How do I set a device time limit via Downtime on my iPhone®?

You can use Apple’s Screen Time settings to limit time and content on your iPhone® and iPad®! One Screen Time feature, Downtime, lets you set a device time limit.

Before You Begin


You must have iOS (operating system) 12 or newer to use Downtime. If you are unsure which operating system version you have, read How do I find my device’s operating system?

Turn on Screen Time

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone® or iPad®.
  2. Tap “Screen Time.”
  3. Tap “Turn on Screen Time.”
  4. Tap “Continue.”
  5. Tap “This is my iPhone.”
  6. Tap “Use Screen Time Passcode.”
  7. Enter a 4-digit passcode (the Covenant Eyes member should not know this code). Re-enter the code for verification.
  8. In March 2020, Apple released a new feature for iOS 13 and above called Screen Time Passcode Recovery. This feature allows you to reset the Screen Time Passcode via an Apple ID.
    SUGGESTION 1: The ally can enter in his/her own Apple ID. The passcode can then be reset using the ally’s Apple ID. Allies can create a free Apple ID on Apple’s website, even if they don’t have an Apple device.
    SUGGESTION 2: The ally can change the member’s Apple ID password before setting up the Screen Time Passcode. This way the struggling member will be less able to “recover the passcode” and access the Screen Time settings.
    SUGGESTION 3: You can select “Cancel” and opt out of Screen Time Passcode Recovery. The ally or whoever entered the code is then responsible for remembering it. Please note Covenant Eyes does not see or know your Screen Time Passcode, so if it’s lost or forgotten, you must contact Apple Support.
  9. Whether you skipped Passcode Recovery or not, Use Screen Time Passcode should change to Change Screen Time Passcode!

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Set up Downtime

Set up Downtime to control when you want time away from the screen:

  1. From the Screen Time page, tap “Downtime.”
  2. At the top of the page, turn the switch for Downtime on (green).
  3. To set the same time schedule away from the screen for every day, tap “Every Day.” If you’d like to customize the time away from the screen per day, tap “Customize Days.” Read on to select the apps you want available during Downtime.

Set up Always Allowed

Choose what apps you want access to when Downtime is enabled:

  1. From the Screen Time page, tap “Always Allowed.”
  2. On the Always Allowed page, tap the (+) button next to the app(s) you want access to when Downtime is enabled. The apps you selected will then move up to the ALLOWED APPS list. If you want the ability to surf the web in the Covenant Eyes browser when Downtime is on, tap the (+) button next to Covenant Eyes.

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