27/09/2018 06:00 BST | Updated 09/10/2018 14:18 BST

Apple's Screen Time Is Here To Help You Use Your Phone Less

Want to stop scrolling before bed? Now your iPhone can help.

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Feel like you’re using your phone too much? Apple’s Screen Time is a set of tools designed to help you understand how much you’re using your iPhone or iPad and then if needs be, help you use it less.

Released as part of iOS 12, its features range from showing you a complex breakdown of how long you use apps for to actually setting time limits on certain problem apps. It even includes a new and enhanced Do Not Disturb mode that’s designed to help you get a good night’s sleep.

To help you make the most of Screen Time here’s a rundown of all the new features and what they do.

If you haven’t updated the software to iOS 12 yet then you will need to do so first. Head to Settings and then scroll down until you see Screen Time. Always remember to backup your iPhone or iPad to iCloud before updating.

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Here you’ll see a quick visual breakdown of how you’re using your iPhone during the day as well as quick access to the four main features.

If you want to see a more comprehensive look at how you’re using your phone simply tap on the name of the device above the graph.

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From here you can see exactly how you’ve used your phone throughout the day or for the last seven days.

It’ll even show you how your sleep pattern fits in with what you’re doing just before bed.



Downtime lets you set a daily window during which you can partially block access to the apps you use the most. It won't block the app entirelty, instead it'll simply pop up with a warning telling you you've reached your limit. It’s perfect for evenings or times when you know you’re most at risk of carrying out some mindless scrolling.

Simply tap on Downtime in the main menu of Screen Time and set the window you want for each day.

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To control which apps you do and don’t want available during Downtime simply head to Always Allowed in the main menu of Screen Time.

From there you’ll be able to pick and choose which apps you do and don’t want to be partially blocked.

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App Limits

App limits let you set time limits on either groups of apps or individual apps.

To set a time limit on an individual app you need to tap on the name of your phone at the top of the Screen Time main menu.

Then scroll down and select one of the apps. You can then scroll down, tap on Add Limit. Each time limit is reset each day.

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Alternatively you can set time limits on whole groups of apps through the Screen Time main menu. Simply tap on App Limits.

From there you simply tap Add Limit and you’ll be given a range of categories to choose from. Once you’ve selected the categories you want you can choose a time.

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Content & Privacy Restrictions

Parents listen up, this is where you can restrict your kids access to features such as in-app purchases, downloading new apps, playing inappropriate content and yes, stopping them from playing Fortnite.

From here you can set Allowed Apps, iTunes & Store Purchases and Content Restrictions.

We won’t go into every menu here as there’s loads to choose from but effectively you can restrict content based on age rating, the type of app it is and more.

If you have Apple’s Family Sharing set up on your children’s iOS devices you can manage all of this straight from Screen Time for Family from the Screen Time main menu.

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