How to Stop Amazon In-App Purchases

The FTC and tons of parents are hopping mad at Amazon for allowing millions of dollars worth of unauthorized in-app purchases to go through. The FTC even filed a complaint in a U.S. District court to say so. The federal agency is demanding the e-tailer refund parents the 30 percent of in-app purchases that it keeps (the rest goes to the app maker). 

Amazon's policy is not to give refunds, and Apple once held a similar policy. But following an FTC degree earlier this year, customers were sent directions for how to apply for a refund. Google currently allows in-app purchases by default, but we wonder how long it will be before the FTC goes after them as well. 

In March 2012, Amazon updated its in-app charge system to require a password for charges larger than $20. But it's remarkably easy to stop your kids from making any purchases. In fact, it's a simple five-step process on the Kindle Fire HDX. 

1. Slide your finger down from the top of the screen.

2. Tap Settings.

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3. Tap Parental Controls.

4. Toggle on Parental Controls. 

5. Enter your password and tap Submit. 

6. Double check that Password Protect Purchases is toggled On. 

That's it; literally five steps. This will ensure that kids can't download new apps or make in-app purchases. Among other things you can restrict in the Kindle Parental Controls section is blocking games, social sharing, Web browsing and email. 

Disable In-App Purchases on Amazon Appstore 

If you own a non-Kindle Android device and want to disable in-app purchases, here's what you need to do.

1. Open the Amazon App Store. 

2. Tap the menu button of three lines on the top left. 

3. Tap Settings.

4. Select In-App Purchasing. 

5. Uncheck the box. You'll be asked to enter your password. Then click Continue. 

Amazon Fire Tablet Tips

Anna Attkisson
Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson heads up features and special projects for, in addition to covering social networking and accessories. She joined the LAPTOP staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.