Find the right Screen Time Set Up For You

Step 1 of 14

Setting up Screen Time can be overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to the most important ones. If you need a break at any time, just hit Exit and your progress will automatically save.

What is Apple’s Screen Time?

Apple’s latest functionality allows parents to manage their kids digital access on iOS and Mac devices. At a high-level, parents can:

  • Schedule devices to shut off with Downtime
  • Set time limits for specific apps
  • ManageScreen Timesettings from their iPhone
  • Review children’s app usage andweb browsing history
  • Limit adult content and set privacy settings

Note: Screen Time settings carry across all Apple devices logged in under your child.

Which Child do you want to start with?

Is this the first time your're setting up Screen Time for your child from your phone?

At this point, it’s best to start fresh. Please turn off Screen Time by going to:

Settings on your phone
• Tap the Screen Time
• Select Child
Turn off Screen Time and Enter Screen Time Passcode

Note: It may take few minutes to reflect on your child’s device.If you can’t remember your Screen Time passcode, you’ll need to call Apple.

How do you think about the Screen Time?

Please indicate how you would like to handle each category by clicking in the appropriate box below. If the category does not apply to your child, then leave blank

Category Limit
Counts against Screen Time Allowance
Flexible
Not counted in limit but goes off at Downtime
Block
No Access
Unlimited
Always Available
Communication
(Texting and Facetime)
Fun Games
(Minecraft, Roblox)
Higher Value Games
(Scrabble)
Web-Browsing
(Safari)
School Work
(Google docs, apps required for homework)
Watching
(Tv,movies, Netflix, YouTube)
Social Media
(Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok)
Creative
(Photos, Camera)
Helpful
(Calandar, Notes)

Find the right Screen Time Set Up For You

One Global Time Limit

Set one global time limit and device will lock up when the limit is reached.

Category Limits

Set limits by category: Games, Entertainment, Social Media etc

Customized Groupings

Set time limits for certain types of apps with more flexibility for others

Basic Time Limits

Set specific time limits for specific apps.

See all options

One Global Time Limit

Best use:

For younger kids when you want to keep screen time simple.

It's a no:

If you're not okay with making Messages available 24/7. This is required if you want more flexibility for texting, or any other app such as Music, Camera or Photos.

Category Limits are a good alternative if your child does not use Social Media (including TikTok).

Pro Tip:

If you've been generous with the Screen Time Allowance, you may not want your child to spend the entire time on just one app. For example, you've granted two hours, but want to limit your child to just 30 minutes on Roblox or TikTok. You can set a specific 30-minute time limit for these apps.

Since you selected One Global Time Limit:

  • Tap App Limit and Select Add Limit
  • Click on All Apps & Categories at the very top select Next
  • Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
  • Confirm that Block at End of limit is toggeled on
  • Tap Add (top right) to save this limit

Do you want to set a further time limit for a specific app?

Note: This is recommended if you don’t want your child to spend their entire allowance time on one app (e.g. YouTube or Fortnite)

- Tap Add Limit
- Click on category arrows to find the apps you want to set further limits
-Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
- Confirm that Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-Tap Add (top right) to save this limit


Note: If you don’t see an app displayed, you may need to include it from your child’s phone. You can still continue with setup and do this later if needed.

Category Limits

Best use:

You want to set limits for certain categories (e.g. games and entertainment)

It's a no:

You want to set different time limits within a category (e.g. entertainment games versus educational ones).
Note: Music is classified as Entertainment and FaceTime and Messages are classified as Social Networking, so you must make these Always Allowed if you want more flexibility. If you want to set different types of limits within a category, then Customized Groupings is a better option.

Pro Tip:

You can group Games and Entertainment together and give your child the freedom to decide how they spend their time. Any app not included in a category limit will shut off when Downtime kicks in.

Since you want to set Category Limits:

- Tap Add Limit
- Check the categories you want to set a time limit for (you can set individual category limits or group them together (e.g. Entertainment and Games)
-Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
- Confirm that Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-Tap Add (top right) to save this limit

Do you want to set a further time limit for a specific app?

