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Surprising Fortnite bill? How to stop your kid from making iOS in-app purchases

Keep Fortnite free.

Epic Games

Fortnite is a smash success on iOS. It has reportedly made more than $25 million in its first 30 days on the iPhone. In the first two weeks in April, Fortnite was second only to Netflix and ahead of Tinder in iPhone spending. That's right, iPhone users are spending more money to look good and dance well in Fortnite than they are to hook up on Tinder. It could be argued that Fortnite is more popular than sex. I mean, Drake plays, Thanos is stopping by the game for a limited time and season 4 is a literal blast.

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Fortnite is free to play, so how does it make all of its money? Answer: in-app purchases. You can buy new outfits, gliders, pickaxes and dance moves for your character. Keep in mind, these purchases are merely cosmetic and don't give you any sort of advantage in the game, but that hasn't stopped players from buying whatever Epic is selling. If you want to prevent yourself or, more likely, offspring that have an Apple account under your credit card, there is a way to disable in-app purchases in Fortnite. When your kids complain, just point out that their chances are just as good to see the words "Victory Royale" without any purchases. 

Disable Fortnite in-app purchases

You'll need to disable all in-app purchases on your kid's iPhone (or your iPhone, if your family borrows yours to play) to turn them off for Fortnite because iOS doesn't let you pick and choose on an app-by-app basis. Here's how:

  • Open Settings and go to General > Restrictions and tap Enable Restrictions if they aren't already on.
  • Enter a Restrictions passcode that will prevent your kid from going back into Restrictions and undoing your changes.
  • Scroll down and toggle off In-App Purchases.
in-app-purchases-ios
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

That's it, you're done. You may not be able to prevent your kids from spending all of their free time on Fortnite, but at least you can stop them from running up the bill.