How to limit screen time on your iPhone by locking addictive apps or using a 'Downtime' feature

How to limit screen time on your iPhone by locking addictive apps or using a 'Downtime' feature

iphone limit screen time


There are two ways to limit screen time on your iPhone.


We spend a lot of time looking at our screens, between our TV, computer, and phone. A lot.

If you've ever wanted to limit the amount of time you spend on your iPhone, though, Apple's "Screen Time" function allows you to do just that, in two different ways.

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You can limit the time you spend on certain apps, or schedule a daily period of "downtime" where all apps (with the exception of essentials like Phone, Messages, and Maps) are blocked.

Here's how to enable it.


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How to limit screen time on your iPhone

Using the Downtime feature

1. Unlock your iPhone and launch the Settings app from your homescreen.

2. In Settings, find the "Screen Time" tab and tap to select it.


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Open the Screen Time menu.

3. If you've never used Screen Time before, Apple will ask you to set up a Screen Time password - this can be different from your lock screen password, and is four digits long. Tap "Use Screen Time Passcode" to set one.

4. Once you've set a password, in the Screen Time menu, find "Downtime" and tap it.



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Select "Downtime" from the menu list.

5. After you've entered your Screen Time password, make sure Downtime is turned on - you will know when the switch to the right of Downtime turns green.

6. Next, select the time frame during which you want to have apps blocked on your iPhone.


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Select when you want apps to be limited.

7. To finish, make sure you've selected "Block at Downtime" - this will lock all your non-essential apps during the time period you selected.


Apple will lock all of what it considers to be "non-essential" apps, a list that automatically excludes Phone, Messages, FaceTime and Maps - though you can block any app with the exception of the Phone app.

You can add apps to your "Always Allowed" list by going to back to the main Screen Time menu and selecting "Always Allowed." Any app you add to the "Allowed Apps" section will be unblocked.

By locking certain apps

1. Launch Settings and tap Screen Time.

2. In the Screen Time menu, select "App Limits."

3. Tap "Add Limit" at the bottom of the menu.


4. Here you can choose which apps you want to limit. They're sorted by various groupings like "Productivity" and "Social Networking" - tap a category to see what apps it includes. You can set limits on all apps by selecting "All Apps & Categories" and tapping "Next" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.


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Different apps are sorted into different categories.

5. To finish, select how long to allow the apps to be used and then tap "Add" at the top of the screen.

When you hit your limit while using that app, you'll be locked out.

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