Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to set up Screen Time on an iPhone to manage your child’s phone usage

Are you concerned about how much time your child is spending on their phone? Apple has a Child profile option which lets you manage and keep an eye on your child’s screen time. 

Follow our step-by-step guide below to set up screen time for your child’s iPhone through your Apple account.

What you’ll need:

  • An iPhone

The short version:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Select Family
  • Tap the Add icon
  • Choose Create Child Account
  • Fill in the information
  • Set up Screen Time
  • Turn on Age Restrictions
  • Turn on App and Website Activity
  • Turn on Downtime
  • Set up a Parental Controls Lock
  • Tap Done
  1. Step

    Open the Settings app

    We’ll be demonstrating with an iPhone but the steps are exactly the same with an iPad.iPhone Home Screen with Settings App highlighted

  2. Step

    Select Family

    This option will be at the top of the Settings page, under your Apple ID profile.Settings app on iPhone with Family option highlighted

  3. Step

    Tap the Add icon

    This is in the top right corner of the screen, as shown below.Add new family member on iPhone icon

  4. Step

    Choose Create Child Account

    A Child Account can be created for children under the age of 12.Create Child Account option on Invite Family page on iPhone

  5. Step

    Fill in the information

    Here you’ll be prompted to create an account for your child, which will require you to set up an email (or use one they already have) and a password. 

    You may also need to enter your Apple ID password and any other passwords associated with your Apple account.
    Create a Child Account information page

  6. Step

    Set up Screen Time

    After you set up your child’s account, you’ll be instantly prompted to establish their screen time preferences. Select Continue.Set up Screen Time option on iPhone

  7. Step

    Turn on Age Restrictions

    The first prompt doesn’t actually involve screen time but rather the content your child will be allowed to access. Here you can adjust the ratings across Web Content, Apps, Movies and more.Age restrictions page for setting up child profile on iPhone

  8. Step

    Turn on App and Website Activity

    You’ll now be prompted to turn on Screen Time tracking for your child’s account, allowing you to receive weekly reports about their screen time, schedule downtime and set daily limits for app usage.Turn on App ad Activity Activity on child account on iPhone

  9. Step

    Turn on Downtime

    Downtime allows you to set a schedule for time away from the screen. During this time period, you’ll need to give your child permission to use their phone. Simply tap on the start time to set when you’d like this to begin (for example, before their bedtime) and choose the end time (which can be the next morning.)

    You can also opt to skip this entirely by choosing Set Up Later.
    Downtime option on iPhone

  10. Step

    Set up a Parental Controls Lock

    To make future changes to Screen Time settings, you’ll need to set up a child lock. Make sure it’s something you can remember but isn’t guessable by your child.

    Once this is set up you’ll be given a few optional extras to tweak, including location tracking.Parental Controls Child Lock set up on iPhone

  11. Step

    Tap Done

    Once you’ve gone through all the steps, select Done.Finished setting up child profile on iPhone


Can I see how long my child spends on specific apps?

To check screen time, go onto your iPhone Settings and tap Family. From here, tap on the child profile and you’ll see their screen time displayed there.

Can I adjust the limits of my child’s screen time?

Yes and luckily it’s quick and easy to do so. Select your child’s profile from the Family section on Settings and tap the Screen Time option.

Here you can adjust their Limit Usage accordingly.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words