How to Set Downtime in Screen Time Settings on Your iPhone & iPad

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Screen addiction is a very real issue for many smartphone users, and Apple is taking the problem seriously. Since the rollout of iOS 12, there's a Screen Time feature that can help iPhone and iPad users become aware of how much time they spend on their devices, then cut back if they feel the need. One of these settings is called Downtime. What does Downtime in Screen Time do? It's exactly what it sounds like; a set time of day where your device reminds you that it's time to unplug and do something else. Let's get started learning how to set up Downtime in iOS 13 now. 

Related: 8 Tips for Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Screens

How to Set Up Downtime in Your Screen Time Settings:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Screen Time and toggle it on if you haven't already.

    iphone parental controlsios parental controls
  3. Tap Downtime.
  4. Toggle on Downtime, then tap Every Day or Customize Days. If you tap Every Day, Downtime will occur during the same hours each day. If you select Customize Days, you can allow for more device usage during particular times like weekends. 

    tap downtime in screen time settingshow to turn on downtime on iphone
  5. I've chosen Customize Days so that I can tap each day of the week, then tap From and To and scroll to choose when Downtime starts and ends.
  6. Tap Downtime at the top of your screen to return to the Downtime schedule and customize more days.

    tap a day of the week to set your downtimetap downtime to return to the menu
  7. You'll receive a Downtime reminder five minutes before Downtime begins; you'll then be notified when Downtime begins.
  8. The majority of your apps will be grayed out with an hourglass next to the app name during Downtime.

    app time limitapp to limit phone use
  9. If you tap on a grayed-out app, you'll see a notice that gives you the option to tap OK or Ignore Limit.
  10. If you tap Ignore Limit, you can use the app for One more minute, ask to be reminded in fifteen minutes, ignore the limit altogether, or cancel and stick to your Downtime limit.

    downtime app limits on iphonean i ignore downtime limits

Can I Change My Downtime Limits?

Of course! You can go into Settings and change or remove your Downtime limits if you wish, or you can tap on an app you want to use, then tap Ignore Limit For Today.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.