Note: This is recommended if you don’t want your child to spend their entire allowance time on one app (e.g. YouTube or Fortnite)

- Tap Add Limit
- Tap the Category on which you want to set further limits
-Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
- Confirm that Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-Tap Add (top right) to save this limit


Customized Groupings

Best use:

You want to set different limits for different apps. For example, you want to set one time limit for all the apps that you consider Entertainment (e.g. games, Netflix), while also giving your child more flexibility for texting, educational apps and using the camera.
Any app not included in a time limit will be available until Downtime kicks in.

It's a no:

If your child downloads new apps frequently, you will have to remember to add them to a customized groupings if you want to include it in a time limit. If this requires too much management for you, consider Category Limits.

Pro Tip:

Even within a customized grouping, you can create further limits to keep your child from blowing their entire Screen Time allowance on YouTube or Fortnite.

Since you selected Customized Groupings, we recommend beginning with the apps that you consider ‘Fun Screen Time’ and grouping these together.

- Tap Add Limit
- Click on category arrows to find the apps you want to group together (e.g. Entertainment, Games, Social Media)
-Check each app you want to include and tap Next (top right)
-Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
-Confirm that Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-Tap Add (top right) to save this limit

You can create as many customized groupings as you like to give your child more flexibility for educational and creative apps. The one thing to keep in mind is that when your kids download a new app, you’ll need to remember to add it to a group.
Note: If you don’t see an app displayed, you may need to include it from your child’s phone. You can still continue with setup and do this later if needed.

Do you want to set further time limit for a specific app?

Note: This is recommended if you don’t want your child to spend their entire allowance time on one app (e.g. YouTube or Fortnite

- Tap Add Limit
- Click on category arrows to find the apps you want to set further limits
-Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
- Confirm that Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-Tap Add (top right) to save this limit


Basic Time Limits

Best use:

Older teens who are readying to live life unsupervised. While you’ve granted them more open-ended access, you still want to set limits on how much time they can spend on any one app (e.g. Instagram).

It's a no:

There are too many apps that you would want to place time limits on. A better option would be Customized Groupings

Pro Tip:

We still advise making sure that the Limit Adult Content is selected on Safari and setting a Downtime to eliminate phone checking in the middle of the night (apparently nearly 36% of teens do).

Since you want to set Basic Limits:

- Tap Add Limit
- Click on Category arrows to find the apps you want to set a time limit on (e.g. Entertainment, Games, Social Media)
-Select an app by tapping and tap Next (top right)
-Select the time and tap Customize days if desired
- Confirm that Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-Tap Add (top right) to save this limit

To begin Screen Time setup for Child Name...

From your phone:

  • Go to Settings, tap Screen Time, and scroll down to select your child
  • Turn on Screen Time and click Continue
  • At the Downtime screen, select Not Now
  • At App Limits screen, click Not Now
  • At Content & Privacy, click Continue
  • Create a Parent Passcode

Once Screen Time is activated, you'll be on your child's Screen Time dashboard.

HIFAF Recommendation

Be sure to create a Screen Time pass code that your child won't guess and make not to avoid a future trip to the Apple Store. Screen Time passcodes cannot be retrieved

How to Block Any App

The way to block any app is by setting a 1 minute time limit.

Note: The only apps you can turn off completely are the App Store and Safari (reviewed in a later section)

In the example below, we show you how to block Messages:

-From App Limits select Add Limit and enter Screen Time passcode
-Find the category for the app you want to block and tap the arrow to display all apps in that category
-Tap Social Networking to access Messages and tap it
- Tap Next (top right)
-Select a 1 minute time limit and tap Add (top right) and make sure Block at End of Limit is toggled on
-To save this limit, tap Add (top right)
-Tap the back arrow (top left) to return to the Dashboard


DOWNTIME

Do you manually want to grant Screen Time for your child?

Note: Some parents prefer to keep devices locked until their child is ready.

To set this up, you’ll need to put the device in permanent Downtime mode:

-Tap on Downtime and make sure it’s toggled on
-Since the 'From' is defaulted to 10pm, you will set the ‘To’ to 9:59pm.
-This shuts the device off until you make it accessible by toggling Downtime off

For example, it’s 4pm and your child is ready for screen time, Simply toggle off Downtime to unlock the device. Toggle it back on to reactivate Downtime. All apps will be blocked unless you make them available 24/7 (reviewed in a later step).

