Parental Controls: How to Block Websites & Apps, Limit Screen Time on the iPhone & iPad

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

If you're worried that your child is spending too much time on their iPhone or iPad, and may even have a screen addiction, Apple's new operating system, iOS 12, is here to help. With iOS 12, parental restrictions are easy to put in place, and you can limit not only the total amount of time spent on a device but also set restrictions for individual apps, as well as content and privacy. Let's get started learning how to set up Screen Time restrictions for a child or teenager on iPhone or iPad.  

Related: How to Use Parental Controls on iPhone & iPad to Keep Apps from Being Added or Deleted

To set Screen Time restrictions for your child, they must have an Apple ID, and you'll need to add them to your Family Group in Family Sharing;  you must also be the Organizer of the Group. 

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap on Screen Time.
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  • Under Family, tap on the name of the child you want to turn on Screen Time for.
  • Tap Turn on Screen Time.
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  • You'll see an overview of all the information you'll receive and restrictions you can set; tap Continue.
  • Now you'll be able to set App Limits; tap Show All Categories to see all the possible restrictions you can enable on your child's iPhone or iPad.
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  • Tap the bubble to the left of the category you'd like to restrict, then choose the restrictions you want to set.
  • Repeat this process for each category until you've covered all the areas you feel are important.
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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a 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.