Take a break from your iPhone with Screen Time

Take a break from your iPhone with Screen Time

Published: Aug 25, 2021

Our smartphones are an important part of our everyday life, but sometimes they can become a source of distraction—who hasn’t lost track of time scrolling through social media feeds iOS’s Screen Time gives you tools to find the right balance with technology so you’re helped, not hindered, by it. Here's what you can do with Screen Time.

Understand your device usage

Access the tool via Settings > Screen Time, tap Turn on Screen Time, and follow the onscreen prompts to set it up. From there, you’ll get a report of your screen time—tap on the time total for a detailed breakdown. These daily or weekly reports show you:

  • Time spent in each app

  • Time spent across each app category (e.g. Social Networking or Productivity)

  • Notifications received from apps

  • Frequency of device use

Cut screen time with App Limits

Screen Time lets you restrict the number of hours you spend in an app or app category daily. Once you hit that limit, you can no longer launch the app until midnight, when the timer resets. You can customize limits by days of the week too: for example, you may only want to restrict usage of Facebook on weekdays.

How to set an App Limit

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.

  2. Tap on App Limits. You will see a list of app categories.

  3. Select the category of apps you wish to limit.

  4. Set a limit. Note: this will limit all apps grouped under that category.

  5. To limit individual apps, tap on the arrow on the right of the app category to see the list of apps that belong in it.

  6. From there, you can restrict individual apps.

You can choose to exempt certain apps from these limits, under Settings > Screen Time > Always Allowed.

Schedule Downtime

Calls, text messages, and app notifications also play a big part in distracting us. Escape the constant pinging for your attention by scheduling some Downtime. When you turn this setting on, only phone calls and allowed apps will be available.

To whitelist apps during Downtime, go to Settings > Screen Time > Always Allowed. Try setting it an hour before bedtime to prepare for bed, or in the evening to have a distraction-free family dinner.

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