I want to set up Screen Time on my daughter’s iPhone so that some apps – including Fortnite – are unavailable late at night. How can I get it set up?
Screen Time is a great feature in iOS that helps you manage your own usage of specific apps, social media, games and overall can enforce a reduction in online time on the iPhone. You can turn off games, limit phone calls after midnight, even block social media during school or work hours, all from a single Settings screen. Not only that, but if you’re setting up someone else’s device, you can also add a secure PIN password so they don’t just promptly disable it when they really, really just need five more minutes to win.
Even if you don’t want any limitations setup at all, however, Screen Time is also analyzing your own phone usage and that can be quite interesting to identify which apps and categories primarily consume your phone time. Helpful too, when you realize those “quick peeks at Facebook” are adding up to 2-3 hours each and every day!
To set things up on your daughter’s phone, you’ll need to be able to log in to the device. Then go to “Settings” and swipe downward to reveal the search box to type in ‘screen’:
That first one is the match – Screen Time – and if you don’t want to use the search feature, you can also just find it a little ways down on the long Settings main listing of options too. Once you get there, you’ll see a graph that shows how she’s doing with phone usage and what categories of apps are consuming her attention:
You can see that I’m on my iPhone 11 Pro quite a bit, an average of almost 5 hours/daily. I also use it more on workdays than on the weekend if you look closely. The trends are worth watching too: I’ve reduced my average time on phone by 14% since last week! If you want to drill down further, you can tap on “See All Activity“.
What we want to set up is Downtime and App Limits, along with a passcode. Start by tapping on “Downtime” and you’ll see that it’s a “turn off most all apps” timer:
I’ve enabled mine to force me to get off the darn phone from 10pm to 7am every day. You can fine tune that as appropriate for your daughter. Done? Tap on “< Screen Time” on the top left to go back to the main section, then choose “App Limits“.
App Limits is pretty interesting because you’ll find all the apps on the phone are neatly categorized and you can drill down to find specific apps. Like Fortnite within “Games“:
You can consider disabling or limiting total play time for other apps as appropriate, like SnapChat. Choose the apps, then tap on “Next” on the top right to proceed to the specific limits you want to set. It’s really remarkably easy:
In this instance, I’m setting up the phone to ensure that I max out at 2 hours of Fortnite a day. Seem like a lot? Have you watched people play Fortnite? 🙂
When the time is close to running out, your daughter will see warnings like this:
And that’s it. If you want to set a password PIN, tap on “Use Screen Time Passcode” and enter a 4-digit number that’s not easily guessed. And that’s it. Easy, really. Now, good luck with the conversations when she hits those limits…
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the iPhone and iOS since the iPhone 1. Please check out my extensive iPhone and iOS help area for tons of useful tutorials. Thanks!