How do I set up Screen Time on iOS 13?

Screen Time gives you control of an iPhone®/iPad®. When using Screen Time, you have the power to disable Safari, AirDrop, or the ability to install apps. This article highlights the Screen Time features that work well with the Covenant Eyes app.

Note: If your device is now using iOS 14, our instructions for Screen Time didn’t change. You can follow the steps in this article or visit How do I set up Screen Time on iOS 14?, both guides will work for you.

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Enabling Screen Time and Creating a Passcode

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone® or iPad®.
  2. Select “Screen Time” and then tap “Turn On Screen Time.”
  3. A brief description of what Screen Time does will appear. Tap “Continue.”
  4. You will be asked whether you are setting the device up for yourself or your child. For the sake of focusing on the content restrictions best paired with Covenant Eyes, select “This is My iPad®/iPhone®. (If you select This is My Child’s iPad/iPhone, you’ll first be directed through setting up Downtime and App Limit restrictions.)
  5. You’ll be directed to the Screen Time settings. On this screen, select “Use Screen Time Passcode.”
  6. Then enter in a 4-digit passcode (the Covenant Eyes member should not know this code). You will be asked to re-enter the code for verification.

    UPDATE: Late in March 2020, Apple released a new feature in iOS 13 called Screen Time Passcode Recovery. If you are concerned about forgetting the Screen Time passcode, then enter an Apple ID on the Screen Time Passcode Recovery screen.
    SUGGESTION: For members who really struggle, it might be a good idea to let the person who holds the Screen Time Passcode change the password for that member’s Apple ID before setting up the Screen Time Passcode. This way the struggling member will be less able to “recover the passcode” to get online with being monitored.

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Disabling Safari

For the best accountability experience, use Screen Time to disable Safari and make the Covenant Eyes® app your only browser.

  1. Within Screen Time, tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions.”
  2. Now tap “Allowed Apps.”
  3. In the Allowed Apps menu, tap the switch to the right of Safari. This will disable Safari for this device.

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Disabling the Option to Install/Delete Apps

In some cases, it is wise to disable the options to install and/or to delete apps.

  1. Within Screen Time, select “Content & Privacy Restrictions.”
  2. Now tap “iTunes & App Store Purchases.”
  3. Select “Installing Apps” and then select “Don’t Allow” to disable the ability to install apps. (We recommend the same setting for “Deleting Apps.”)

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Protect Young Eyes

One of our friends, Protect Young Eyes, is a strong advocate for online safety. They “help create safer digital spaces”  and they specialize in educating parents. One of their articles contains detailed instructions about setting up other Screen Time features in iOS 13. Parents, we encourage you to check out the article and the PYE website.