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

* This post is part of iPhone Life's 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  

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

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.

Check out our free Tip of the Day for more great Apple device tutorials. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

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.