How parents can turn on iOS 12 Screen Time for their child's iPhone or iPad

Posted:
in iOS
Nominally iOS 12's Screen Time feature is meant to help everyone keep their habits in check, but the most practical application may actually be as a form of strict parental control.

iOS 12 Screen Time


To go this route, the easiest way is probably to open the Settings app on a child's iPhone or iPad, then tap Screen Time. Since this is presumably the first instance Screen Time will have been used on the device, tap "Set up as Parent" when a splash screen appears.

Alternately you can tap "Set up Screen Time for Family" on your own device, found under the Screen Time menu. You'll of course need to have Family Sharing enabled and linked with your child's device(s).

Either way you'll be guided through three restriction categories. The first is Downtime, which dictates when a device will be (mostly) inaccessible. Don't be too harsh -- you can only set one continuous window, so it's probably best to schedule it when a child should be asleep. Thankfully you can choose to whitelist some apps as "Always Allowed," and by default Phone, Messages, FaceTime, and Maps are left toggled on.

The second category is App Limits. Here you can specify time limits for app genres, rather than specific apps -- say, 2 hours per day for games.

The final section is Content & Privacy. This isn't new strictly speaking, but it's now under Screen Time, and lets you block "explicit and mature" material on the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, and even websites. There's an option to require permission for changing privacy settings, which should be switched on.

Before completing setup, you'll be prompted to create a passcode without which a child won't be able to extend usage or undo settings. You get to skip this step if you handle setup via Family Sharing.

A final note is that if your child is lucky enough to have multiple iOS devices, Screen Time limits apply to any device linked to the same ID, and cumulatively -- meaning that a child can't hit a limit on their iPad then continue unimpeded on their iPhone, or vice versa.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Doesn’t Apple already ban anything beyond R in their App Store, and ITunes?

    I’ve never found blocking content to be effective beyond the most obvious sources...

    A neighbor (female) years ago, asked me to install a “parental control + antivirus” program on their desktop (Vista).  The 2 boys still managed to infect it with spyware and virus regularly. And, there was no evidence it significantly changed their browsing habits (LOL).

    After reloading the machine several times to clean it, I showed them (the boys) how to do so themselves.  

    It may be why more boys than girls get interested in IT...
  • Reply 2 of 7
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,861member
    Doesn’t Apple already ban anything beyond R in their App Store, and ITunes?

    I’ve never found blocking content to be effective beyond the most obvious sources...

    A neighbor (female) years ago, asked me to install a “parental control + antivirus” program on their desktop (Vista).  The 2 boys still managed to infect it with spyware and virus regularly. And, there was no evidence it significantly changed their browsing habits (LOL).

    After reloading the machine several times to clean it, I showed them (the boys) how to do so themselves.  

    It may be why more boys than girls get interested in IT...
    It does, but that doesn't mean you can't still get apps that have things in them younger children may not want to see. Yes, there's no sex on the App Store, but that doesn't mean you can't download apps such as Tinder or Grinder as a small example. There are games with shooting and gore in them, so maybe a parent doesn't want their child playing those types of games depending on how old/young they are. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Screen Time sounds great. So much promise. Yet, sadly, it is rendered useless in a matter of minutes with most kids that know how to watch YouTube. SPOILER ALERT!  All they have to do is go into Settings and change the time to a non "Down Time."
    caliban11laytech
  • Reply 4 of 7

    I'm using Screen Time to limit the usage of iPads for my kids and it works pretty well. The only thing I find lacking is the inability to set screen time restrictions for only few days a week.

    I'd like to be able to remove the limit on weekends automatically.

    caliban11watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    screentime is a fantastic feature, only done the way apple innovates lately: without user in mind and without testing.
    My 4 year old kid found out in an hour that changing the clock in settings overcome the restrictions, only to put it back before handing the idevice back to me. 
    An app called circle had that happening one year ago!
    fix: a matter of minutes in coding time. Just put into restrictions the possibility to change or not date and time. 
    Oh wait! There is an app out there for Mojave that finds the restriction code in few seconds...  

    lucky me i am protected by my password, icould, 2 facto, that are being asked at least six time a day for almost no reason...
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Whilst it’s not perfect it is brilliant and has saved a lot of arguments. I would like it to be more granular rather than selecting a category such as social media you can select individual apps. I would like to see this tech cross over to Apple TV.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    nhtnht Posts: 4,446member

    I'm using Screen Time to limit the usage of iPads for my kids and it works pretty well. The only thing I find lacking is the inability to set screen time restrictions for only few days a week.

    I'd like to be able to remove the limit on weekends automatically.

    In the time limit section you can set the days that the limit applies to.
    watto_cobra
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