With the arrival of iOS 12, Apple made a big song and dance about digital wellbeing. The App Limits feature that came with it lets lock apps after a given amount of time. Here’s how it works.
App Limits is precisely what it sounds like; it limits the amount of time you can spend using a particular app. You specify the apps (or whole categories of apps) and iOS will refuse to launch them when you’ve reached the allotted time. It’s great for limiting how much time children spend on apps like YouTube, for example, but can also help you if you struggle setting limits on things like your social media addiction.
By the way, even after you reach an App Limit, you can override it by entering a passcode. That means you will never be locked out of your apps completely (unless you don’t know the code), but setting the limit still might be enough to give you pause when opening Instagram for the millionth time at 3 am.
How to Set an App Limit for a Specific App
To kick things off, open the Settings app and then tap “Screen Time.”
You’ll see a graph at the top of the next screen. Either tap the graph or the “All Devices” option directly above it.
Scroll down to the list of apps you’ve been using and then tap the app for which you want to set a new limit.
Tap the “Add Limit” button at the bottom of the screen.
Finally, set a time limit by scrolling the hours and minutes. If you’d like to set a limit for different days of the week, tap “Customize Days.”
Tap “Add” to apply the changes and set the app limit.
How to Set an App Limit for a Whole Category of Apps
Again, the process starts in the Settings app. Tap “Screen Time” to view all settings related to digital wellbeing.
Next, tap “App Limits.”
Tap “Add Limit.”
Tap to select any categories for which you want to create a new limit and then tap “Next” to continue.
Select the time limit you would like to apply and again, if you want to set different limits for specific days, tap “Customize Days.” Tap “Back” when complete.
You’re all set, and you can set additional limits if you want, too.