How do I disable #images in iPhone® Messages (texts)?

On an iPhone® you can send images and GIFs (short, looping videos) via Messages (Apple’s texting app). It’s a fun way to communicate with your friends! Hundreds of items are located in the #images part of Messages, and most of the content is harmless humor. However, some of the content is mature/sexual. At this time, Covenant Eyes is unable to monitor this particular activity on an iPhone, so you may want to disable the #images feature of Messages.

To completely disable the ability to view mature content through #images, follow the two-part process below.

PART ONE: Turn off #images

  1. Open a new text message in the Messages app.
  2. Tap the “A” that represents the App Store logo.
  3. The “Favorite Apps” bar will appear. Swipe left across the bar until you locate the “More” option. (The icon is three gray dots.)
  4. On the next screen, tap the “Edit” option in the top left corner.
  5. Before you can turn off #images, you have to remove it from the Favorites bar. To do that you will tap the red minus sign that appears next to #images. After you tap the minus sign, an option to the right will appear that says “Remove from Favorites.” Tap on it. (NOTE: this series of steps will work with any of the other features you see listed.)
  6. Now #images appears in the More Apps section. Flip the toggle switch and you’ll have turned off #images.

*If you do not follow the next step, the user will be able to re-install #images.

PART TWO: Use Screen Time to disable the option to Install/Delete Apps

  1. By disabling the option to Install Apps, the member will not be able to reinstall #images. He/she will also not be able to install any apps, so be sure to discuss this idea before enacting it.
  2. If you’re familiar with Screen Time settings, go to Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases > Installing Apps > Don’t Allow.
  3. If you’re not familiar with Screen Time settings, follow the steps in How do I set up Screen Time on iOS 14?.

Feel free to contact our Member Care team for free assistance.

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