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7 easy methods to fix iPhone Screen Time not working

Is your iPhone screen time not working? Stuck showing inaccurate usage data or failing to enforce app limits? You’re not alone.

Many users have encountered issues with this handy feature. It is designed to help manage device usage, thereby disrupting our quest for balance.

This guide offers ten easy fixes to restore your screen time functionality and help you regain control over your iPhone usage.

Why is my Screen Time on iPhone not working?

Screen Time is a powerful feature on the iPhone that is used to observe and regulate your app usage.

It lets you restrict certain apps, observe your device usage, and manage your children’s screen time.

Occasionally, though, you may encounter troubles with this function, and it may not respond properly.

The reasons for Screen Time not functioning correctly on your iPhone could be varied.

Let’s dive into some reasons Screen Time fails to work properly.

Software update issues

When they release a new iOS version, they might have compatibility issues or bugs and these could cause the app to behave unpredictably. These bugs can cause a Screen Time crash so that it will not function properly till a new update that fixes the problem is released.

Incorrect screen time passcode

If you have entered an incorrect Screen Time passcode more than one time, it will lock you out of Screen Time settings for a while. This could result in Screen Time ceasing to operate. Such a situation requires you to set the Screen Time passcode again to restore access to your account.

iCloud syncing issues and bugs or glitches in the system

Data from Screen Time syncs across all devices via iCloud. Therefore, if you are experiencing problems with your iCloud account or settings, Screen Time may not work properly. Attempting to fix the iCloud sync issues might help Screen Time to work normally.

Similar to any software, Screen Time is vulnerable to crashes or glitches within the iOS system, which may result in its malfunction or even stop it from working. These issues could call for a system reset or updating of the software as solutions.

Time zone or date and time settings

If you set Screen Time in the wrong time zone and date and time, the app may not exactly account for and regulate your phone usage amount. Sometimes, just modifying the settings can be sufficient to alleviate the problems associated with Screen Time.

Restrictions on device

Screen Time will be an unsuccessful option if the restrictions (or Parental Control motifs) on the iPhone are not configured correctly and disrupt their functionality. Sometimes, you might need to evaluate and change these parameters.

Old device models

Sometimes the older iPhone models or those running outdated iOS versions fail to be compatible with Screen Time or realize the full functionality of these features. Updating to the latest device or the latest iOS version may be the solution to these complaints.

Why can my child ignore Screen Time limit on iPhone?

Screen Time represents a great opportunity for parents to control their children’s screen time, but sometimes kids bypass or do not follow the time limits.

In case your child keeps using the apps and spending more time on the iPhone than he/she usually does, there might be a reason for it.

Bypassing restrictions

If you did not properly configure your child’s iPhone’s safeguards, such as inappropriate content and privacy settings, they may be able to bypass some screen time limits or access restricted apps and features.

Incorrect screen time passcode

It is possible that if you enter the wrong passcode a number of times, Screen Time may become deactivated, straightening out your child’s access to the limits until you reset the passcode.

Asking for more time

Screen Time offers a “Request for More Time” possibility. It helps your kid to look for approval to use their applications or gadgets for a longer period. If you say yes to the requests too often, you may render the goal of limiting the amount of time watched obsolete.

Family sharing and account issues

If Screen Time is tied to Family Sharing and something happens wrong with your Apple account, iCloud profile, or your child’s account, the limits will not be enforced and your child may be able to get around them.

Third-party app conflicts

Depending on what third-party apps or services are installed on your child’s iPhone, they may interfere with Screen Time’s ability to correctly monitor and apply usage limits.

Hardware or software bugs

Every now and then, there is likely to be malfunctioning of the iOS system or the Screen Time app itself, and your child may end up circumventing the set limits.

Physical access to parent’s device

If your child gets physical access to the device that is being used to manage the Screen Time of the parent, they will be able to modify or turn off the limits by which they can bypass all restrictions.

How to fix iPhone Screen Time not working?

In case Screen Time does not function well on your iPhone, do not despair yet.

There are several quite useful techniques you may follow to correct the problem and restore authority over gadget usage for yourself or your children.

