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Screen Time not working on iPhone? 15 Easy fixes!

Key Takeaways

  • Screen Time may stop working on your iPhone due to bugs and glitches in iOS, inaccurate date and time, or improper settings.
  • To fix Screen Time not working on iPhone: Restart your iPhone, re-enable Screen Time, turn off Low Power Mode, disable Share Across Devices, or install the latest iOS update.
  • If these fixes fail, perform a factory reset or contact Apple support.

Screen Time is a powerful iPhone tool to enable restrictions, see real-time reports about time you spend on your devices, and more. However, some users have been facing Screen Time problems like incorrect reports, inability to monitor or restrict apps on their child’s phone, set privacy restrictions, view weekly reports, and more.

Let us get to the bottom of it and learn how to address the issues of iPhone Screen Time not working in iOS 17.

1. Check Screen Time service is online

While it may seem unusual, your iPhone needs to communicate with Screen Time service on Apple’s end to function correctly. So, if Screen Time doesn’t work on your iPhone, check if the service is offline.

To ensure this, visit Apple’s official System Status website and look for a green icon beside the Screen Time service.

Image showing screen time service status 800x226 1

2. Restart your iPhone

Sometimes, a simple restart can do wonders when fixing iOS issues on your iPhone. It eliminates temporary glitches that may be stopping Screen Time from working correctly.

  1. Navigate to Settings  General.
  2. Tap Shut Down → Then, slide to power off.

    restart-iphone
  3. Wait for one minute → Hold the Side button to start your iPhone.

3. Reset Screen Time

If restarting you iPhone didn’t help fix the issue, you may disable and re-enable the Screen Time feature. This will help you clear any bugs or glitches underlying Screen Time settings.

  1. Open Settings → Go to Screen Time.
  2. Select Turn Off App & Website Activity → Tap Turn Off App & Website Activity.

    turn-off-website-and-app-activity
  3. Now, tap App & Website ActivityTurn on App & Website Activity.

    turn-on-web-and-app-activity

4. Ensure Low Power Mode is turned off

Low Power Mode is indeed helpful in preserving your iPhone’s battery. However, it restricts background activities and can interfere with iPhone Screen Time limits. So, you must turn off Low Power Mode.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Battery → Toggle off Low Power Mode.

    Disable the Low Power Mode toggle

5. Toggle off Share Across Devices

If Screen Time is still not working on your iPhone, turning off Share Across Devices can help. While this option lets you sync Screen Time settings with your iPad or Mac, it may create conflicts, preventing Screen Time from working.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time.
  2. Toggle off Share Across Devices.

    disable-share-across-devices

6. Check your Date & Time settings

Screen Time relies on accurate date and time settings to enforce Downtime or App Limits as per schedule. Thus, you must set your Date & Time settings correctly to ensure Screen Time works properly.

  1. Navigate to Settings → General.
  2. Select Date & Time → Toggle on Set Automatically.

    Check your iPhone date and time settings

7. Check the Downtime settings

The Downtime feature offered by Screen Time on iOS 17 is a handy tool for taking breaks from your device and removing distractions. However, if Screen Time limits are ineffective, check the Downtime settings.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen TimeDowntime.

    go to screen time downtime
  2. Ensure the Scheduled toggle is turned on.
  3. Verify if you’ve selected Every Day or the Customize Days option.
    With Customize Days, you can set schedules for each day of the week.
  4. Then, check the Time to see your Downtime schedule.
    You may tap Time to modify the Downtime schedule as needed.

    check downtime settings

8. Reset App Limit preferences on iPhone

Screen Time App Limits lets you restrict app usage beyond a specified time limit. However, sometimes, glitches can cause this feature to malfunction. To fix it, you must reset the App Limit preferences.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time → App Limits.
    You. must enter your Screen Time Passcode if you’ve enabled it.

    go to screen time app limits
  2. Select any existing app or an app category → Tap Delete Limit.

    delete app limit
  3. Tap Add Limit → Select an app category or apps.

    tap add limit and select an app or category
  4. Tap Next → Set a time limit for the app or category → Then, tap Add.

    set an app limit

9. Check Privacy & Restrictions settings

Screen Time Content Privacy & Restrictions feature offers multiple tools to block questionable content on the internet, turn off in-app purchases, and restrict access to certain features on iPhone.

