As our devices become more and more distracting, more and more tools are being added to try to manage this distraction so that, you know, you can really complete some work or actually communicate in real life with others who are in the same room as you. In addition to all the third-party solutions, Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS now come with a number of integrated screentime features.
All of these features function similarly: Your phone, tablet, or computer will alert you when you’ve gone over the allotted amount of time for social media, gaming, video watching, or whatever else you choose to do. Of course, since you establish the boundaries, it’s easy to ignore them, but perhaps the limitations help you maintain a positive connection with your technology.
Android screen time restriction methods
You can view a pie chart showing which applications have been using the most of your time over the past day on the stock version of Android that Google installs on its Pixel devices by opening Settings and selecting Digital Wellbeing and parental controls. You can view the number of times you’ve unlocked your phone as well as the number of notifications that have arrived.
To view statistics over longer time periods and to view additional information, tap on the pie chart. Additionally, timer icons can be seen on the right in the list of apps below the graphs: To set daily screen time restrictions for a specific app, tap on any of these. All timers reset at midnight and range from 5 minutes to 23 hours, and 55 minutes.
When an app’s allotted time has passed, its home screen icon turns grey, and attempting to launch it will result in an “App paused” warning. You must return to the screen time settings and remove the restriction if you wish to disregard the limitations you’ve placed on yourself (or increase them).
There are numerous other options for reducing app distractions, including the traditional Do Not Disturb and Focus mode options, which snooze the notifications from a specific subset of apps for those times when you really want to concentrate on something else—and not be constantly distracted by your phone—if you go back to the main Digital Wellbeing and parental controls screen from the Settings menu.
iOS Screen Time Limitation Guide
Open iOS’ Settings and select Screen Time to see how much time you spend staring at your iPhone. You can view your daily average for the past week, how it differs from the previous week and the overall amount of screen time you spent on any specific day. To get more information for the current day, including an app-by-app breakdown, tap on See All Activity.
If you want to impose any limitations, return to the Screen Time screen and tap on App Limits before selecting Add Limit. You can navigate to specific apps within these predefined categories, or you can choose from entire ones created by iOS (such as social or entertainment).The daily cap for the app in question can be set to anything between 1 minute and 23 hours and 59 minutes by selecting Next.
Before you reach your daily time limit, iOS is kind enough to warn you, and once you’ve exceeded it, a notice to that effect comes up in place of the app, along with the option to extend your allowed time if you’d like to. The limit can also be removed by going back into the settings, but perhaps you’re more devoted to minimizing distractions than that.
How to Regulate Your Windows Screen Time
Windows is the outlier in this group because it doesn’t have any built-in screen time controls, but you can use a few other components of the operating system to perform essentially the same functions. Given how commonplace these controls are currently across all software platforms, it seems likely that Microsoft is at least considering implementing them shortly.
First, by accessing Settings and selecting System, then Power & Battery, you can see how much time you spend using your laptop or desktop. You can view the exact amount of time the screen has been on during the past week or the past 24 hours by selecting View detailed info. But on Windows, you don’t receive a thorough app-by-app overview.
Screen time and app limitations can be set in Windows, but they must be applied to a child account and apply to both Windows and Xbox devices. You can decide whether it’s worthwhile to create a kid account in order to track your app usage.Open the Family Safety app for Windows or the Family Safety site on the web to access these settings, which are still under development.
Set Screen Time Limits on Mac
If you have both an iPhone and a Mac, you may set limits that apply to both devices. Screen Time controls in macOS are very similar to those in iOS. Open the Apple menu, select System Settings and Screen Time, then click on App Usage to check how much time you’ve been spending on your Mac. This will take you to the appropriate settings screen on macOS.
To impose some limitations, select App Limits from Screen Time. The daily time constraints can range from one minute to 23 hours and 59 minutes, and if necessary, you can specify various limitations for other days of the week. You can restrict specific app categories (like Games or Creativity) as well as specific apps, much as on iOS.
Downtime, which allows you to restrict the use of specific apps during specific hours of the day—for example, during working hours or right before bed—and Communication Limits, which allows you to restrict the amount of time you spend communicating with specific contacts, are also available on the Screen Time screen in System Settings. Again, as long as you’re logged in with the same Apple account, these settings ought to sync with iOS.