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How to set screen time limits on your phone
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Smartphones & gadgets

Can’t put your phone down? How to lock yourself out

Have you been following up on your New Year’s resolutions? It’s not too late, even if you didn’t make any resolutions, to begin with. The point is to find something and stick to it.

It’s not all about losing weight or picking up a new hobby. You can start the year right by getting your tech products in order. From deleting and donating your old devices to reducing distractions, our tech resolutions are easy to follow. Tap or click here to check them out.

We love our smartphones, but perhaps we should go into 2022 being mindful about how much is too much. If you don’t have the willpower to use some apps in moderation, you can set limits as a solution. Screen time isn’t just something to limit for your kids.

Setting limits for app use on iOS

Need time away from your phone? You don’t need to lock it in a safe. Your iPhone has settings to reduce how much you use it while keeping it around in case you really need it:

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time, then tap Turn On Screen Time.
  • Select Continue on the next page and Tap This is my iPhone. (NOTE: There is an option to select This is My Child’s iPhone if you want to set it up on theirs.)
  • Tap Downtime, then slide the toggle next to Scheduled to the right to enable it. This turns on downtime for the time period you select. A downtime reminder will appear 5 minutes before it begins.
  • Select Every Day or Customize Days, then set the start and end times.

During downtime, only calls, messages and apps you choose to allow are available.

Evaluating screen time regularly will help you get started on knowing when to set your limits. Tap or click here for more information on how to accomplish this, along with other tech tricks that will help you live a better digital life.

We get it. You probably need to access some apps throughout the day for work or other important matters. Fortunately, you can set limits for app categories or individual apps in iOS:

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time and turn on Screen Time.
  • Tap App Limits > Add Limit.
  • From here, you can select as many app categories you want or get them all at once by selecting All Apps & Categories.
  • To select individual apps, tap a category to see all the apps in the category, then select the apps you want to limit.
  • Tap Next and set the time limit. You can set an amount of time for each day by tapping Customize Days.
  • Tap Add when you’re finished.

You may also like: Deleting yourself from the internet is another way to reduce distractions and screen times, but where to get started? Check out our guide for instructions and motivation.

Limit apps in Android

Android’s Digital Wellbeing app lets you set app timers and schedule display changes. You can limit how much time you spend in individual apps:

  • Open your phone’s Settings app.
  • Tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  • Tap the chart.
  • Next to the app you want to limit, tap Set timer.
  • Choose how much time you can spend in that app. Then, tap Set.

You can set up notifications for individual apps as well:

  • Open your phone’s Settings app.
  • Tap Notifications > App settings.
  • Under Most recent, find apps that recently sent you notifications. Tap All apps to see more.
  • Tap the app you want to silence.
  • Turn the app’s notifications on or off.

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