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

To set contact restrictions on an iPhone, go to Settings, tap Screen Time, select Content & Privacy Restrictions, enter your Screen Time passcode, and then tap on Allowed Communication. From there, you can choose to allow communication with everyone or only with contacts. After completing these steps, the iPhone will restrict incoming and outgoing calls, messages, and FaceTime to the selected contacts list.

After setting contact restrictions on your iPhone, only the phone numbers and contacts you’ve allowed will be able to communicate with you via calls, messages, and FaceTime. This means that any unknown number or contact that is not on your allowed list will not be able to reach you.


In the digital age, our iPhones have become an extension of ourselves, housing personal information and serving as a primary means of communication. However, with this convenience comes the need for privacy and control over whom we communicate with. Whether you’re a parent looking to protect your child from unwanted contacts or an individual seeking peace of mind from telemarketers and unknown callers, setting contact restrictions on your iPhone can be a valuable tool.

This feature is particularly relevant for parents who wish to ensure their children are only in contact with trusted individuals. It’s also useful for anyone looking to minimize distractions by limiting calls and messages to a specific group of people. Understanding how to manage contact restrictions can offer you a greater sense of security and control over your personal communications.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Set Contact Restrictions on an iPhone

Before we dive into the tutorial, know that the steps outlined will assist you in creating a safer and more focused digital environment on your iPhone by managing who can get in touch with you.

Step 1: Open Settings

Access the Settings app on your iPhone.

Opening Settings is the gateway to customizing your iPhone’s operations and is always the first step to making any changes or adjustments to your device.

Step 2: Tap Screen Time

Scroll down and select the Screen Time option.

Screen Time provides a suite of tools to help you and your family find the right balance of screen usage, including the contact restrictions feature.

Step 3: Choose Content & Privacy Restrictions

In the Screen Time menu, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions.

This section allows you to set various controls related to content, privacy, and other settings on your iPhone.

Step 4: Enter Your Screen Time Passcode

Input your Screen Time passcode if prompted.

The passcode ensures that only authorized users can make changes to the Screen Time settings.

Step 5: Tap on Allowed Communication

Select Allowed Communication to manage the contacts that can reach you.

Here you can tailor your contact restrictions based on your personal preferences and requirements.

Step 6: Set Your Restrictions

Choose to allow communication with everyone, contacts only, or specific contacts.

Deciding who can reach you is a personal choice and should be done with your safety and convenience in mind.


Enhanced PrivacyBy restricting your contacts, you significantly reduce the risk of getting unwanted calls or messages, giving you an added layer of privacy.
Focus and ProductivityLimiting distractions can help you stay focused on tasks without interruptions from non-essential communications.
Parental ControlParents can be assured that their children are only in communication with approved contacts, improving their safety and well-being.


Limited AccessibilityIn case of emergencies, limited communication might hinder someone’s ability to reach you if they’re not on your approved list.
Possible IsolationOver-restricting contacts can lead to a sense of social isolation, as you may miss out on new connections or important updates.
InconvenienceAdjusting your contact restrictions frequently can be cumbersome, especially if you often add new contacts.

Additional Information

When it comes to managing your iPhone, there’s more you should know beyond just setting contact restrictions. For instance, you can also control which apps have access to your contacts, ensuring that your personal information remains private. Plus, it’s essential to regularly review and update your allowed contacts list to ensure it reflects your current relationships and needs.

Remember to communicate with your trusted contacts about your restrictions, especially in emergency situations. You might want to consider setting up a special ringtone or text tone for certain contacts so you can immediately recognize important calls or messages. Moreover, be aware that contact restrictions apply to phone calls, messages, and FaceTime, but not to third-party apps like WhatsApp or Messenger unless you adjust those app permissions separately.

Lastly, while setting contact restrictions on an iPhone is a straightforward process, don’t hesitate to reach out to Apple Support or refer to the user manual if you encounter any issues or have questions.


  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Screen Time
  3. Choose Content & Privacy Restrictions
  4. Enter Your Screen Time Passcode
  5. Tap on Allowed Communication
  6. Set Your Restrictions

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I forget my Screen Time passcode?

If you forget your Screen Time passcode, you will need to erase your device and set it up as a new device to remove the passcode.

Can I set different restrictions for calls and messages?

The contact restrictions apply uniformly to calls, messages, and FaceTime. You cannot set different restrictions for each communication method.

Will the restrictions affect third-party communication apps?

No, the restrictions will not affect third-party apps unless you configure those apps’ permissions separately.

Can I allow a contact to reach me only during a specific time?

No, the contact restrictions are not time-sensitive. Once a contact is allowed, they can reach you at any time unless you manually adjust the settings.

Do contact restrictions sync across all my Apple devices?

Yes, if you’re using the same Apple ID and have iCloud sync enabled, your contact restrictions will carry over to your other Apple devices.


Setting contact restrictions on an iPhone is a simple yet powerful way to maintain control over your digital communication. Whether it’s shielding yourself from unwanted attention or ensuring your child’s digital safety, the steps outlined in this article will guide you through the process. As you implement these restrictions, remember that maintaining a balance is key to avoiding unnecessary isolation or inconvenience.

Keep up with the latest updates from Apple and consider exploring other privacy features available on your iPhone. Embrace the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to who can reach you. And, as always, stay informed and connected, but on your own terms.