iPhone Screen Time not working? Here is how to fix it!

How to fix iPhone Screen Time not working

Screen Time is a powerful iPhone tool to enable restrictions, see real-time reports about time you spend on your devices, and more. We have a full guide on how to use it. 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 Screen Time not working on iPhone and iPad.

How to fix Screen Time not working on your iPhone

1. Restart your iPhone

Screen Time might show incorrect reports due to glitches that your iPhone might pick up during regular use. One easy way to address this is by restarting your iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone X or later, long-press the side button from the device’s right side and the volume up or down button.
    On your iPhone SE 2020, 8 Plus, or earlier, long-press the side button from the device’s right side until you see the slider.
  2. Next, slide to power off.
  3. After a minute, restart using the same process you followed for turning off.
Restart iPhone with Face ID

2. Check Apple server status for Screen Time

If you use Screen Time with family sharing to lock apps on your kid’s iPhone or monitor usage, it is essential to check Apple’s server status and ensure everything is working on their end.

Visit the official System Status page and ensure you see a green dot next to Screen Time. If it is yellow or red, you will have to wait until Apple fixes the problem.

3. Update your iPhone

tap on software update and then tap on download and install to update iphone

Problems like Screen Time not working are often fixed successfully by a software update. When an error like this is shared by people on forums and social media, Apple takes note and swiftly addresses the concern. To have the latest version of iOS on your iPhone, open the Settings app, tap General, and look for the latest version inside Software Update.

If you don’t have any pending software updates, move on to the next method.

4. Set correct date and time

One effortless way to have the correct date and time is to let your iPhone set it automatically. For this, open the Settings app, tap General, tap Date & Time, and enable ‘Set automatically.’

Update iPhone's Date and Time Automatically

In a few seconds, your iPhone will have the correct date and time. If it does not, please restart the device. Once that’s done, Screen Time-related problems might no longer be there.

5. Turn off Screen Time and re-enable it on iPhone

If none of the above fixes work for you, it is time to turn off Screen Time and back on again. Here is how to do that.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Screen Time.
  2. From the bottom, tap Turn Off Screen Time.
  3. Enter the Screen Time passcode if asked.
  4. Tap Turn Off Screen Time from the slide up.
  5. Restart your iPhone.
  6. Open the Settings app again. Tap Screen Time and turn it on.

    Turn off Screen Time on iPhone

6. Sign out of Apple ID and sign in again

If turning off and on Screen Time brings no luck, the next fix is to sign out of the Apple ID and sign in again.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your name from the top.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap Sign Out.
  3. Enter your Apple ID password and proceed. You may choose to keep a copy of your essential data.
  4. Restart your iPhone.
  5. Open the Settings app and tap Sign in at the top.

    Sign Out of Apple ID on iPhone

7. Reset All Settings on iPhone

Finally, when nothing helps, go ahead and reset all settings. This will erase every setting you have changed or added, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VPN, location settings, notifications, etc. However, apps, music, photos, videos, and other personal data will remain as they are. Before proceeding, consider taking a backup of your iPhone to iCloud or computer.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
  2. Tap Reset from the bottom.
  3. Tap Reset All Settings.
  4. Enter your iPhone passcode and proceed.

    Reset All Settings on iPhone

Why is iPhone Screen Time not working on family sharing?

Family Sharing lets you share purchases like music, movies, apps, subscriptions, etc., with your family members. They do not need to pay for the same. Family Sharing also works with Screen Time letting you manage kids’ iPhone, set content restrictions, and view reports from your device.

If you have trouble with Screen Time on family sharing, the above-listed solutions are worth trying. Like ensuring the date and time on your kids’ iPhone are correct, and so on.

Besides, here are the solutions to fix the issue:

  • Ensure you and your kids (added to family sharing) run the same latest version of iOS on their respective devices.
  • Restart your and your kids’ iPhones and iPad.
  • Enable Share Across Devices under the Screen Time settings, if not already.
  • Remove the device that’s no longer used: If your child used a different iPhone before and now another, removing the previous device from family sharing might help.
    For this, open the Settings app → your name from the top → tap the old, unused device, and ‘Remove from account.’
  • Make sure that the kid is added correctly to the family sharing. You can look at these in your iPhone Settings app → your name from the top → Family Sharing. If the kid is not added, tap Screen TimeCreate an Account for a Child and proceed with the on-screen instructions.

    Create an Account for a Child in Screen Time Family Sharing

These are the real fixes for solving Screen Time problems on your iPhone and iPad. In addition to those, a few users also mentioned that turning off low power mode worked for them. You may give it a shot.

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

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1 comment

  1. Thank you for this blog post. Screen time had worked well for some time, and then it started behaving erratically.
    I went through the steps, and what did it was updating the OS on my kids phone.
    It helped!

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