If you’ve ever been curious about which apps you use most on your iPhone, there’s a way to keep track, but you have to turn on Apple’s Screen Time feature first. Here’s how to set it up.

First, Turn on Screen Time

Before you can find out which apps you use the most on your iPhone, you’ll need to turn on a free feature built into iOS and iPadOS called Screen Time. Screen Time helps you keep track of how you use your iPhone. It can also help you put limits on your app usage if you’d like, although that’s optional.

To enable Screen Time, open the Settings app, and then tap “Screen Time.”

In iPhone settings, tap "Screen Time."

Next, tap “Turn on Screen Time” and select “This is My iPhone” or “This is My Child’s iPhone,” depending on which option best suits your situation.

Tap "Turn on Screen Time."

After that, you’ll see a Screen Time summary page with no data—but we’ll fix that problem quickly enough!

Next, Use Your iPhone—and Then Check Screen Time Again

The catch with using Screen Time is that it needs to be enabled to start gathering data about which apps you use the most. If you just turned it on, you won’t have a most-used app list to look at.

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So, now that Screen Time has been enabled, use your iPhone as you normally would. After a while, you can check back in with Screen Time and see some statistics. (Just call me and let me know when you’re ready, and we’ll continue.)

OK, it’s been a year now, and I have a very long beard. Also, you’ve had Screen Time turned on the entire time! Open the Settings app and tap “Screen Time” again.

In iPhone settings, tap "Screen Time."

On the Screen Time summary page, you’ll see a chart that shows your average daily activity. Just under that chart, tap “See All Activity.”

Tap "See All Activity."

Next, choose whether you want to see your most-used apps over the period of a day, week, month, or year at the top of the screen. (More choices will appear if you keep Screen Time enabled longer.)

Select a time period in Screen Time at the top of the screen.

Then, scroll down to the “Most Used” section, and you’ll see a list of apps sorted by which you used the most over the selected time period, with your most-used apps listed at the top.

An example of a Screen Time most-used apps list on iPhone.

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From here, there are different ways that you can explore this data. If you tap “Show More” near the bottom of the list, the list will expand. If you tap “Show Categories,” you can see your most-used apps sorted by broad categories, such as “Social,” “Creativity,” or “Shopping & Food.”

Finally, Take Action

While browsing the “Most Used” list in Screen Time on the iPhone, you can get more details on how much you’ve used any particular app by tapping its icon. While on the detailed-view screen, if you want to set a time limit to prevent you from using the app too much, scroll down and tap “Add Limit.”

Tap "Add Limit."

After that, you’ll see a screen where you can set a time limit for the app in hours or minutes. When you’re done, tap “Add.”

From now on, whenever your time is up, you’ll see an alert pop up, reminding you that “Yesterday You” doesn’t want you to use the app anymore. Psychologically wrestling with your past self like that is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but at least you’ll know that Screen Time is doing its job. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Use and Configure Screen Time on Your iPhone or iPad

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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