Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (2022)

Android Screen Time is part of Google’s Family Link service, which helps you limit the amount of time kids spend on their gadgets. Plus, it also helps you keep track of what your kids are doing, to ensure that they only access appropriate content and use child-friendly apps.

The feature is fairly basic, but once you set it up, you can see what apps they access and how much time they spend on each. You can also restrict in-app purchases, decide whether to vet each app download before the kids make it, and set limits for individual apps.

Table of Contents

    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (1)

    Android Screen Time also allows you to lock the children’s devices remotely whenever it’s time for them to take a break to play outside, have dinner, or hang out together.

    How to Set Up Android Screen Time

    Requirements

    • A Google Account for your child (under 13 or applicable age in your country)
    • Your personal Google Account
    • Your Android device or iOS device (running iOS 9 or later)
    • Your child’s Android smartphone or tablet (running Android Nougat 7.0 or later)
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (2)

    Note: Android Screen Time won’t work if your child has an iPhone, but you can still use Apple’s Family Sharing or Screen Time.

    1. Set up Your Child’s Profile

    1. To get started, download the Google Family Link for Parents app on your Android device or iPhone.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (3)
    1. If your phone is running Android 10, go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls > Set up Parental Controls > Get Started to set up parental controls with Google’s Family Link there.

    Image: android-screen-time-how-it-works-setting-it-up-setup-download-family-link

    (Video) Place a Time Limit on Apps Android 10

    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (4)
    1. Next, download the Google Family Link for Children & Teens app on your child’s device. When prompted, enter the Family Link setup code to connect your devices.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (5)
    1. When prompted, enter the 9-character alphanumeric Family Link setup code to connect your devices.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (6)
    1. If your children already have Google Accounts, you can use Family Link to add supervision and set up their profiles using the same steps. The app may ask for your child’s consent so you’ll need to go through this process with them. Tap your child’s account from the list.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (7)
    1. Let your child enter their password, or you can type it if you know it.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (8)
    1. On your own phone, confirm that you want to supervise your child’s account by tapping Yes.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (9)
    1. Tap Join on your child’s device for them to be part of your family group.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (10)
    1. The next screen will notify your child what you can and can’t see or do on their device while supervising it. This includes account settings and controls, apps, location, screen time, Google Chrome, Search and Play filters. Tap Next.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (11)
    1. Once your child approves that they understand what supervision means, they can tap Allow to give you the ability to manage and monitor their Google Account and supervisable devices.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (12)
    1. Next, tap Activate in the Family Link Profile Manager screen. This allows you to monitor your child’s device. Give it a few seconds to finish setting up and tap Next to select the device name and the apps that can be used on your child’s device.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (13)
    (Video) HOW TO MONITOR KIDS SCREEN TIME | Parental Controls | Google Family Link
    1. Name the child’s device to make it easier to recognize and supervise it in Family Link, then tap Next.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (14)
    1. Review the apps installed on your child’s device and select what to keep and what to uninstall. Tap Next when you’re done with the selection and wait for the setup to be completed.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (15)
    1. Tap Next to start using Family Link and customize controls for Google Chrome, Google Play, and other services. Tap Done and go to your own device to set screen time and other parental controls.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (16)

    If your child doesn’t have a Google Account, tap the + (plus) icon at the upper right side of the Family Link app screen (on your phone) to add them to the family group. Follow the instructions and verify parental consent using your Google account details (or a credit card if required).

    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (17)

    Google will try to select settings based on your child’s age once you add their profile, but you can always set it up yourself later to make sure the details are accurate.

    Note: You can only set up one Family Link account per device.

    2. Set Screen Time for Your Child

    Family Link allows you to set limits on the time your children spend on their devices. You can do this by setting daily limits or specifying their Bedtime in your child’s profile.

    Note: Time limits will be applied on all the apps installed on your kids’ devices. This rule doesn’t apply for system apps. If it’s your first time setting up Screen Time, your child will get a notification, and an alert when their device is about to be locked.

    Once the device is locked, the child won’t be able to use any apps, see notifications, or unlock the device, but they can answer calls and make an Emergency call if the device has a calling plan.

    (Video) How to Set Up Screen Time on Android | Bark

    1. To get started, tap on your child’s name at the bottom left side of the Family Link app screen on your device.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (18)
    1. In your child’s profile, scroll down to the Screen Time section and tap Set up.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (19)
    1. The next screen will have two tabs: Daily Limit and Bedtime. Here, you can adjust limits and bedtime for each day.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (20)
    1. Under the Daily limits tab, tap the day and select the amount of time you want in hours or hours and minutes (15 minute increments). Once time is up, the child’s device will be locked, but calls will still be allowed.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (21)
    1. Once you’ve set all the days and their respective limits, tap the Bedtime tab and then switch the Scheduled toggle to on (blue) to set screen time limits. Your child’s device will be locked during bedtime, but calls will be allowed in case they need to reach you.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (22)
    1. Tap Save.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (23)

    Note: If you want to see your child’s app activity, go back to their profile and tap Turn on under the Apps section. Once enabled, tap Manage apps to set time limits for each app or specific apps that they usually spend too much time on.

