Software package & Apps

Use Screen Time to Set Constraints and Parental Controls on Apple iphone, iPad, and Mac

Posted on
June 23rd, 2021 by
Kirk McElhearn

The World wide web can be dangerous for children. You may not want your young children to be equipped to watch each website or use any app. Even though it may not be straightforward to monitor their action on a mobile unit like an iPad, Iphone, or iPod touch, Apple includes some powerful tools in iOS to assistance you defend your young children.

Earlier called “parental controls” or “restrictions,” these settings provide a amount of approaches to prevent your little ones from accessing inappropriate content material, and also restricted what they can do on their equipment. Found inside the Display Time configurations, there are a lot of solutions you can alter. In this article, I’ll stroll you by way of the Display Time settings on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, and assistance you make your children’s devices safer.

What is Monitor Time?

Monitor Time was originally intended to present you how much time you devote on your Iphone or iPad. As a diagnostic software, it’s beneficial: you can see how much time you genuinely devote participating in that new match, or browsing Facebook or Instagram. (Study this short article for an overview of Screen Time.)

Whilst its major purpose was in the beginning to clearly show you how a great deal you’ve used your gadgets — by class, application, or site — Screen Time added options to command what your kids can do on their gadgets. It was also added to the Mac in macOS Catalina, and you can combination information throughout equipment owned by the similar man or woman. And if you use Relatives Sharing to handle your children’s products, you can regulate them all from your Mac.

Standard settings

To start off using Monitor Time, go to the Display screen Time pane of Method Tastes on macOS, or go to Configurations > Display screen Time on an Iphone or iPad. I’ll clearly show the procedure right here on Mac, but your selections are the exact on all Apple units.

The primary display exhibits Application Utilization if you have turned this feature on, it will inform you how substantially time you have made use of your gadget on the latest working day or week. The major graph shows usage for the past seven days, and the bottom reveals utilization on the picked working day. You can opt for a day from the popup above the graph, or move backwards or forward by clicking < or>.

If you simply click Selections, then toggle Share Throughout Units, it will increase up the time you have invested on other Apple gadgets (observe: this excludes Apple View) that are signed into the very same Apple ID.

The popup menu at the bottom of the window will allow you to view All Gadgets (if you have enabled Share Across Products), or to pick a unique system and perspective it is action.

Underneath Application Use, you see two other sections: Notifications and Pickups. Notifications exhibits a count of how several notifications you’ve acquired each and every day. This is to assist you comprehend how many situations you are pinged by your devices, and can help you, perhaps, reduce these interruptions by turning off notifications in the applications that hassle you most.

Pickups is the number of instances you “pick up” your Apple iphone or iPad, and which application you checked 1st. On the Mac, it’s the number of instances you’ve woke your product from rest.

In the base portion of the sidebar, you can see 5 sections that allow you to modulate how a lot time you can invest on your system. This is the place you can implement options for a child’s system. You do this on the system, or, if you have established up Family members Sharing, you are going to see a popup menu beneath the title at the prime left decide on a baby there, and you can use configurations remotely.

  • Downtime lets you established a interval of time throughout which you or your child are unable to use the gadget.
  • Application Limits permit you set time limits for distinct applications, these types of as if you want to limit how significantly time your little one spends participating in a recreation or utilizing Facebook.
  • Communication Limitations permit you set time boundaries for the Cell phone, FaceTime, and Messages applications, and whether or not a user can accessibility their own contacts or other people. You can build a whitelist of specific contacts if you would like.
  • Constantly Permitted is a checklist of applications that you or your baby can use at any time.
  • Articles & Privateness Limits is where you can high-quality-tune access to distinct varieties of material, notably for your kids.

Whilst these features are not as total highlighted as a true parental command application these types of as Intego ContentBarrier for Mac, they do offer you ample regulate that you will experience a lot more snug about your children’s usage of their iOS units.


Just one way to maintain youngsters from applying their units as well substantially is to limit their access by time. In the Downtime options, you can opt for a start off and stop time for the interval when they will not be able to use the system.

If you click Customized, you can established downtime for every working day of the week, but you really do not have an selection to established several downtime durations.

Note that the apps described in Usually Allowed (as discussed below) are not impacted by the downtime limit.

