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Home > Tips > Use Screen Time in iOS 12 to Get Stronger Parental Controls

Use Screen Time in iOS 12 to Get Stronger Parental Controls

Screen Time in iOS 12 can help you get stronger controls for your kids. The article shows how to use Screen Time in iOS 12 to manage your children’s iPhone or iPad usage.

Updated Sep 03,2018 | by Joy

Are you aware that your children always spend too much time looking at the screen of their iOS devices to check for social media updates, play games, etc.? Want to have a helpful tool in hand so that you can manage their iPhone or iPad usage? No worry. Read on.

As we know, there are many anticipated new features in iOS 12, including Augmented Reality Measure, Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, etc. Using Screen Time in iOS 12 is an ideal way to help you get stronger parental controls on your children’s iOS devices. Before learning how to use it, let’s see what Screen Time is.  

Know more new features in iOS 12: Preview of iOS 12 New Features

What is Screen Time in iOS 12?

Screen Time in iOS 12 is designed to monitor and manage how much time users spend using apps on iOS devices. As a parent, you can use it to restrict your kids’ app usage when they should be winding down for bed. But before the steps, you need to know how to access it. After all, there is no standalone app for it, so it’s not easy to find it when you first install iOS 12.

How to Find Screen Time in iOS 12?

Finding Screen Time is quite simple. Just go to ‘Settings’ and scroll down to ‘Screen Time’, which is grouped with ‘Notifications’, ‘Sounds’ and ‘Do Not Disturb’.


Once you know its location, follow the steps to learn how to use it to get stronger parental controls on your kids’ iOS devices.

How to Use Screen Time in iOS 12 to Get Stronger Parental Controls 

Step 1. Open ‘Settings’ on your child’s iPhone or iPad and tap on ‘Screen Time’. The first time you open it, you will see a splash screen with the option to ‘Set up as Parent’. Tap on it and then you need to create your Parent Passcode. After that, you will see the main page of Screen Time.



About the main page of Screen Time - At the top of the main page, you will see how much time your kids have spent on iOS devices for today. And there is a line chart displaying the time spent on different categories, like social networking, games and productivity. 


The lower part of the screen shows four main features of Screen Time, including Downtime, App Limits, Always Allowed and Content & Privacy Restriction. Now move to step 2 to respectively complete settings for these features.

Step 2. Respectively complete settings for ‘Downtime’, ‘App Limits’ and ‘Content & Privacy’ 

Downtime - Click ‘Downtime’ and set Start & End time.  

Activating Downtime at bedtime is an efficient way to force your children to stop checking Facebook or any other apps. During Downtime, only phone calls and the apps you’ve selected in ‘Always allowed’ will be available on your children’s devices. 


If you allow your kids to use Messages app or other important apps during downtime, go to ‘Screen Time’ > ‘Always Allowed’ to choose Messages or other apps. Then your selected apps will be shown in ‘ALLOWED APPS’.


App Limits - Choose App Limits at the main page and tap on the hourglass icon to set a limit for some apps on a 24-hour basis. If you find that your kids spend too much time on playing some apps, you can set a specific time limit for these apps to clamp down your children’s usage.


When your kids hit the time limit, Screen Time will send a notification that time limit is nearly up. Clicking ‘Ignore Limit For Today’ will require parent passcode you set before, so you do not need to worry that your kids can keep playing apps. 


Content & Privacy - Click ‘Content & Privacy’ under Screen Time and switch on it. It's toggled off by default. Once it’s enabled, you can manage the store content that can appear on your children’s iPhone or iPad, such as movies, music, TV shows and apps. 

Other things like Content restrictions, Location sharing and Privacy features can also be managed by you. These controls existed in the previous versions of iOS, but they've moved to Screen Time in iOS 12.


Note: All these settings can apply to any iOS device that's signed into iCloud. Therefore, if you set a Downtime on your children’s iPhone, it also applies to iPad.

Through these steps, you are able to take more control on your child’s iOS devices. And weekly report will be sent to you to regulate how much time is spent by your kids in a given app. Then you can make some adjustments on these settings.

Warm Tip: Before upgrading to iOS 12, you’d better to back up iPhone or iPad to avoid data loss caused by operating system crash.

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