Apple provides free parental controls, called Screen Time, for iPhone® and iPad®. Screen Time has many features: app time limits, adjustable content settings for each age, device passcode restrictions, and much more. This article highlights the Screen Time features on iOS 14 or 15 that work well with the Covenant Eyes app.
Screen Time varies slightly, per operating system! If you’re not sure which Apple operating system (iOS) version is on your device, check out How do I find the Operating System I have on my device?
- If your device is using iOS 13, refer to these steps.
- If your device is using iOS 12, refer to these steps.
- If your device is using iOS 11, refer to these steps.
If your device is using iOS 14 or 15:
Enable Screen Time and Create a Passcode
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone® or iPad®.
- Select “Screen Time.”
- Now select “Use Screen Time Passcode.”
- 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.
- 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.
- If you selected “Cancel,” you’ll be asked to confirm that choice.
- Whether you skipped “Passcode Recovery” or not, you should now have created a passcode!
For the best accountability experience, use Screen Time to disable Safari and make Covenant Eyes your only browser.
- After opening the Settings app, select the “Screen Time” option.
- Now tap “Content and Privacy Restrictions.”
- Select “Allowed Apps” and enter your Screen Time Passcode.
- On the Allowed Apps screen, tap the switch to the right of Safari. This will disable Safari for this device.
- Exit the Settings app and confirm that Safari is disabled. If Safari was located in the Dock, it should now be gone.
Disable Installing/Deleting Apps
To prevent the member from installing inappropriate apps via the App Store, we recommend disabling the option to install apps.
- Open the Settings app, and select “Screen Time.”
- Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions.”
- Now, tap “iTunes & App Store Purchases” and enter your Screen Time passcode.
- Select “Installing Apps” and then select “Don’t Allow” to disable the ability to install apps.
Note: If you want to safeguard the Covenant Eyes app from being uninstalled, you can disable the ability to delete apps by selecting “Deleting Apps” and then “Don’t Allow.
- Select the “<Back” option in the upper left-hand corner.
- You’ll return to the iTunes & App Store Purchases screen and be able to view the changed setting.
- In some situations, it is best to also change the setting for “Deleting Apps.”
- In other situations, it makes sense to allow the installing of apps, but not the deleting of apps.
Limit Adult Content
For even more controls like Web Content restrictions, a Never Allow List, and additional resources for parents, we have a complete article dedicated to limiting adult content in addition to the options outlined above.
If after completing these steps you are still looking for some tighter restrictions for your family, you may be interested in exploring Apple’s Family Sharing feature!