App Restrictions

The Add Boundaries segment allows you set utilization restrictions for unique apps. Click on + on Mac, or tap Incorporate Limit to include an app to the record. You can set restrictions by group – these kinds of as social media, game titles, leisure, and other people – or you can established boundaries for distinct apps. Click the > on Mac, or tap a class, to see apps in each individual class, or use the Search industry to uncover apps you want to limit.

Pick categories and/or applications, and use time restrictions for just about every working day, or customize the time limit by the working day of the 7 days. For example, you can permit your kids perform additional game titles on the weekend. Click Customized (Mac) or faucet Personalize Times (Apple iphone or iPad), then faucet a day to modify its options.

Note that if you established restrictions on a group, any applications downloaded from the App Retail store in that category will also be minimal. These categories are not excellent they correspond to types picked by builders when they post applications to the App Retailer. For the most section, they are good you won’t obtain games in the non-recreation classification. But there could be some overlap.


Communication settings enable you fine tune who your little one can communicate with, and no matter whether they can converse with anyone throughout downtime. You want to make absolutely sure that your youngsters can talk with their mother and father during downtime, so if you never choose Absolutely everyone, make certain to help your contacts below.

Generally Authorized

Irrespective of Downtime and Application Boundaries options, you can pick out which apps are usually allowed on the gadget. By default, Apple consists of the Phone application, Messages, and Maps. It is a good concept to make it achievable for your little ones to constantly access these, so you can continue to be in touch with them, and so they can come across their way if they will need to, but you can change them off if you desire.

You can also increase any person application to the Normally Allowed checklist this is helpful if an app is miscategorized and your child desires to use it, these as for their research.

You may perhaps recognize some unusual things in this checklist they are prolonged strings of letters and quantities. These correspond to Safari shortcuts that you may perhaps have established on your residence screen, which will not demonstrate up as particular person applications. This is not incredibly handy, and you are unable to add a unique website to Always Permitted. And if you are sharing Monitor Time throughout gadgets, you’ll see Mac apps on your Iphone and iPad, and iOS/iPadOS applications on your Mac.

Content & Privateness Limitations

This screen presents you some granular management in excess of specific written content and privacy settings.

There are four tabs:

  • Written content: Below Written content Limits, you can restrict written content this kind of as flicks, Tv reveals, or apps by age rating, and you can block explicit songs and podcasts. You can block grownup web-sites in the Web Written content segment, or increase a listing of websites you want to enable your children use in the Authorized Sites Only list. And you can block points like Siri website searches, or Sport Heart characteristics.
  • Shops: On this tab you can set ratings for content authorized – movies, Television set reveals, apps, and more – and you can permit or disable the means to set up applications, delete apps, or make in-app purchases. There is also a location to require a password immediately just after a order in Apple’s shops, or following 15 minutes.
  • Apps: This allows you let or deny entry to certain apps.
  • Other: You can pick if the person can change their passcode, make modifications to their account, and extra.


Display screen Time provides a whole lot of settings you can use to recognize how you use your units, and to defend your children it is really worth getting some time to go by them and determine out what is effective finest. As your kids mature, and as they fully grasp the potential risks of the world-wide-web, you can regulate these settings and be far more flexible. Whilst these parental controls are not 100% infallible, they go a extensive way to giving you peace of mind when your kids use a Mac, Apple iphone, or iPad.


How can I master much more?

Just about every week on the Intego Mac Podcast, Intego’s Mac protection specialists examine the latest Apple information, protection and privateness tales, and present functional advice on obtaining the most out of your Apple products. Be sure to follow the podcast to make sure you do not overlook any episodes.

You can also subscribe to our e-mail publication and hold an eye here on Mac Safety Website for the latest Apple protection and privateness information. And really do not forget to follow Intego on your favourite social media channels: Fb, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

About Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn writes about Apple goods and much more on his blog site Kirkville.
He is co-host of the Intego Mac Podcast, as properly as numerous other podcasts, and is a standard contributor to The Mac Safety Blog, TidBITS, and several other sites and publications.
Kirk has created much more than two dozen guides, such as Acquire Handle guides about Apple’s media applications, Scrivener, and LaunchBar.
Abide by him on Twitter at @mcelhearn.
Check out all posts by Kirk McElhearn →

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