Restart your iPhone

In many cases, a simple reset can already fix a minor software bug that makes the application Screen Time dysfunctional.

To do this:

Go to General in the settings, then tap on shut down.

 power off your iPhone

Swipe to power off your iPhone.

Wait for a few seconds and then press the power button again to restart it

Update to the latest iOS version

Ensure the latest iOS software is installed on your iPhone by:

Going to Settings > General > Software Update.

Software Update

Updates are generally released with bug fixes and enhancements for features like Screen Time.

Reset Screen Time Passcode

If you have entered a wrong passcode several times:

Go to Settings > Screen Time > Change Screen Time Passcode and give a new one.

Reset Screen Time Passcode

Sign out and back into iCloud:

Go to Settings > Your Name > Sign Out, then sign back into your iCloud account if you have this problem.

Sign out and back into iCloud

Factory Reset your iPhone

A factory reset may be required if the problem is deep-rooted and associated with the software.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings (make a backup of your data first).

Factory Reset your iPhone

Contact Apple Support

You can always contact Apple Support for individual help. Tell about the problem and any steps of troubleshooting you have had already.

Use FlashGet Kids

FlashGet Kids is a third-party app that provides parents with an alternative approach to Screen Time. One of the best apps to ensure that screen use is monitored and managed effectively is FlashGet Kids.

Here is how to use it:

Download and install the FlashGet Kids app on your phone.

download Flashget Kids on parent's devices

Register for a FlashGet account on your device and then sign in.

create an account

Next, download and install the kid’s version of the FlashGet Kids app on your child’s phone.

download FlashGet kids on child devices

Bind the parental control app version to your phone to the kid app version on your child’s phone using a 9-digit code. You’ll get this code from your parental control app.


On the parental control app dashboard, access “Usage Limits”.

Tap on “Screen Time Limits”> “Add limits.”

Tap Usage Limits on FlashGet Kids to forbid new apps

Determine the “Limit Type” you want to use based on your needs. You can set “Available Time Limits” and ” Timespan Limits.”

Once you’re done, tap “save”.


Whether you have encountered software glitches, wrong settings or syncing problems, this comprehensive guide has provided you with a series of practical solutions to fix iPhone Screen Time not working.

From a simple on/off or other troubleshooting methods to a more advanced method like factory resets, here you are now armed with the tools to get Screen Time working well again.

However, if you still come across recurring issues, then look for a third-party parental control app like FlashGet Kids that is sure to give you solutions for your screen time.

It features functionality for device control, setting time limits on the applications, and monitoring children’s activities, giving a healthy alternative to Screen Time.


What does ignore downtime until schedule mean?

This function enables the guardian to give the child a time out from the restrictions until the next scheduled downtime period begins.

Why isn’t downtime blocking apps?

There might be many reasons, such as faulty settings, app limitations not being set correctly, or software problems that cause downtime to not operate properly. Reviewing and making changes to settings or software updates may help to solve the problem

Does downtime block calls?

No, downtime does not block notifications instead it only restricts access to apps and apps’ notifications. Nevertheless, you may set call permissions for selected contacts while on downtime.

Does iOS 17 fix Screen Time issues?

At this moment, there is no iOS 17, so it is unclear if it will eliminate Screen Time problems. Conversely, updating to the latest available iOS version may help fix any present problems.

What is the Screen Time bug on iOS 16?

There have been reports of a Screen Time bug on iOS 16 where the app usage data is not updating or is showing inaccurate information. This may be caused by software glitches or incorrect settings and can be resolved with troubleshooting steps.

Kidcaring, Chief Writer in FlashGet Kids.
She is dedicated to shaping parental control in the digital world. She is an experienced expert in the parenting industry and has engaged in reporting and writing different parental control apps. For the past five years, she has provided additional parental guides for the family and has contributed to changing parenting methods.

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FlashGet Kids
FlashGet Kids
parental control
Free download to experience all the features for child protection.
Free download

Parental Control

FlashGet Kids
FlashGet Kids
parental control
Free download
Free download to experience all the features for child protection.