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How to Turn Off Screen Time on the iPhone or iPad

Posted by Jim Tanous on June 26, 2019
turn off screen time ios 12

Apple iOS 12 introduced a new feature for iPhones and iPads called Screen Time that helps you monitor and limit your screen time, which you can set for yourself or as “parental controls” to limit your children’s screentime and limit what apps they can use on your devices. Users have the option to set up Screen Time as a parent or as a general user.  Though you may want to turn off Screen Time, which is what this article will show you how to do.

Screen Time is part of Apple’s efforts to address smartphone and tablet addiction, tracking how you spend your time when you’re using your iPhone and iPad, It monitors how much time you’re using a particular app or category of apps, and lets you set restrictions that will hopefully help you develop healthier relationships with your mobile devices and apps. As parental controls, Screen Time can help you to help your kids develop healthier relationships with devices and apps.

As Apple describes the problem that Screen Time addresses:

Empowering customers with insight into how they are spending time with apps and websites, Screen Time creates detailed daily and weekly Activity Reports that show the total time a person spends in each app they use, their usage across categories of apps, how many notifications they receive and how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad. By understanding how they’re interacting with their iOS devices, people can take control of how much time they spend in a particular app, website or category of apps.

For example, users can limit the amount of time that iOS will allow access to Facebook, schedule a period of downtime every night that restricts access to games or even block access to certain websites and apps entirely to help you avoid temptation.

And even if you don’t want to go so far as to set actual restrictions, Screen Time will still provide a chart detailing how much time you spent using various categories of apps and services.

But not every iPhone or iPad user needs a feature like Screen Time or may want to turn it off temporarily. It can also be a privacy issue as well, not from Apple but in the sense that anyone who has access to your devices can see which apps you’re using and for how long you used them.

For those who don’t need or want a Screen Time, this TechJunkie article will walk you through the steps to turn off Screen Time on iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad.

Turn Off Screen Time on Your iPhone or iPad

First, an important note: when Screen Time is first enabled, it can be configured for an adult or a child. If it was configured for a child, you will need the adult’s passcode to turn off Screen Time.
turn off screen time iphone

  1. From your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings
  2. Then tap Screen Time
  3. Swipe down to the bottom of the list and select Turn Off Screen Time
  4. Tap Turn Off Screen Time again to confirm

With Screen Time disabled, your iOS device will no track your application usage time and any limits or restrictions based on Screen Time settings will be lifted on your device.

Note, however, that from a privacy perspective, application usage may still be visible via the Battery Health and Usage information in iOS Settings, which you can learn more about reading How to Use iOS 12 iPhone Battery Usage and Battery Health Information.

Turn Screen Time Back On

If you later decide that you want to use Screen Time and its related features again, you can turn it back on by heading back to Settings > Screen Time and selecting Turn On Screen Time. You’ll need to go through the entire setup process again, however, and any previous Screen Time data will not be restored.

For a complete article on how to limit your screen time, check out How To Limit Your Screen Time On iPhone and iPad.

Do you use Screen Time on your Apple devices? If so, do you use it for “parental controls, to limit your own screen time or both? Please us about it in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “How to Turn Off Screen Time on the iPhone or iPad”

Fiona Fux says:
“If you later decide that you want to use Screen Time […] again, you can turn it back on […]. You’ll need to go through the entire setup process again, however, and any previous Screen Time data will not be restored.”

This seems like a huge design flaw of this function and makes it practically unusable as a parental control – why would Apple not let me “pause” all screentime limitations as the adult? Instead I have to go through all settings again after switching screentime temporarily off?

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Suga says:
What’s stopping my son from following these steps and cutting ST off by himself since you don’t need a code:
From your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings
Then tap Screen Time
Swipe down to the bottom of the list and select Turn Off Screen Time
Tap Turn Off Screen Time again to confirm
Reply
The Dark Knight says:
If you have screen time protected with a passcode then you cannot access the function to switch it off without the passcode
Reply
Laura says:
how can i get around screentime if i’m the kid that’s under 18?
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The Dark Knight says:
You can’t. Unless you have the passcode.
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Dan says:
What would happen if you turn off screen time family sharing if a member of the family is over 18?
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Kell davis says:
How do you turn off screen time if someone else got on there and put a code on it ? I’m the adult but as a cruel joke someone put a parental lock on it and won’t own up to it.
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Ryan says:
you will need to go through a lot of verifications to turn on screen time if someone else is controlling your phone through screen time.However,for your case, if the person doesn’t own up you can email apple to remove the screen time and explain to them what happened
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The Dark Knight says:
There is software that you can buy. TYou will need to make a password protected backup of your iPad via iTunes on your computer. The software can then be used to scan the backup to extract the passcode. Expensive and long winded but 100% successful. Quicker way is to ask the person who I did it to give you the code. Other than that, you will have to reset your iPad and set it up as a new iPad and reinstall all your apps from the start.
Taira says:
I set up screen time on my sons phone and he just shut it off. How does that happen? What’s the point of setting it up if he can just turn it off?
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Ryan says:
set a password and turn off his ability to change the date and time and that feature can allow him to change the time to the time when there is no downtime.Also remember to keep the password a secret
Reply

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