🥇 How to use screen time with your family sharing account

6 min

Are you confused about the screen time feature of iOS 12+? If so, you are not alone! Some comments and emails about how to use this feature appear daily. In particular, many parents (and grandparents or guardians) want to know how to use Screen Time to track their children’s iDevice usage. Since many of these families also share a family sharing account, learn how to use Screen Time with these family plans.

So let’s get started!

With the release of iOS 12 came a handy new feature called Screen Time. With this tool you can see how much time you spend on your device and which apps. You can also set restrictions, downtime, and restrictions for specific apps.

Along with managing your own screen time, you can do this by monitoring your children’s and enabling restrictions for them too. Learn how to use Screen Time with your Family Sharing account.


  • Screen time not working in iOS 12? How to fix
  • Where are there limitations in iOS 12? We found it and more!
  • How to reset screen time passcode on iOS 12

Enable screen sharing for family sharing

To get started, you can activate the screen time feature with your family sharing account in two different ways.

Method one

  1. to open the settings on your device.
  2. Choose screen time,
  3. tap Set up the screen time for the family,
  4. Follow the instructions to set up an existing child account or create a new account.

Set the screen time for the family

Method two

  1. to open the settings on your device.
  2. Select your account above.
  3. tap Family Sharing,
  4. Choose screen time at the bottom to turn it on.
  5. Choose your family member.
  6. tap Turn on the screen,

On time for the family

Regardless of which method you use to activate screen time for your family sharing account, you are in the same place where you configure the settings for your family member.

Set up the basic settings for the screen time

After enabling screen time, you should be ready to set it up for your first family member.

You will first navigate through the basic settings and can then adjust them according to your wishes and examine them in more detail.

Plan downtime

The first thing you will be asked to do is schedule a downtime. This function allows you to set a start and end time for use on the screen.

For example, you may not want your child to use their phone between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Simply select the times you want to use and tap Set downtime,

Set the screen down time

iOS 12.2 Now Allows you to plan downtime by calendar day

iOS 12.2 now offers a new option to adjust the downtime settings on weekdays. Many users have waited patiently for this function.

This feature allows you to customize the downtime settings to start at a specific time for a specific day. This enables flexible management of the school evenings / weekend evenings for parents and will play an important role when Apple Arcade comes out later this year!

  • Tap on Settings ⇾ Start time during down time
  • Tap the new “Customize days” option
  • Adjust the downtime to your needs
    Adjust the downtime by day of the week

For example, if you want downtime to start at 10:00 p.m. on weekdays, but only after midnight on the weekend, you can easily manage these options with iOS 12.2

Set app limits

Next, you’ll be asked to set up app limits. This feature allows you to limit the amount of time spent on certain types of apps such as social networks, games, entertainment or creativity.

Tap a category, then tap at the bottom amount of time, You can set the time limit for what you want and then tap Set app limit when you’re done.

Set the time limits for the screen application

Create a parent passcode

You will then be asked to adjust the settings for content and data protection.

When you type Continueyou need to create a parent passcode.

This passcode is required to have more time or to change the screen time settings you have set.

Set the passcode for the screen time

Once you’ve set these basics, you can stop where you are or add more restrictions if you want.

Additional screen time restrictions

In addition to being able to edit the basic settings you have configured, you can examine other restrictions and limits in more detail.

Adjust the days for the app limits

You may want to allow your child to use certain apps, such as entertainment or games, more frequently on weekends than during school week.

This is simple and as follows

  1. tap App-limits,
  2. Choose Add limit,
  3. Select one or more categories the apps would fall into.
  4. tap Add above.
  5. Set the time allowed for the apps.
  6. tap Adjust days directly under the time setting.
  7. Then select each day of the week to adjust the time limit for that day.

Adjust the time limit for the screen application

Content and privacy restrictions

This setting is an important section that all parents need to review in the screen time area.

Here you can decide what kind of content your child is allowed to view, what changes they can make and much more.

Start by activating Content and privacy restrictions Slider up. Then work your way through the individual options.

Enable screen time limits

Purchases, apps, and content restrictions

You can allow or disallow your child to install and delete apps, make in-app purchases, and decide whether a password should be required.

Next, you can enable or disable certain apps like Mail, Safari, AirDrop, Camera and Wallet to be allowed.

The following section is another important section that you should check out. Content restrictions let you decide what kind of content your child can view from movies and TV shows to books and apps.

Everyone has their own options to choose from, including age for apps and ratings for movies.

Restrictions on the purchase of apps on the screen

You can also use this area to restrict certain types of web content, languages, and Game Center options.

Just go through each of these content restrictions individually so you don’t miss an important setting.

Data protection and permissible changes

In the last two sections, you can allow or disallow location sharing, password changes, account changes, and some other items.

Simply tap on the individual symbols and select one enable or Do not allow,

Screen time restrictions

Tips for troubleshooting screen times and family sharing

If for some reason Family Sharing screen time isn’t working properly, you can try the following:

  1. Make sure that your child’s device has Screen Time installed and running.
  2. Deactivate and reactivate the screen time.
  3. Sign out of iCloud accounts and sign in again.
  4. Restart the devices.

Many of the problems with screen time and family sharing integration arise from misunderstandings about how this works. There are three important rules to keep in mind when using Screen Time with Family Sharing:

  • When family sharing is turned on for an iCloud account, only family members designated as parents / guardians can turn off screen time on their device.
  • To enable a passcode for restrictions on a child device on which the child has activated the screen time, the parent / guardian must first deactivate the screen time on the child device and reactivate the screen time on the parent / guardian device.
  • If a child account does not want to share screen time usage with parent / guardian accounts, it should either become a parent / guardian or leave the iCloud family.

Gray screen on screen time

So if you happen to see a gray screen when you access the screen time, it means that you are not set up as a parent / guardian. It is important to note that an adult account is not necessarily a parent or guardian account.

If your Family Sharing Organizer enables the Parents / Guardians setting for you, you can use the screen time yourself.

The screen time was accidentally turned off. Access is no longer possible

We have seen this problem from many users. You have family sharing on and under screen time there is an option not to allow parents / guardians to display screen time information.

If you turn it off and can’t use the screen time features, it’s all grayed out. How can you enable or disable this option so that parents or guardians can view the screen time?

The parents or guardians of your family release account must give you family releases for parents / guardians. Then it works again. That is the only way out.

Problems with the screen time passcode?

If you’re having trouble with your screen time passcode, see the video below to learn how to reset it.

How to check screen time on iPhone

Another wonderful feature of Screen Time is the activity report.

This gives you a detailed overview of how much time has been spent on the device, with which apps and more

  1. Head to yours the settings and choose screen time,
  2. Select the family member whose activity you want to see.
  3. At the top is a summary report that you can tap for more details.

You can view the time spent on each app on the details screen.

And you can choose optionally today or Last 7 days above.

Then, when you scroll down, you can check the number of pickups, the number of notifications, and the most popular times each time.

Time Activity Report screen

This report is a valuable tool to learn where your child spends most of their time on their device.


Hopefully, these steps, tips, and tips will help you set up Screen Time with Family Sharing for you and your loved ones.

If you have your own tips you’d like to share, you can do so in the comments below!

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