How to Use Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone and iPad

Screen Time in iOS 12 can be a huge asset for parents who want their kids to not fall prey to smartphone addiction. Head over to set up and use Screen Time on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 12 to keep a track of your device usage and also stop your sweet child from breaking your set rules!

To me, the biggest highlight of iOS 12 is the more superior “Parental Controls.” The addition of “Screen Time” has made controlling the device and app usage more convenient. From letting you keep track of how much time you spend on your iPhone to restrict explicit contents, you can use Screen Time in iOS 12 to have immaculate command over the way your kid uses the device.

Don’t want your kid to use social networking apps too much? Well, you can impose the limitation on social apps and even put the same restriction on games categories. Besides, you also have the option to set a daily time limit for an app so that your child doesn’t overuse it. Beyond enhanced parental control, Screen Time can also play a pivotal role in keeping your smartphone addiction in check! More after the break:

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How to Use Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone or iPad

Screen Time sends your weekly report about the usage of your device as well as the set time limits regarding the apps you would like to have better control. If you have set it up as a parent, you will get reports for your child’s screen time. And then based on the insightful report, you will be able to apply restrictions for apps, content, and privacy accordingly.

Quick navigation:

How to Turn on Screen Time in iOS 12

By default, Screen Time is enabled, but if you had turned it off earlier, you could always get started with it.

Step #1. Launch Settings app → select the Screen Time option.

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Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, hit Turn On Screen Time.

Turn On Screen Time in iOS 12

Step #3. Next, you have two options:

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  • Set this feature as a parent
  • Continue as a general user

Tap on Continue.

Tap on Continue in Screen Time

Use Screen Time Passcode

You can set Screen Time Passcode to prevent others from making any changes to the Screen Time settings. To do so,

Step #1. Tap on Use Screen Time Passcode.

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Use Screen Time Passcode in iOS 12

Step #2. Enter new Passcode and Confirm.

Set Screen Time Passcode in iOS 12

How to Enable Downtime in iOS 12

Downtime is a very impressive feature that lets you set a schedule for time away from the screen. Once enabled, only the apps you choose and phone calls will be available to be used.

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An important thing you need to know that Downtime will automatically come into action on all of your iOS 12 devices synced with the same iCloud account.

Step #1. Launch Settings app on your iOS device → Tap on the Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, tap on Downtime → Enter the Screen Time Passcode.

Tap on Downtime then Enter Your Screen Passcode

Step #3. Turn On the Switch next to Downtime.

Enable Downtime in Screen Time in iOS 12

Step #4. Next, Tap on Start and set the time then tap on End and set the preferred time.

Set Downtime in iOS 12 Screen Time

While Downtime is ON, your device Home screen will get a bit dim, and the approved apps will be highlighted.

If you tap an app to open it, “Time Limit Reached” screen will appear.

Time Limit Screen in iOS 12

You have the option to ignore the restriction by tapping Ignore Limit. Then, you will have to set a reminder in 15 minutes or set to ignore the limit for the day. Enter your Screen Time Passcode.

Ignore Screen Time Limit in iOS 12

As soon as Downtime is finished, the screen will come back to its normal look and brighten up again. Besides, you will be able to re-access your apps.

Now, you can choose the apps you want to allow during Downtime. To do so, go back and select Always AllowedEnter Passcode.

Allow Apps to Use in Screen Time Restrictions

Then, tap on the green “+” button to the left of the app you want to allow.

Add Apps to Use in Screen Time in iOS 12

If you want to disallow some apps during Downtime, tap on the red “-” button to the left of any app and then tap on Delete.

Delete Apps from Always Allow in Screen Time

How to Set App limits in iOS 12

Don’t want your kid to overuse an app or play games too much? You can set a time limit for app categories to allow your child to use a particular category of apps only during the limited time.

Important: Another thing worth noting is that App Limits will affect all the iOS 12 devices connected to the same iCloud account.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iOS device → Now, tap on the Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Next, tap on App Limits and then enter your passcode.

Tap on App Limits then Enter Passcode in Screen Time

Step #3. Next up, tap on Add Limit.

Tap on Add Limit in Screen Limit in iOS 12

Step #4. Up next, select the app categories. You have multiple options to choose from like games, social networking, education, Health & Fitness → Once you have selected the app categories, tap on Add at the top.

