Apple iOS 
Screen Time

Apple's Screen Time provides a powerful tool for parents. First, it lets you set limits on your kid's device from your iOS, Mac, or his or her phone. Second, it's a reporting tool that shows details on how the phone is used.

Newsletter for the latest advice and tech news

Protecting your kid on an iPhone

It's easier than you think

Keeping your kid safe on his or her smartphone is probably easier than you expect. There are 4 safety essentials that we'll walk you through.

  1. Approve all apps he or she uses

  2. Set time limits & downtime

  3. Limit internet access

  4. Monitor usage with your device every few days (at least)

Getting Started

Before setting up Screen Time, you should have an Apple ID and a device ready for your kid to use. Read our Tech Help on setting up an iPhone if you need help.

When you're ready to setup Screen Time, simply click through each of the 5 sections below to see an image of how we recommend setting up the device for anyone under the age of 16 (with areas to customize for your family).

Recommended Settings

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to settings, we wanted to provide parents a simple template to copy and modify as needed. For most situations, we believe these settings provide good protection for kids while also empowering them to learn intentional use.

Downtime

  1. Enable Block at Downtime to disable apps (this excludes 'Always Allowed' apps in Step 4)
  2. Set the times and customize days to work for your kid’s age and family schedule

App limits

  1. Set a total daily limit using the ‘All Apps & Categories’
  2. Set a limit for entertainment categories & individual apps
    (social networking, games, entertainment)

Communication limits

  1. Set specific contacts your kid can communicate with during downtime
  2. Enable contact management is recommended except for older teens

Always allowed

  1. Set apps that can be used during downtime or once time limits are reached
  2. Include apps that support intentional and purposeful use
  3. Exclude entertainment and addictive apps

Content & privacy restrictions

Image 1

  1. Enable Share My Location to allow finding your family
  2. Disable the ability to make other changes unless functionality is necessary for your kid

Image 2

  1. Set Don’t Allow to prevent deleting and reinstalling apps
  2. Consider allowing if you watch usage closely to catch prohibited apps

Image 3

  1. Allow Safari and limit elsewhere
  2. Disable airdrop used to share pictures including explicit images
  3. Other apps lower risk when following other recommendations

Image 4

  1. Set to preferred rating levels
  2. Web content is one of the most important settings!
    Recommend 'allowed websites only'

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Click to Enlarge