking features

Parental control apps like Net Nanny, Norton Family, ESET Parental Control for Android, and MMGuardian offer location tracking features that allow parents to monitor their children’s whereabouts in real-time.

These features help ensure the safety of children by providing parents with information about their location at any given time. In addition to real-time monitoring, some apps also provide an SOS messaging feature that allows children to send a distress signal with their location information included.

Whether it’s knowing where your child is during an emergency or just keeping tabs on their daily activities, using location tracking features can give parents peace of mind. Best of all, these features are available for both iOS and Android devices, making them accessible to a wide range of users.

Common Misconceptions About Parental Control Apps

Parental Control Apps cannot be outsmarted, as they are designed to provide effective monitoring and control over a child’s online activity.

Can Parental Control Apps be outsmarted?

Parental control apps have become increasingly advanced in recent years, making it difficult for children to outsmart them. These apps use sophisticated technology and features such as web filtering, app blocking, and screen time limits to ensure that parents have control over their child’s online activities.

Additionally, some parental control apps can monitor text messages and calls on Android devices. While no system is perfect and there may be ways to bypass certain restrictions, parental control apps are designed to provide a strong line of defense against inappropriate content and excessive screen time.

They offer parents peace of mind by allowing them to monitor their child’s online behavior and protect them from potential dangers on the internet.

Are Parental Control Apps invasive to privacy?

Parental control apps are designed to help parents protect their children online and manage their screen time. While these apps provide valuable tools for monitoring and controlling online activities, there may be concerns about privacy invasion.

However, it’s important to note that reputable parental control apps prioritize the privacy of both parents and children. They use secure encryption methods to protect data and ensure that sensitive information is not accessible by unauthorized individuals.

Additionally, most parental control apps allow parents to customize the level of monitoring they feel comfortable with, giving them the ability to strike a balance between supervision and respecting their child’s privacy.

Can Parental Control Apps monitor calls and text messages?

Parental control apps have different features and capabilities, and some can indeed monitor calls and text messages. For example, Qustodio is able to log calls and read texts on Android devices.

Norton Family also offers call/text monitoring for both Android and Windows households. However, it’s important to note that not all parental control apps have this feature. Screen Time, for instance, does not provide text/call monitoring on iOS devices.

So if you specifically want this functionality in a parental control app, make sure to choose one that offers it.

Comparing Free Vs. Paid Parental Control Apps for iPhone

Assessing the differences between free and paid parental control apps for iPhone involves considering several factors.

– Availability of features: Paid parental control apps such as Net Nanny or Qustodio typically offer a wider range of features compared to free ones.

– Effectiveness: Paid apps often provide more comprehensive filtering, monitoring, and blocking features, making them more effective in keeping children safe online.

– Support and updates: Paid apps usually come with quicker and more reliable customer support, as well as more frequent updates for compatibility with the latest versions of iOS.

– Free apps like Google Family Link offer basic features like app blocking and time management, but they are limited in their monitoring and filtering capabilities.

– Kaspersky Safe Kids is a notable exception among free apps, offering robust features on its free tier, as well as an affordable paid tier.

– Cost: Naturally, free apps don’t require any financial investment, unlike paid apps which may require a one-time payment or a subscription fee.

– Ads: Free apps often contain ads, which can be annoying and could potentially expose children to inappropriate content. Paid apps, on the other hand, are usually ad-free.

– Ease of use: Both free and paid apps can be user-friendly, but paid apps often provide a more streamlined and intuitive interface.

– Multi-device support: While free apps usually restrict their services to a single device, paid apps like Qustodio support a wide range of platforms including iPhones, Android devices, Macs, PCs, and Chromebooks.

– Customization: Paid apps often allow more customization to suit individual family needs compared to free apps.

Why Use Parental Control Apps Instead of Built-in iPhone Features?

Parental control apps offer a range of features and benefits that go beyond what is available through the built-in iPhone features. One reason to use parental control apps is that they provide more comprehensive monitoring and filtering options.

For example, with apps like Net Nanny and Qustodio, parents can set up web filters to block inappropriate content and limit access to certain websites or categories.

Another advantage of using parental control apps is their compatibility across multiple devices. Apps like Norton Family and OurPact are designed to work not only on iPhones but also on Windows computers, giving parents greater control over their child’s online activities across different platforms.

Parental control apps also often come with additional features such as time management tools, location tracking, call monitoring, and text message logging. These functionalities allow parents to set screen time limits, track their child’s whereabouts, monitor communication activities for potential risks like cyberbullying or sexting.

Overall, while iPhones do have some built-in parental control features like Screen Time settings and App Restrictions, using dedicated parental control apps offers a more robust solution with advanced capabilities for better supervision and protection of children in today’s digital age.


Choose the best parental control app for your iPhone to ensure your child’s safety and well-being online. Qustodio stands out as the top choice, offering comprehensive features such as web filtering, screen time limits, YouTube monitoring, and location tracking.

With Qustodio, you can have peace of mind knowing that your child is protected from harmful content and online dangers.


1. Can a parental control app help monitor my child’s activities on their iPhone?

Yes, a parental control app can help you monitor your child’s activities on their iPhone by providing features such as content filtering, screen time tracking, and app usage monitoring.

2. How do I install a parental control app on my child’s iPhone?

To install a parental control app on your child’s iPhone, you can download it from the App Store and follow the installation instructions provided by the app developer.

3. What features should I look for in the best parental control app for an iPhone?

The best parental control apps for iPhones should have features like website blocking, social media monitoring, location tracking, screen time limits, and age-appropriate content filters.

4. Are there any free options for parental control apps for iPhones?

Yes, there are free options available for parental control apps on iPhones. However, they may have limited features compared to paid versions. It is important to research and choose an option that meets your specific needs and preferences.