If Content Privacy & Restrictions are not working on your iPhone, check its settings to see if they’re configured correctly.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  2. Ensure Content & Privacy Restrictions toggle is turned on and check settings.

    Check Privacy & Restrictions settings

10. Ensure other Screen Time options are on

Besides restricting access to apps and questionable content, Screen Time offers features like Screen Distance and Communication Safety. If any of these features aren’t working, you must ensure they’re enabled.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time → Screen Distance.
  2. Ensure Screen Distance is toggled on.

    turn-on-screen-distance
  3. Navigate to Screen Time → Communication Safety.
  4. Ensure Communication Safety is toggled on.

    turn on communication safety

11. Ensure app isn’t excluded from Screen Time

Screen Time may work correctly on your iPhone, but you cannot control a specific app or see usage data because it’s excluded from Screen Time. Here’s how you can ensure this isn’t the case:

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time → Always Allowed.
  2. Check if the app in question is included in the allowed apps list.

    go to screen time always allowed
  3. If you see the said app in the list, tap the Minus icon → Select Remove.

    tap the minus icon and remove

12. Allow other apps to access Screen Time

Are you trying to use the native Screen Time features and third-party screen time apps but cannot? Then, you must allow the app to access the screen time data recorded by your iPhone to work correctly.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time.
  2. Toggle on the apps listed under Apps with screen time access.

    Allow other apps to access Screen Time

13. Re-enable Screen Time Passcode

Screen Time Passcode is helpful as it prevents anyone from changing screen time settings. However, bugs can cause this feature to malfunction. So, you must re-enable the Screen Time Passcode to resolve this.

  1. Navigate to Settings  Screen Time → Change Screen Time Passcode.

    tap change screen time passcode
  2. Tap Turn Off Screen Time Passcode → Enter Screen Time Passcode.

    tap-turn-off-screen-time-passcode
  3. Tap Lock Screen Time Settings → Enter Screen Time Passcode twice.

    lock screen time settings

14. Sign out and sign in to iCloud

Screen Time uses iCloud to store your data and sync settings across devices connected to the same Apple ID. However, if Screen Time not showing up, signing out and signing in to your iCloud/Apple ID can resolve this.

  1. Launch the Settings app → Tap the Apple ID banner → Sign Out.
  2. Enter your Apple ID password → Then, tap Turn off.

    Sign out from Apple ID from your iPhone
  3. Select the content you want to store offline → Tap Sign out.
  4. Tap the Apple ID banner again and Sign in with your Apple ID again.

    Save data offline and sign in again to your apple ID

15. Other potential fixes:

  • Install the latest version of iOS: Bugs in iOS can often cause features like Screen Time to stop working on your iPhone. To resolve this, install the latest version of iOS. Go to SettingsGeneralSystem Update and tap Update Now.

    Click on Update now for Software Update
  • Reset all settings on your iPhone: It’s possible that Screen Time is not working on your iPhone due to a misconfiguration. To fix this, you must reset all settings. Go to Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone → Tap Reset → Reset All Settings. Then, follow the given instructions.

    Go to Reset from General on iPhone
  • Perform a factory reset on your iPhone: If none of the previous fixes helped you fix Screen Time, you must factory reset your iPhone. Go to SettingsGeneralTransfer or Reset iPhone → Tap Erase All Content and Settings. Then, follow the on-screen instructions.

    Erase All Content and Settings on iPhone
  • Contact Apple for technical support: As a final resort, you can always contact Apple for technical support. Trained technicians at Apple can help you quickly diagnose the issue and suggest relevant fixes.

Reclaim your digital well-being!

These are the real fixes for solving Screen Time problems on your iPhone.

If you have further questions, please use the comments section below to reach me.

Also read:

  • Ankur

    I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.

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