How to set a screen time limit on your phone or laptop

iPhone users

As our devices become more and more distracting, they’re also adding more and more tools to try to manage this distraction – so you know when you can actually get something done or really Can communicate with other people in real life. Same room as you. In addition to all the third-party options, there are now various integrated Screen Time tools built into Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS.

These features all work the same way: You decide how much time is appropriate for you to spend on social media, gaming, watching videos, or whatever it is, and your phone, tablet, or computer warns you. Lets say that when you cross these times. Of course, as you’ve set the limits yourself, it’s not difficult to override them — but hopefully the restrictions go some way to helping you maintain a healthy relationship with your gadget.

How to limit screen time on Android

On the stock version of Android that Google puts on its Pixel devices, open Settings and select Digital wellbeing and parental controls Pie chart to see which apps are taking up most of your time over the past day. You can also see how many times you’ve unlocked your phone and how many notifications you’ve received.

Tap the pie chart to get more details and view statistics over time. And in the list of apps below the graph, you’ll see timer icons on the right: Tap any of these to set a daily screen time limit for a specific app. You can go from 5 minutes to 23 hours and 55 minutes, and all timers reset at midnight.

android screen time limit

You have a lot of scope for app timers on Android.
screenshot, Android

Once you exceed the allotted time for a particular app, its home screen icon turns gray, and you’ll get an “app paused” message if you try to open it. If you want to ignore the restrictions you’ve put on yourself, you’ll need to go back into the Screen Time settings and remove the limit (or increase it).

if you go back to the main Digital wellbeing and parental controls screen from the Settings menu, you’ll find that there are several other options for reducing app distractions, including the classic do not disturb And focus mode option, which snoozes notifications from a specific subset of apps for the times when you really want to focus on something else—and not be constantly distracted by your phone.

How to Limit Screen Time on iOS

To find out how much time you spend staring at your iPhone, open Settings in iOS and select screen time, You’ll see your daily average for the current week, how it compares to the previous week, and also the total screen time for each individual day. tap on View All Activity to see more details for the current day, including an app-by-app breakdown.

back to screen time screen, tap app limits and then add border If you want to set some restrictions. You can choose from a whole host of categories created by iOS (such as Social either Entertainment), or tap to jump to individual apps within these categories. tap nextAnd you can specify a daily limit for the app in question, from 1 minute to 23 hours and 59 minutes.

ios screen time limit

If you want, you can group apps by category on iOS.
screenshot, iOS

iOS is kind enough to warn you before you reach your daily time limit, and once you’ve exceeded it, you’ll get a message to that effect that opens instead of the app — along with text if you’d like. Option to extend your allotted time. You can go back into Settings and remove the limit, but hopefully you’re more committed to reducing distractions than this.

On the same Screen Time screen, you’ll find several other options to make your iPhone less distracting: For example, tap downtime to put your phone into a restricted mode of operation where only certain apps are allowed to function (perfect for getting ready for bed), or communication limitations To set restrictions based on specific contacts instead of specific apps.

How to Limit Screen Time on Windows

Windows is different here because it doesn’t have a built-in Screen Time feature, but you can use different parts of the operating system to cover more or less the same roles. Given how ubiquitous such controls are now on software platforms, it seems likely that Microsoft is at least thinking about adding them soon.

First, you can check how much time you’re spending on your laptop or desktop by opening Settings and choosing Management, Then Power & Battery, Click see details And you can see how long the screen has actually been on over the past 24 hours or the past week (use the drop-down menu in the top right corner to switch between the two). However, you don’t get the detailed app-by-app breakdown in Windows.

windows focus session

Use Focus on Windows to reduce distractions.
screenshot, windows

You can set limits on both screen time and app limits in Windows, but they need to be applied to the child account, and they’ll cover both Windows and Xbox devices—whether you think it’s worth creating a child account Or not. The use of the app in Czech is up to you. To get to these settings, which is a work in progress, you need to open family safety app Open the Family Safety portal for Windows or on the web,

What you can do for your own adult account through Windows’ own settings limits how apps can constrain you. From Management In Settings, select any notifications And do not disturb either hub (Which is like Do Not Disturb mode with some extras). Even if you can’t set specific limits on apps right now, you can mark periods when they’re not allowed to be too distracting.

How to limit screen time on macOS

The Screen Time features built into macOS are very similar to those found in iOS, and in fact, if you have both an iPhone and a Mac, you can set limits that apply to both platforms. To go to the corresponding configuration screen on macOS, open the Apple menu , then choose system setup And screen timeClick on app usage To see how you’re spending time on your Mac.

From screen time, choose app limits To impose some restrictions. The daily time limit can go from one minute to 23 hours and 59 minutes, and you can set different restrictions for different days of the week if you need to. On iOS, you can limit apps to specific categories (eg Play either creativity) as well as individual apps.

ios screen time limit

Screen Time options on macOS match those on iOS.
screenshot, Mac OS

When your time is up in a specific app, you’ll see a warning on the screen instead of the app itself—you can accept the imposed restrictions, or click ignore limit To give yourself a little more time (or to remove the limit for the rest of the day). You can also go back and edit Screen Time settings at any time.

but also screen time screen in system setup Is downtimeto restrict the use of certain apps at certain times of the day—perhaps during work hours or right before bedtime—and communication limitations, which lets you restrict the amount of time you spend communicating with particular contacts. As long as you’re signed in with the same Apple account, these settings should sync with iOS.

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