How do I set screen time limits on an iPad or iPhone?

The amount of time kids spend on screens is one of the major concerns parents have. While there are many benefits of technology it can be hard for children (and adults) to regulate the amount of time they spend on devices. Thankfully, many tablet and cellphone makers understand the struggle and offer built-in screen limit settings. Apple offers great parental controls that enable parents to set time limits on specific apps, monitor usage or even limit time on the device. It’s fairly simple to set up these screen time limits so let’s show you how to get started.

Setting Up Screen Time

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time, then tap it again.
  3. Select This is My Device or This is My Child’s Device.

There are 5 Screen Time categories:


Downtime allows you to schedule when the device can or cannot be used. When Downtime is enabled only phone calls and apps that you allow are available.

App Limits

This allows you to set specific time limits on specific apps. These limits reset daily.

Communication Limits

Set limits as to when you may receive phone calls, Facetime or messages throughout the day. For example, set restrictions on receiving communication during school hours. Contacting emergency number is always allowed.

Always Allowed

This feature allows you to set certain apps as always available even if downtime is enabled. Some features and apps are set to Always Allow by default.

Content & Privacy Restrictions

Set up the type of content that is allowed on this device. Block inappropriate content or disable purchases and downloads.

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