A beginner’s guide to Screen Time

Ever wonder how much time you spend on social media, playing games, or the other things you do with your iPhone and iPad each day? Now you can find out, right down to the minute.

New for iOS 12, Screen Time is a set of tools that lets you see which apps you use (and how long you use them) in easy-to-read reports. Parents can see how much time their kids are spending in apps and games, too.

Get your report

‣ You can find Screen Time in the Settings app. Once the feature is turned on, it will start producing daily and weekly Activity Reports. These show general stats, like how often you pick up your device and the number of notifications you receive, plus the total amount of time you spend in each app and your usage across various app categories.

You can view your app activity either by day, or by week.

You can have Screen Time tally your usage on each device individually, or across all of your iPads and iPh
ones (they just need to be signed in to the same Apple ID).

Screen Time includes optional tools to set daily time limits on apps, or the ability to block specific types of content – like 15-and-up rated movies, or explicit songs. Since everyone uses their devices differently, these tools aren’t turned on until you decide to use them.

If you’re a parent, you can turn on Family Sharing to use Screen Time as a family. As you’ll be able to see your children’s reports and set whatever content and app limits you’d like. It's a good idea to look at your Activity Reports together as a group, so you can discuss how everyone uses their devices.

Act on your report

‣ If you’ve spotted an app or game that you would like to use less of, doing so is easy. A tool called Downtime encourages you to put your phone down after bedtime. When you enable this feature and launch an app or game after hours, you’ll get a prompt on screen asking if you want to ignore the limit you’ve set.

When you’re running out of time with an app or game, Screen Time will let you know.

App Limits let you set time limits for apps and games and will notify you when you're close to hitting your limit.

Once you go over the limit, the app’s icon appears grayed out on your home screen. You’ll still be able to launch it, but before it opens, you’ll see a prompt asking if you want to ignore the limit for the day or extend your time by 15 minutes. If you turn on this feature for your kids, they won’t be able to use the app again until the next day, when the time limit resets.

Family Sharing will allow parents to control what content their children see, and for how long.

Always Allowed lets you choose specific apps you want to exclude from any restrictions (like the Phone or Maps). Content & Privacy Restrictions is where you can block any forms of content you deem inappropriate for yourself or your kids.