I have two pre-teen children who would like to do the following things with an iOS device:

  • Control Sonos speakers
  • Spotify
  • iMessage

However, we don't want to sit behind them and supervise every moment of their tablet usage so we need a tablet that can't add apps from the app store and does not have a general purpose web browser capable of seeing any site on the Internet.

At first, "Guided Access" seems like a good solution. However, it is trivially easy to break out of guided access and gain access to Safari, etc. My children will most certainly, and quickly, figure this out.

"Single App Mode" is robust, and can't be broken out of, and behaves just like what we need - but it is, literally, single app mode. You can't have sonos and spotify and imessage available - you can only pick one.

So I am at a loss ...

Assuming that I have smart kids that can look up things on their school computers and figure out how to break out of the jail and assuming that I would like an iOS device that has only a limited set of apps and no ability to add new ones, what is a good strategy ?

Is it possible to remove apps (like Safari) from an iOS device, then lock down the app store, and make it impossible to add new ones ? In this instance, they could still factory reset the entire thing and get a fresh iOS device with Safari and Internet access, correct ?

Open to any suggestions ...

1 Answer 1


You can use "Apple Configurator 2" from the App Store to supervise the device. Note that supervising the iOS device will wipe its current content.

When you have supervised the device, you can setup restrictions such as for example disabling the Safari web browser, disabling app installation from the App Store, etc.

Another approach might be to make an agreement with your children so that they know what they're allowed and not allowed to do, and then trust them to not install other apps. If they do, you can have a productive conversation on that topic - perhaps they can convince you that the new app is actually a benefit to them...

  • OK, thank you - I was under the impression that "Apple Configurator 2" was used solely to enable/configure "Single App Mode", but you are saying the Configurator can arbitrarily lock down a "supervised" iOS device ? And further, that this supervised ipad/ipod/iphone is robustly locked and not trivially escaped by factory resetting or "hold down home button for 15 seconds" etc. ?
    – user227963
    Mar 3, 2020 at 17:50
  • I did not say it was "arbitrary", but there's a long list of stuff you can restrict and/or configure using Apple Configurator 2... Single App Mode is just a drop in the ocean.
    – jksoegaard
    Mar 3, 2020 at 17:53
  • Whether or not you think it is "robustly locked", I cannot say - but you cannot just hold down the home button for 15 seconds to "unlock" it. You can remove supervision by wiping the device or perhaps by restoring an earlier backup of the same device. If you need more than this, you need to have an enterprise setup where you can actually enroll the iPad in DEP. If you need that kind of setup for your kids, I suggest that you talk to your kids instead.
    – jksoegaard
    Mar 3, 2020 at 17:57
  • Thank you. One last question - are these Apple Configurator settings applicable to a recent ipod touch ? I believe that is an iOS device ...
    – user227963
    Mar 4, 2020 at 0:30
  • Yes................
    – jksoegaard
    Mar 4, 2020 at 0:40

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