Set up Screen Time for a family member on iPhone

Set up Screen Time for a family member on iPhone

Screen Time lets you see how family members are using their devices, so you can structure the time they spend on them. You can set up Screen Time for a family member on their device or, if you’ve set up Family Sharing, you can set up Screen Time for a family member through Family Sharing on your device. See Set up Screen Time through Family Sharing on iPhone and the Apple Support article Family Sharing and Apple ID for your child.

Set downtime and app limits on a family member’s device

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings  > Screen Time.

  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPhone.

  3. To schedule downtime for your family member (time away from the screen), enter the start and end times, then tap Set Downtime.

  4. To set limits for categories of apps you want to manage for your family member (for example, Games or Social Networking), select the categories.

    To see all the categories, tap Show All Categories.

  5. Tap Set, enter an amount of time, then tap Set App Limit.

  6. Tap Continue, then enter a Screen Time passcode for managing your family member’s Screen Time settings.

Set communication limits on a family member’s device

You can block incoming and outgoing communication on your family member’s device—including phone calls, FaceTime calls, and messages—from specific contacts, either at all times or during certain periods.

  1. If you haven’t already turned on Contacts in iCloud on your family member’s device, go to Settings  > [child’s name] > iCloud, then turn on Contacts.

    Note: You can only manage your family member’s communication if they’re using Contacts in iCloud.

  2. On your family member’s device, go to Settings  > Screen Time.

  3. If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPhone.

  4. Tap Communication Limits, then do any of the following:

    • Limit communication at any time: Tap During Screen Time, then select Contacts Only, Contacts & Groups with at Least One Contact, or Everyone.

    • Limit communication during downtime: Tap During Downtime. The option you selected for During Screen Time is already set here. You can change this setting to Specific Contacts.

      If you select Specific Contacts, then tap either Choose From My Contacts or Add New Contact to select people you want to allow communication with during downtime.

    • Manage a child’s contacts: If you’re using Family Sharing, you can view, edit, add, or delete your child’s contacts. Tap Manage [child’s name] Contacts.

      If your child already has contacts in iCloud, they receive a notification on their device asking them to approve the request to manage them. If they don’t have contacts, they don’t get a notification and you can immediately add contacts.

      When you manage your child’s contacts, a new row appears beneath Manage [child’s name] Contacts to show how many contacts your child has. Tap the row to view and edit the contacts.

    • Allow contact editing: Tap Allow Contact Editing to turn off this option and prevent your child from editing their contacts.

      Turning off contact editing and limiting communication at any time to Contacts Only is a good way to control who your child can communicate with and when they can be contacted.

If someone who’s currently blocked by the Communication Limit settings tries to call your family member (by phone or FaceTime), or send them a message, their communication won’t go through.

If your family member tries to call or send a message to someone who’s currently blocked by the Communication Limit settings, the recipient’s name or number appears in red with an hourglass icon, and the communication won’t go through. If the limit applies only to downtime, your family member receives a Time Limit message and can resume communication with the contact when downtime is over.

To allow your family member to communicate with contacts who are blocked by the Communication Limit settings, change the settings by following the steps above.

Choose which apps to allow at all times on a family member’s device

You can set which apps you want your family member to be able to use at any time.

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings > Screen Time.

  2. If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPhone.

  3. Tap Always Allowed, then tap or next to an app to add or remove the app from the list.

    Note: If your family member needs health or accessibility apps, make sure they’re in the Allowed Apps list. If Messages isn’t always allowed, your family member may not be able to send or receive messages (including to emergency numbers and contacts) during downtime or after the app limit has expired.

Set content and privacy restrictions on a family member’s device

You can help ensure that the content on your family member’s device is age appropriate by limiting the explicitness ratings in Content & Privacy Restrictions.

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings  > Screen Time.

  2. If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPhone.

  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions.

  4. Choose specific content and privacy options, then tap the Back button.

    Note: To prevent changes to the maximum headphone volume, tap Reduce Loud Sounds, then select Don’t Allow. See Limit the headphone volume.

Add or change Screen Time settings for a family member later

To add or change Screen Time settings for a family member later, follow the steps described in Set up Screen Time for yourself on iPhone.

Important: If you set up Screen Time for a family member on their device (not through Family Sharing), and you forget the Screen Time passcode, you can use your Apple ID to reset it. However, if you set up Screen Time for a family member on your device through Family Sharing and you forget your Screen Time passcode, you can reset it on your device using your device passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.

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