How to use Screen Time to keep your iPhone use within healthy limits

All of us spend a whole lot of time on our telephones, and it’s potential — simply potential — that a few of us spend an excessive amount of time. In 2018, we ran an article explaining how to use what was then Apple’s brand-new Screen Time characteristic, which was inbuilt order to assist folks keep their on-screen time in some kind of sane proportion.

On the time (which was when iOS 12 got here out), you might use Screen Time to verify how a lot time you spent on your cellphone, use an App Limits characteristic to restrict your (or your youngsters’) each day time spent on numerous apps or sorts of apps, or use its Downtime characteristic to minimize off entry to all (besides a couple of) apps.

Since then, and particularly since iOS 13 got here out, Screen Time has been expanded, making it simpler to lock down apps and / or restrict your screentime. (There have been no further options introduced thus far for the upcoming iOS 15, however we’ll add them right here if there are.)

To start utilizing Screen Time, go to “Settings” > “Screen Time.” Listed below are among the issues you are able to do.

Day by day Common

On the high of the Screen Time app, you’ll be able to see an accounting of your exercise over the course of the day. Click on on “See All Exercise” to see a breakdown of which particular apps you used and the way lengthy you used them.

Your Screen Time display screen is accessible from your Settings menu.

Screen Time lets you know how long you’ve been on your phone, and with which apps

Screen Time lets you know the way lengthy you’ve been on your cellphone, and with which apps.


Downtime enables you to set intervals whenever you need to power your self to give your eyes a relaxation and keep away from staring on the display screen. It does this by locking down the apps with which you might be most probably to spend time. These lockdowns usually are not absolute — as you’ll see later, you’ll be able to cancel Downtime whenever you want to.

Start by selecting whenever you need to begin your time away from your cellphone.

  • Faucet on “Downtime” and toggle it on.
  • Choose the times (it may be day by day or simply on particular days) and occasions that you really want to keep away from getting swallowed by your favourite iPhone apps. Throughout these occasions, solely specified apps that you simply pre-selected (together with cellphone calls) will likely be allowed by way of. For instance, you’ll be able to disable Fb and Twitter throughout working hours, however keep the Messages app going for texts. (We’ll go over how to select which apps to disable in a second.)
  • You’ll get a warning earlier than Downtime kicks in. Should you want to keep engaged on an app, don’t fear — you’ll be given the possibility to ask for another minute, to be reminded in one other quarter-hour, or to ignore the restrict for in the present day.

You can set Downtime for everyday or specific days, and for set times for each day

You’ll be able to set Downtime for day by day or particular days, and for set occasions for every day.

Apps can be flagged as always allowed, even during Downtime.

Apps could be flagged as at all times allowed, even throughout Downtime.

Remember that Downtime, and the opposite Screen Time options, could be utilized to all your gadgets that use iCloud. So in the event you set it on your iPhone, for instance, it will possibly apply to your Mac or iPad as properly. To share your settings throughout your gadgets, go to the Screen Time principal display screen and toggle “Share Throughout Gadgets” on.

Now that you simply’ve chosen when you need some downtime, you’ll in all probability need to choose which apps ought to be allowed to stay lively.

Again within the Screen Time principal display screen, choose “All the time Allowed.” Right here you’ll be able to select which apps you’ll nonetheless have entry to throughout downtime.

  • You’ll see two units of apps: Allowed Apps and Select Apps.
  • To pick an app you’ll at all times need entry to, even throughout downtime, faucet on the app’s title in Select Apps and it’ll seem within the Allowed Apps listing.
  • If you would like to disallow any of the Allowed Apps, faucet on the minus signal subsequent to the app, after which on “Take away.”

There are extra methods to personalize Downtime. Let’s say you need to get alerted about textual content messages from particular folks — you’re planning to consider a challenge and don’t need to hear from any of your associates, however you continue to need to get texts from members of the family. You are able to do that.

  • On the identical “All the time Allowed” web page, faucet on “Contacts” on the high of the web page.
  • Underneath “Allowed Communication,” choose “Particular Contacts” and select which contacts you need to permit by way of, even throughout downtime.

Word that the “Allowed Communication” web page can be accessible from the principle Screen Time web page.

App Limits

One other manner to keep your app use in verify is to restrict the period of time you use an app (slightly than setting what time of day you’ll be able to use it). For instance, if Twitter tends to be your private black gap, you’ll be able to resolve not to spend greater than, say, two hours on Twitter every day.

To set your app limits:

  • Within the Screen Time display screen, choose “App Limits” > “Add Restrict.” Toggle “App Limits” on and faucet on “Add Restrict.”
  • You’ll see a listing of classes, akin to “Social,” “Video games,” and “Leisure.” Faucet on a selected class, and it’ll open up to present a listing of all your apps which can be in that class.

To limit the amount of time you use an app, select App Limits.

To restrict the period of time you use an app, choose App Limits.

You can limit specific apps or a category of apps

You’ll be able to restrict particular apps or a class of apps.

  • Choose the apps that you really want to restrict — or choose a complete class to select all of the apps in that class.
  • Faucet on “Subsequent” within the higher proper nook.
  • Choose the utmost period of time you’ll be able to use the app(s) every day. While you attain your restrict, you’ll be interrupted by a display screen that permits you to both apply the restrict (simply faucet on the “OK” button), or shrug and choose “Ignore Restrict.”
  • Should you select the latter, you may get another minute, ask to be reminded in quarter-hour, or resolve to ignore the restrict for in the present day.

Choose how much time you want to spend on an app

Select how a lot time you need to spend on an app.

When you hit your time limit, you can ask for more time, or ignore it altogether.

While you hit your time restrict, you’ll be able to ask for extra time or ignore it altogether.

Word: if for any purpose you don’t need to use an app in any respect, aside from on uncommon events, you’ll be able to set the Screen Time to 23 hours and 59 minutes. The app will then be out of attain except you return into “Settings” > “Screen Time” > “App Limits” and disable the restrict.

Screen Time Passcode

If you would like to keep sure apps out of the attain of your youngsters — or your roommate — then you’ll be able to create a passcode that will likely be wanted to make any modifications to Screen Time. The passcode can be helpful in the event you really feel you want an additional barrier earlier than you undo one among your limitations.

  • Go to Screen Time and faucet on “Use Screen Time Passcode.”
  • Set a four-digit passcode, after which reenter it when requested.
  • Enter your Apple ID and password as a way to use it in the event you’ve forgotten your passcode.

And that’s it. If you would like to change or delete your passcode, return to Screen Time and choose “Change Screen Time Passcode.”

Content material & Privateness Restrictions

The final choice in Screen Time isn’t as a lot involved with whenever you use your iPhone as with what you see or hear on it. Choose “Content material & Privateness Restrictions” if you would like to permit or limit specific content material, keep TV reveals or motion pictures to sure scores, set an age restrict for apps, restrict which web sites are allowed, and set a variety of totally different limits on video games (akin to multiplayer video games, connecting with associates, or personal messaging).

Most of that is geared towards dad and mom who need to oversee what their youngsters see and listen to on-line, however in the event you’d slightly keep away from unintentionally crashing into any “grownup” web sites, it may very well be helpful. There are additionally a variety of privateness options, akin to stopping Apple promoting, or not permitting apps to change the settings of your microphone, Bluetooth sharing, and different options.

“Content & Privacy Restrictions” lets you place limitations on a number of apps

“Content material & Privateness Restrictions” enables you to place limitations on a variety of apps.

You can restrict the content of various apps based on ratings or explicitness.

You’ll be able to limit the content material of varied apps based mostly on scores or explicitness.

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