Monday, 16 April 2018

How to set a screen time limit on your iPad or iPhone


In a previous post, we talked about the process of setting up the parental controls on an iPad or iPhone so that it would be suitable for child use. Today I am going to walk you through how to lock an iOS device to a specific app and apply a screen time limit. This is all done through a setting called Guided Access.

Parent Tool: Screen time limit on an iPad or iPhone

In the Settings app open General.


Open Accessibility.


Scroll to the bottom and open Guided Access.


Touch the button to turn on Guided Access.


The menu will expand. First thing we need to do is set a password that will allow you to turn Guided Access on and off. Touch Password


Enter in the password of your choosing and the confirm it. 


Now open the Time Limits menu. Here you will set what happens when the time limit is reached. You have the options of setting a sound or having the device speak out the amount of time remaining. Set these as you wish. 


Back on Guided Access, touch the button for Accessibility Shortcut to activate it. This allows you to triple tap the home button when in an app or game to activate or deactivate Guided Access. You will need to use your password in order to deactivate Guided Access. 


It is all set up so now we can try it out. Go back to the home screen and open up one of your kiddo's games. When the game is running hit the home button 3 times. This will bring up the in-app Guided Access menu

**Note: In this post I am using an iPad. On an iPhone, All options below are listed under one Options button in the bottom left corner.**

**Note 2: You cannot take screenshots of Guided Access in action so I had to use my phone to grab some photos .... the quality is iffy at best.**


Touch Time Limit in the bottom right corner and set the amount of time the child is allowed to play the game. 


Touch Hardware Buttons in the bottom left corner to disable the use of the sleep button, volume buttons, motion and keyboards. This is a great way to stop the in-game music from getting stuck in your head!


In the bottom middle there is an option for Touch if you turn this off, the touch screen is disabled.

This is great for when kids are watching a movie. If you leave touch enabled, you can use your finger to draw a circle around an area on the screen that you want to disable touch on. This is useful if the game they are playing has links to an online store, you can disable that portion of the screen so that they cannot access it. Set these as needed. 


When everything is set to your liking, touch Start in the top right corner and hand the device to your child. Once the time limit has expired, the device will be locked and you will need to hit the home button three time and enter your password to reactivate it.  


As we say in our house, easy peasy lemon squeezy! If you are like me and hate saying no to your kids when it comes to screen time, you can now use Guided Access to shift the blame from you to the device!

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