How to use iDevice Screen Time

With the Apple Screen Time feature, you can access real-time reports about how much time you spend on your iDevice and set limits for what you want to manage. With Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, you can block or limit specific apps and features on yours and your child’s device, as well as restricting the settings on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for explicit content, purchases and downloads, and privacy. iDevices need to have iOS 12 installed.

Turning On Screen Time

               How to turn on screen time

On your device, go to Settings > Screen Time.

Tap Turn On Screen Time.

Tap Continue.

Select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device].

How to use screen time features

Once Screen Time is turned on, on each device you can get a report about how you use your device, apps, and websites, any time you want.

If it’s your child’s device, you can set up Screen Time and create settings on their device or you can use Family Sharing to configure your child’s device from your own device. After you set up your child’s device, you can also use Family Sharing to view reports and adjust settings any time, right from your own device.

With Screen Time you can also create a dedicated passcode to secure settings, so only you can extend time or make changes. Make sure to choose a passcode that’s different from the passcode you use to unlock your device. To change or turn off the passcode on your child’s device, tap Settings > Screen Time > [your child’s name]. Then tap Change Screen Time Passcode or Turn Off Screen Time Passcode, and authenticate the change with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.

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View your report and set limits

Screen Time gives you a detailed report about how your device is used, apps you’ve opened, and websites you’ve visited, any time that you want to see it. Just go to Settings > Screen Time, select the device and tap the blue line under the time to show the graph.  You can see daily or weekly stats on screen time usage.  You can also set limits for your most used apps, and see how many times a device was picked up or received a notification. If you turned on Share Across Devices, you can view overall usage across devices that are signed in with your Apple ID and password. The report feature also allows you to see when the phone is being used, how long is being spent on each app/site and how many pick ups and notifications the device gets.

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Downtime

When you schedule Downtime in Settings, only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available. Downtime applies to all of your Screen Time-enabled devices, and you get a reminder five minutes before it starts. You can set a specific downtime for each device and also select certain apps that are excluded from the downtime (such as messages, calls, maps etc).  Phone, Messages, FaceTime, and Maps are Always Allowed by default, but you can remove them if you want.

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App Limits
You can set daily limits for app categories with App Limits. For example, you might want to set a limit on social media during exam block or while you are at work. Limits refresh every day at midnight, and you can delete them any time. Your child can also request ‘extra time’ if they go above the set limit on an app. Select the device you want to add a limit too and click on Add Limit, select the app and a time you want the device limited to.

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Content & Privacy Restrictions
You decide the type of content that appears on your device. Block inappropriate content, purchases, and downloads, and set your privacy settings with Content & Privacy Restrictions. You can block explicit movies & music, multiplayer games and certain web content, if you scroll down you can even block specific websites.

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Do Not Disturb

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Just above Screen Time in settings is a feature called Do Not Disturb.  This has a fabulous feature that limits notifications while you are driving. You can set this up to text contacts with a message saying you are driving and will call when you reach your destination.

Use Screen Time with your family

With Family Sharing, you can share music, movies, apps, and more with family — and it also works with Screen Time. You can view reports and adjust settings for children in your family any time, right from your device. If you’re already in a family group, go to Settings > Screen Time, and tap your child’s name. If you need to create an Apple ID for your child, go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing > Screen Time.

Or if you’re new to Family Sharing, tap Set up Screen Time for Family and follow the instructions to add a child and set up your family. You can add family members any time from Family Sharing settings. To use Screen Time with Family Sharing, you need to be the family organizer or parent/guardian in your family group, on iOS 12. Your child must be under age 18, in your family group with their own Apple ID, and on iOS 12.

Disclaimer: BIRRR are not specialists in this area, this is just one tool you can use to manage yours and your child’s device.  BIRRR encourages you to read widely on this topic if you have primary or secondary age children and reminds parents that many social media platforms require children to be at least 13 years of age. 

Thanks to Apple Support for instructions on Screen Time Features