How to Set Screen Time Limits for Specific Apps on the iPhone & iPad

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you're wondering, "how can I stop spending so much time on my phone," Screen Time settings can help you combat smartphone addiction. Apple offers Screen Time settings on your iPhone and iPad with a section called App Limits that tracks and limits how much time you spend on particular activities, sites, and apps. Read on to learn how to set restrictions on the iPhone and iPad and limit screen time for specific apps. 

Related: How to Set iPhone Parental Controls & Restrictions  

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How to Limit Screen Time for Addicting Apps on Your iPhone & iPad

We've gone over iPad and iPhone parental controls in previous articles, but it's not just our kids that battle smartphone addiction! If you find yourself spending too much time on social media, games, or other apps, here's what to do about it. 

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Screen Time.

    settings app on iphonetap on screen time
  3. Tap App Limits.
  4. Tap Add Limit.

    technology addictionscreen addiction
  5. If you only want to limit some of the apps in a category, tap the arrow next to the category to choose particular apps to limit.
  6. Choose apps to limit, then tap Next.

    choose app limit categoriesset facebook app limits
  7. Choose the amount of time per day that you'll allow yourself for that app, then tap Add.

    set how long to spend on an app per day
  8. If you'd like to set limits for all the apps in a category instead of limiting individual ones, tap the circle next to the category, then tap Next.

    set app limit for every app in a category
  9. Set the time limit for all apps in the category you chose, then tap Add, as before.

    select apps to include in screen time limitsset a time limit for all apps in a category
  10. Whether you've chosen to limit one app, a whole category of apps, or even several categories, you have the option to customize app limits day by day. Tap Customize Days.
  11. Tap the day you'd like to adjust, and continue through each day you'd like to customize.
  12. Tap Back when finished, then the arrow in the upper-left corner of your screen to see your completed app limits. 

    customize app limits by daytap back to return to app limits
  13. You'll be given a warning before you reach your daily limit, and a notification when you've used up your allotted time. If you want to keep using the app, tap Ignore Limit.
  14. You'll be given the option to stay on the app for One more minute, Remind Me in 15 Minutes, or Ignore Limit For Today

    app limit notificationignore app limits

Let me know in the comments how this tip worked for you, and if it's helped to reduce the time spent on your device.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.