How to set up Screen Time as a parent on a child’s iPhone or iPad

iOS 12 introduced Apple’s new Screen Time platform to help users with spending their device time more deliberately. An important aspect of that is helping parents guide device use for their children. Let’s take a look at how to set up Screen Time on a child’s iPhone or iPad.

We previously covered the basics of Screen Time, with how to use the new data, graphs, and details that the software offers up. Now let’s dive into customizing Screen Time’s Downtime, App Limits, and more for a child’s device(s).

How to set up Screen Time as a parent on a child’s iPhone or iPad

  1. Open Settings on your child’s iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap Screen Time
  3. The first time you open Screen Time, you’ll see a splash screen with the option to Set up as a Parent, tap that
  4. Follow the prompts to customize Downtime, App Limits, Content & Privacy, and creating your Parent Passcode
  5. If you’d like to make any adjustments, you can always return to Settings → Screen Time 

Alternately, you can remotely manage devices connected to your iCloud account via Family Sharing. Head to Settings → Your Name → Family Sharing → Screen Time.

How to set up Screen Time iOS

Here’s how Screen Time looks during Downtime and when an app’s limit has been reached:

How to set up Screen Time and create app limits

Ignoring the limit will require the parent’s passcode for managed devices, but it won’t be needed if you set up limits on your own device.

If your child has multiple iOS devices, Screen Time works seamlessly across them so you don’t have to worry about fine-tuning settings and limits for each device. Once it’s set up on one device, the limits apply to cumulative usage across all devices.

You can easily see all Screen Time data for all devices connected to an iCloud account as shown below. Tap Settings → Screen Time → All Devices → Devices, found in the top right corner.

Screen Time dashboard iPad iOS

Notably, if you’ve been using restrictions in iOS 11 and earlier, you won’t find that section in settings anymore as it has been rolled into Screen Time.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel