Preventing outgoing calls on an iPhone

It seems like a reasonable limitation for younger people, but it’s not an option.

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It’s not unusual for parents to want to let their kids use a phone with limitations—and to enforce those limitations with restrictions in the operating system itself. Apple offers a variety of ways to shape access in iOS via Settings > General > Restrictions. After turning the feature on and setting a four-digit code—this isn’t the same as the phone’s overall passcode—you can prevent use of certain hardware features, App Store actions, access to rated content, and so forth.

But a parent writes in asking about outgoing phone calls. She wonders if a phone could be locked to only make calls to numbers listed in the Contacts app, and whether the Contacts app could be locked to prevent changes.

Unfortunately, Apple offers no way to lock outgoing calls. Apple doesn’t even let you lock Contacts. Android offers this and more extensive parental-control features through third-party apps, which the OS gives more options for control over the calling part of the operating system.

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