Articles on: iPhone, iPad, and iPod

Install Safe Surfer with iOS DNS profile

Safe Surfer supports installing protection on an Apple mobile device through what's called a configuration profile. This is particularly useful for devices that don't support the Safe Surfer app (that is, devices running iOS/iPadOS 15, which this guide shows), or where you would like to install protection without an app. On your first protection installation, it will take around 20 minutes for the full installation, or 30 minutes for the entire guide.

If this device uses a web browser app other than Safari, such as Chrome, it's a lot easier to install Safe Surfer if Safari is the default browser during installation. This is due to how Apple mobile devices manage installing a profile (which is how this method of installing protection works). You can temporarily change this setting by navigating to the Settings app, then tap the Safari menu. If you can't see a section for Default Browser App, you're already good to go. Otherwise, tap Default Browser App and select Safari. Once you've finished the installation later on, you can make the preferred browser app the default again (for example, Settings app > Chrome > Default Browser App > Chrome).

Step 1: Install protection

Visit the Safe Surfer dashboard on a personal computer and log in to your account. Click the Devices menu on the left-hand sidebar, then click the “+ New Device” button.

Click "Another PC, laptop, or smartphone".

Click "iOS".

Click "Apply filter settings". You will be presented with a QR code for the device to be protected.

On the device to be protected, tap the Camera app.

Hold the camera over the QR code on the dashboard, then tap the bubble to open the link with Safari.

Tap the Download button.

Tap the Download option on the prompt that appears.

Tap the small blue download button on the search bar at the lower-left corner of the screen. On an iPad, the small blue download icon should appear on the left side of the address bar at the top of the screen.

Tap the Downloads menu.

Tap the search icon on the right side of the Safe Surfer file listing.

If you see computer code appear, this means that the search icon wasn't tapped. Tap the Done option and try tapping the search icon again.

If you get a message asking to restore the Files app, tap "Show in App Store", redownload the Files app, and tap Open.

Tap the Safe Surfer file.

Tap the Close button.

Go back to the home screen, then tap the Settings app.

Tap the Profile Downloaded menu.

Tap the Install option. You can safely ignore the message regarding the profile not being signed.

Enter the passcode used to unlock this device.

Tap the Install option.

Tap the Install button.

Tap the Done option.

Due to Apple's privacy design, configuration profiles can't be locked with a PIN. If you have a Pro Surfer subscription, we will let you know through the Alerts system if the profile has either been deleted or not been connected for a while. In general, we strongly recommend keeping devices out of bedrooms. You might like to consider having a dedicated living space where devices can be used safely. If this is an issue, you might like to consider switching to an Android device, such as Samsung, where we can provide a more rigourous experience.

To see blocking in action, try visiting in Safari. This is a safe website for testing to see if pornographic websites are being blocked. If it's not blocked, review the previous steps.

Step 2: Change Apple content restrictions settings

Back on the home screen, tap the Settings app.

Tap the Screen Time menu.

Tap the Continue button.

Tap either “This is My iPhone” or “This is My Child’s iPhone”. If you’re not sure what to use, tap “This is My iPhone”.

Tap the Content & Privacy Restrictions menu.

If the switch for Content & Privacy Rescrictions isn't enabled, tap it to turn it on.

Tap the Content Restrictions menu.

We suggest using the following options:

Music, Podcasts, News, and Workouts: Clean
Music Videos: Off
Music Profiles: Off
Movies: Don't Allow Movies
TV Shows: Don't Allow TV Shows
Books: Clean
Apps: 12+ (Highly recommended, unless the device user absolutely requires a web browser app other than Safari, such as Google Chrome. It's safer on Apple mobile devices to only use Safari when also using parental controls.)
App Clips: Don't Allow

After scrolling down further, we suggest using the following options:

Web content: Limit Adult Websites (This is highly recommended as an extra layer of protection for Safari.)
(Siri) Web Search Content: Don’t Allow
(Siri) Explicit Language: Don’t Allow

Go back to the Screen Time main menu, then tap Use Screen Time Passcode.

Set a Screen Time passcode.

Unless you would like to use an Apple ID for Screen Time Passcode Recovery, tap the Cancel option.

If you cancelled, tap the Skip button.

Step 3: Enable Ask to Buy (optional)

If your household has mostly Apple devices, we suggest using Apple's Ask to Buy feature—this can help you prevent certain apps (such as VPNs) from being used as a protection workaround. Find out more by clicking this link.

Protection complete

Great work! This device is now protected. To start monitoring protected devices, visit our easy-to-use online dashboard.

If you have any other iPhone, iPad, or iPod devices you would like to protect, simply start again from the top of the guide. If you would like to protect a different kind of device, visit our Guides page.

Updated on: 18/03/2024

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