[12 Ways] Fix Screen Time not Working on iPhone/iPad

When the Screen Time is not working on your iPhone/iPad, hope this message can help you a lot. If need, you can also use the best software to back up, transfer and erase your iPhone/iPad data.

Kathy by Kathy Updated November 21, 2023
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Why does Screen Time not work on iPhone/iPad?

Screen Time is a valuable feature designed to monitor your device usage and even impose limits on specific apps for yourself and your family.  

When you find that you can’t use Screen Time normally, it could potentially stem from misconfigurations in its settings. Additionally, if you have children using the device, they might have unintentionally altered the feature's settings.

How to fix Screen Time not working on iPhone/iPad

There are 12 ways for you to fix the issue and recover Screen Time on iPhone.

Method 1. Force restart your iPhone/iPad

Sometimes, performing a force restart on your iPhone/iPad can effectively restore the device to its normal operational state.

For iPhone 8 Plus/8/X or later: Press and release the Volume Up button > Press and release the Volume Down button > Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

restart iphone

For iPhone 7 Plus or 7: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on your screen.

For iPhone 6 or earlier: Press and hold the Home button and Sleep/Wake button at the same time until the Apple logo is displayed on your screen.

For iPad with Face ID: Quickly press and then release the Volume Up button > Quickly press and release the Volume Down button > Hold down the Power button until the Apple logo becomes visible.

For iPad with the Home button: Simultaneously press and hold the Power and Home buttons > Release both buttons when the Apple logo shows on your iPad screen.

Method 2. Turn off and turn on Screen Time

Another effective troubleshooting approach you can take is to disable and then re-enable Screen Time. And this action will delete all your existing “Screen Time Data”. 

Open Settings app > Tap on Screen Time > Turn Off Screen Time > Go to the Settings app again after a while > Choose Screen Time > Select Turn On Screen Time and click Continue > Then select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device].

turn on screen time

Method 3. Turn off Lower Power Mode

Low Power Mode can occasionally impact the functionality of Screen Time. To deactivate it, navigate to Settings on iPhone/iPad > Battery > Toggle off the option for Low Power Mode.

Method 4. Check that the Downtime feature

To verify Downtime, open Settings and access Screen Time > Tap on Downtime > If it's not enabled, activate it by toggling the switch.


Method 5. Enable the Communication Limits

To check this, go to Settings > Screen Time > Select Communication Limits. This will take you to a page where you can see who you or your children are allowed to communicate with when Screen Time is active. Review and adjust these options to set limitations on communication while these features are active.

Method 6. Enable Share Across Devices

If you're not receiving Screen Time reports from your child's device or if the restrictions aren't functioning correctly, it's possible that the Screen Time settings are not activated on your child's device. Then you can access Settings > Screen Time > Configure the desired restrictions > Turn on Share Across Devices.

share across devices

Note: To include your child in the Family Sharing Plan, they will require their own Apple ID. To establish this, go to Settings > Select your name > Tap Family Sharing > Choose Add Member. Then create an account for your kid to initiate the process.

Method 7. Set Time & Data Automatically

This straightforward approach has proven effective for several users to solve the Screen Time not working on iPad/iPhone issue. Follow these steps to set it: Launch Settings > General > Date & Time > Toggle on the option next to Set Automatically.

set data and time

Method 8. Enable WLAN & Cellular Data option

Not allowing your iOS device's settings to access both WLAN and cellular data can potentially lead to the iPad/iPhone Screen Time not working issue. To enable it, you can open Settings > WLAN > Apps Using WLAN & Cellular > Select Settings > Tap on WLAN & Cellular Data option.

Method 9. Sign out of Apple ID and sign in it again

To do this: Open Settings > Tap on your name at the top of the page > Select Sign Out > Enter your Apple ID and password > Choose the option to keep a copy of your iCloud data to ensure your data's safety > Confirm Sign Out again. After a while, go back to Settings and sign in it.

sign out apple id

Method 10. Update the software

Some software bugs may cause the issue, then you can update your iPhone/iPad to check if this method works: Go to Settings > General > Software Update > If there is any available update, click Download to finish the process.

Method 11. Check Apple’s System Status

Go to Apple’s System Status Page > Scroll through the list to locate Screen Time > If you see the red triangle and Outage note, it means that Screen Time is currently experiencing issues. In this case, you'll need to wait until Apple solves the problem. Once the service is restored, the red triangle will be replaced with a green circle.

apple system status

Method 12. Reset all settings on your device

If all ways above don’t work, then you need to reset all settings on your iPhone/iPad to make it: Visit Settings > General > Reset > Choose Reset All Settings.

Note: This action just deletes all system settings on your iPhone/iPad and won’t erase any data.

What to do when forgot screen time passcode not working?

If you've forgotten the passcode, you can attempt to reset your Screen Time passcode or the Screen Time passcode for a member of your Family Sharing group.

Reset the Screen Time passcode for your own iPhone/iPad

Open Settings app > Screen Time > Tap Change Screen Time Passcode, then click it again to confirm > Choose Forgot Passcode? > Key in the Apple ID and password that you used to set a new Screen Time passcode.

forget passcode

Reset the Screen Time passcode for your kid's device

On the family organizer's iPhone/iPad, navigate to Settings > Screen Time > Find and select the name of a child under Family > Click Change Screen Time Passcode, and then tap it again. Authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID, or the device passcode > Enter a new Screen Time passcode, and then confirm it by entering it again.

Further Reading: The best iPhone/iPad data management tool

When it comes to iPhone/iPad data management, FoneTool will be a great helper for you to back up, transfer or erase your iPhone/iPad data efficiently. 

FoneTool will offer you a range of diverse features and advantages.

yesSuper-fast transfer/backup transfer: You can transfer or back up all your iPhone/iPad data to another device in a very short time. For instance, thousands of photos can be moved in just a couple of minutes.
yesNo Apple ID limitations: Apple designed its system to prevent easy data transfer between two Apple IDs. But you can easily finish the process with FoneTool when you have two Apple IDs or forget Apple ID and password.
yesPreview and selective backup/transfer: FoneTool can help you fully or selectively back up and transfer the iPhone/iPad data. You can preview the files in the process and choose which needs to be moved.
yesUniversal restore: The full or selective iPhone/iPad backups can be restored to another iOS device simply.
yesWide compatibility: FoneTool works well with various iOS devices, including iPhone 4 to iPhone 15, iPad/iPad Pro/iPad Air/iPad mini, and the latest iOS 16/17.

Now you can download FoneTool and learn how to use it. Here we take transferring photos from iPhone to PC as an example.

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Step 1. Connect your iPhone to PC with a USB cable > Launch FoneTool and choose Phone Transfer > Click iPhone to PC and choose Get Started.

transfer photos

Step 2. Check the Photos icon and uncheck other icons > Preview and choose the targeted photos > Click OK to continue.

select photos

Step 3. Choose Transfer Setting to change the storage path on your computer > Click Start Transfer to begin

start transfer

Note: If you need to import HEIC files to Lightroom to edit them, the feature-rich FoneTool can also help you convert HEIC to JPG/JPEG/PNG.

Final words

That’s all about how to fix Screen Time not working issue. Hope you can solve it efficiently. If you need an iPhone/iPad data management tool, FoneTool will help you a lot.

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