Close this search box.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!

If you just learned something new want more of that, subscribe to our newsletter.


Fix: Screen time not working on iPhone

Screen Time ios featured

Screen Time is quite a useful feature, both for users who want to track their own usage and for parents that want to limit the usage of their offspring. One can claim that it’s a necessity in this day and age. However, some users report that Screen Time is not working on their iPhones for some reason.

Some of them have had a hard time imposing restrictions on their kid’s phones, others report false readings and inability to restrict apps, while the Weekly Reports and privacy restrictions issues appear to some, as well. Whatever the problem, we have a few tips that should help you address it. Check the steps below.

Why is my iPhone Screen Time not working?

1. Restart your device and check the service status

The first thing you should do is restart your device. Whenever some irregularity, bug, or error, shows its ugly head, a restart is usually enough to sort it out. Hopefully, that applies to this case and Screen Time will work as intended after a reboot.

In addition, make sure to check the service status for Screen Time. There might be a widespread issue with this iOS feature at the moment. If the Screen Time is green, though, and the reset did nothing to fix the problem, try updating the iOS.

2. Update the firmware

Although updates sometimes completely break some functionality and often need more polishing before they hit the aether, they also tend to fix some burning issues. And, considering Apple focused a lot on Screen Time relative called Focus in the latest major release, we can rightfully believe that all underlying issues are sorted out.

So, if you still haven’t, make sure to get yourself the latest iteration of iOS, iOS 15, on your iPhone. Updates are usually automatically administered but it won’t cost you to check for updates manually.

Here’s how to update your iPhone to the latest available system version:

  1. Open Settings and then General.
  2. Select Software Update.
  3. Check for updates. If any update is available make sure to install it. In case you don’t have enough storage space, making some should be your priority.

In case Screen Time is still not working on your or your child’s iPhone, try turning the feature off and re-enabling it.

3. Disable and re-enable Screen Time

The next thing you can try is disabling and re-enabling Screen Time on your or your child’s iPhone or iPad. This can be done from System Settings and requires a security PIN or passcode in order to be disabled.

Here’s how to disable and re-enable Screen Time on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. At the bottom, tap Turn Off Screen Time.
  4. Enter password or PIN.
  5. Restart your device and open Settings > Screen Time again.
  6. Enable Screen Time and look for improvements.

4. Sign out of your Apple ID and sign in again

Some users suggested removing and adding again your Apple ID as the solution for this problem. We can’t say that this will fix the problem for you but it’s worth a try.

You can remove and add your Apple ID (Apple Account) from Settings > Your Profile. Just tap Sign Out at the bottom and restart your device. After that, sign in again, open Screen Time from Settings, and check if the features you rely on work as intended.

5. Reset All Settings

Finally, if none of the aforementioned solutions worked for you, we suggest giving a factory reset a try. Of course, we refer to the Reset All Settings option which won’t delete your data, just restore all system and app settings to their default values.

Here’s how to Reset All Settings on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Open Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Select Reset.
  5. Tap Reset All Settings.
  6. Enter PIN/password.
  7. Tap Reset All Settings in a dialog box.

That should do it. In case Screen Time is still not working on your iPhone, report the problem to Apple. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or alternative solutions with us. The comment section is just below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.