Add Category to Screen Time in iOS 12

Step #5. Now, set the time limit.

Set Time Limit for Apps in Screen Time on iPhone

Check out the option to Customize Days as well. You can choose to keep the app restriction every day or allow your kid to use apps with complete freedom on a few days. Again, you get the option to set the time limit.

Select App Category and Tap on Customize Days in Screen TimeSet Up Customize Day for Screen Time in iOS 12

Do note that App limits reset every day at midnight. You will receive notification when you near your daily limit to keep you in the loop. After the time limit is over, you will get “Time Limit Reached” screen. Then, you have the option to ignore the restriction by tapping Ignore Limit.

You will also have the option to set a reminder in 15 minutes set to ignore the limit for the day.

How to Set Time Limits for Specific App(s) in Screen Time

Are you using some apps much more than others? You can choose to add time limits for individual apps to stop yourself from going into overdrive.

The one distinct advantage of this feature is that you can keep the distractions at bay.

There are times when I start using apps like Facebook, and I forget to stop. As a result, I miss out on some the other essential things. With this feature readily available, I’m going to find out the usual suspects and then limit their usage. It’s indeed going to be very helpful.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iOS device → Tap on Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, tap on your device name at the top.

Tap on Device Name in Screen Time Settings in iOS 12

Step #3. Under “Most Used” section, find out the app you use a lot.

Tap on the App Name Under Most Used in Screen Time Setting

Step #4. Next, tap on Add Limit and then set the time limit.

Set Time Limits for Specific App in iOS 12 Screen Time

Check out the option to customize days. It lets you set the restriction on a daily basis. For instance, if you want to use an app  for 1 hour each day but wish to use it for 2 hours on Sunday, you have the option to configure the limitation accordingly.

How to Enable Content & Privacy Restriction in iOS 12

You can ideally customize content and privacy restriction to block inappropriate content.

Step #1. Launch Settings app on your iOS device Tap on Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Tap on Content & Privacy Resrtictions. Next, enter your Screen Time Passcode.

Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time

Step #3. Turn On the switch next to Content & Privacy.

Turn On Content & Privacy in Screen Time in iOS 12

Next up, you can make necessary changes based on your requirements. For instance, you will be able to restrict iTunes and App Store purchases, disallow particular content, apps, explicit language.

Use Restrictions in Screen Time in iOS 12

Use Restrictions in Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone or iPad

Besides, you also have the option to prevent your kid from making any changes to volume limit, Do not disturb while driving feature, etc.

There is also an option to set up Screen Time for Family. When it’s enabled, you will get weekly reports and set time limits on your child’s device.

How to Set Up Screen Time for Family

Note: Make sure to enable family sharing to use this feature.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iOS device → Tap on Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, scroll down and tap on Family Member’s name. Now you can Set up Screen Time for the Family member.

Use Screen Time for Family Member

How to Disable Screen Time Passcode

Every time you want to make changes to Screen Time options, you are asked to enter the passcode. However, if you don’t want to have it, you can disable it.

Step #1. Open Settings app → Tap on Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, tap on Disable Screen Time Passcode. Enter Screen Time passcode.

Disable Screen Time Passcode in iOS 12

How to Clear Screen Time Usage Data

At times, you may want to wipe out all the existing Screen Time usage data to start afresh.

Step #1. Open Settings app → Tap on Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, scroll down and tap on Clear Usage Data, enter your Screen Time Passcode and confirm.

Clear Screen Time Usage Data in iOS 12

How to Turn Off Screen Time in iOS 12

If you ever decide to disable Screen Time, you have the option to turn it off with ease.

Step #1. Launch Settings app → Tap on the Screen Time.

Tap on Settings then Screen Time in iOS 12 on iPhone

Step #2. Now, tap on Turn ff Screen Time and enter your passcode → Next, tap on Turn Off Screen Time to confirm.

Turn Off Screen Time in iOS 12

If you changed your mind later, return to the Screen Time section and tap on “Turn On Screen Time.” Then, you can choose to set it up as Parent.

Video Walkthrough of Screen Time

That’s it!

Have your say

Now, it’s time to make the most of this enormously user-friendly feature to have greater control over device usage and prevent your kid from breaking the set boundaries. Have any feedback? Shoot it in the comments below.

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Jignesh Padhiyarhttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.

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