Note: If you’ve set an allowance time, the device will turn off when the limit is reached. Because Screen Time resets at midnight, you may still

The next big decision is to select a Downtime. We basically think about this as when to put devices to bed. You can only select one Downtime per day, but you can have a different Downtime on different days of the week. This can give your kids more flexibility on weekends, for example. Any app not selected in a time limit will shut off at Downtime unless designated as Always Allowed (reviewed in a later step)

HIFAF Recommendation

Here are some factors to consider when setting a Downtime
-Does your child have time to be on his or her device before school?
-Do you want to keep the device blocked throughout the school day or school week?
-Do you want your child to complete homework or meet basic responsibilities first?
-Do you want to adhere to The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to power off devices one hour before bedtime?

To set a Downtime

-Tap on Downtime and make sure it’s toggled on
-Toggle the From and To
-Then select Customize days if desired
-When you’re finished, tap the back arrow (top left)

ALWAYS ALLOWED

The next step is to review which apps are designated as Always Allowed. By default, Messages and Facetime are on 24/7 and will remain active during Downtime.

-Tap Always Allowed.
-Add or remove as desired by tapping the green + or red - sign
-Tap back to return to the Dashboard

CONTENT RESTRICTION AND PRIVACY

In this section, you can limit adult content, block native Apple apps and set age appropriate app limits.

-Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and make sure it’s toggled on

-Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and make sure it’s toggled on

Note: If you want to turn off the App Store, tap iTunes and App Store
-Select Don’t Allow Installing Apps.

CONTENT RESTRICTION AND PRIVACY

To block access to native Apple apps (e.g. Safari or Facetime).

-Tap on Allowed Apps
-Toggle off any App that you want to block

HIFAF Recommendation

-AirDrop enables easy file sharing of photos and videos. The default is that anyone in a public space can share anything with your child. We recommend turning this off or changing the settings (we will show you in Our Parenting Technology Checklist).

CONTENT RESTRICTION AND PRIVACY

Next set limits on the content your child can access through Apple TV, the App Store and iTunes by setting restrictions.

-Tap on Content Restrictions and review for:
-Music, Podcasts & News
-Movies, TV, Books
-Apps*
*This can be confusing. If you tap 9+, you are effectively allowing apps rated up to age 12

HIFAF Recommendation for Youtube Users:

If your child uses the YouTube app, you’ll need to select 17+ regardless of your child’s age. Otherwise, the YouTube app will disappear if it was previously downloaded. Alternatively, direct your kids to the browser version: youtube.com.

YouTube has limited parental controls, so Safari’s website browsing restrictions (which you will enable in the next step) may provide an extra layer of filtering to limit mature content. While not 100% reliable, it does sometimes help.

We will include recommendations for managing YouTube in your Parenting Technology Checklist.

CONTENT RESTRICTION AND PRIVACY

In this step, you can manage what your child can browse on the Internet.

-Tap on Web Content, and select either Limit Adult Websites or Allowed Websites Only*

*This option allows you to contain your child to certain websites. Apple provides a pre-populated list which you can add to.

Note: When Limit Adult Websites is selected, you can also block specific websites (e.g. YouTube) or give permission for specific websites if they’re blocked.

Lastly review the Siri and Game Settings and make changes as desired.
- Tap the Back arrow (top left)

HIFAF Recommendation

We recommend that kids stick to Safari because it’s not possible to set parental controls on Chrome when using Apple devices.

Hooray, the final step! Decide which account settings you want to lock.

HIFAF Recommendation

We recommend locking Account Changes to prevent kids from getting around Screen Time settings. Otherwise, it’s easy for them to change the date and time which effectively resets Screen Time.

Also, locking Passcode changes is recommended as is disallowing Cellular Data Changes if you think your child might turn off data to avoid tracking.

Congratulations, you've taken a major step in helping Child Name develop healthy digital habits!

Well Done!

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