    How to Disable Screen Time Limits

    1. To disable screen time limits, open the Family Link app on your device, and tap on your child’s name at the bottom left side of the screen.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (24)
    1. Go to the Screen Time section and select Edit Limits under Daily Limits.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (25)
    1. Toggle the Scheduled switch to off. Do the same for the Bedtime limits section.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (26)
    (Video) How to Use Screen Time: Set Up iPhone and iPad Parental Controls
    1. Tap Save to confirm the changes.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (27)
    1. Once disabled, the Daily Limits and Bedtime will display No Limits and Not Scheduled respectively.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (28)

    How to Stop Supervision on Your Child’s Device

    If your child has reached the age of maturity and you want to stop supervising their account, you can do that through the Family Link app.

    1. Open the Family Link app, tap your child’s name and then tap More (three dots) at the top right side of the child’s profile page screen. Tap Account supervision.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (29)
    1. Scroll down to the Stopping Supervision section and select the checkbox next to I understand that if I continue, I will no longer be able to manage (child’s name) Google Account or devices.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (30)
    1. Tap Stop Supervision.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (31)
    1. Once disabled, tap Next to confirm the action.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (32)
    1. You can give your reasons for disabling supervision or tap Prefer not to say at the bottom left side. Tap Close on the next screen to complete the process.
    Android Screen Time: How It Works and Setting It Up (33)

    Manage Your Child’s Screen Time

    As a parent, you want to make sure your children are safe as they use their gadgets to browse the internet, video call friends, or play games. It’s not always easy to control what they do while using their smartphones or tablets, but Android Screen Time makes the task less difficult.

    Were you able to successfully set up Android Screen Time on your child’s device? Share with us in the comments.

    (Video) How to Monitor Your Kids Phone (Step by Step Tutorial on Setting Up Parental Controls) H2TechVideos

    FAQs

    How do I set screen time on my Android? ›

    Important: Some work and school accounts might not work with app timers.
    1. Open your phone's Settings app.
    2. Tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
    3. Tap the chart.
    4. Next to the app you want to limit, tap Set timer .
    5. Choose how much time you can spend in that app. Then, tap Set.

    What happens when you set screen time? ›

    Screen Time will break down all of your device usage, across all of your devices.

    Does screen time work on Android? ›

    2See Screen Time

    To access Your Digital Wellbeing report, go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing>You Digital Wellbeing tools. From there, you'll be able to see how much time you've spent on your phone overall and how much time you're spending on specific apps.

    How does the app screen time work? ›

    Screen Time gives you a report showing how your device is used, apps you've opened, and websites you've visited. To see the report, go to Settings > Screen Time and tap See All Activity under the graph.

    How do you set up a screen time? ›

    You can set limits for Android 7 and up devices.
    ...
    Limit screen time for specific apps
    1. Open the Family Link app .
    2. Select your child.
    3. Tap Controls. App Limits.
    4. Select your desired App.
    5. Tap Set limit .
    6. Select the amount of time you want to allow your child access to the given app.
    7. Tap Done.

    Does screen time count apps running in background? ›

    By default, it tracks app usage in the background, presenting a weekly summary in the form of a complex chart that tells you that you look at your phone too much.

    What are screen time rules? ›

    Developing screen time rules

    If you introduce digital media to children ages 18 to 24 months, make sure it's high quality and avoid solo media use. For children ages 2 to 5, limit screen time to one hour a day of high-quality programming. As your child grows, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work as well.

    Is screen time automatically on? ›

    If you've activated it, Screen Time is constantly working in the background to assess what apps you're using on your device, and for how long. The first thing that you'll see when you go into Screen Time is a graph that shows you how many hours and minutes you've spent on your device that day.

    Is it good to have screen time? ›

    With moderation, there are some benefits of screen time to children: educational value and school-related homework and research. playing video games can improve motor skills and coordination. internet tools, texting, and shared video games are easy and fun ways to socialize and communicate.

    What apps does screen time block? ›

    Best Screen Time Apps to Monitor and Limit Screen Time on your iPhone and Android
    • Qustodio Parental Control. (Android, iPhone, iPad) ...
    • Kidslox - Parental Control App. ...
    • FamiSafe - Parental Control. ...
    • Parental Control & Kid Tracker. ...
    • TimeoutIQ. ...
    • Screen Time Parental Control. ...
    • Boomerang Parental Control. ...
    • Norton Family parental control.

    What is screen time called on Android? ›

    Android also has a similar feature called Digital Wellbeing. This is an app that you can download from the Google Play Store. It works in the background to track your screen time and gives you the option to set limits on your device usage.

    Does screen time count apps running in background Android? ›

    When calculating Screen time, the system calculates only the duration of an app running in the foreground. The usage time of apps that are Always allowed, apps running in the background, and apps that have stopped running will not be calculated as Screen time.

    Does screen time count when phone is locked? ›

    Does Screen Time Count When Your Phone is Locked? For both Androids and iPhones, their screen time tracking apps do not count screen time when your phone is locked. As podcasts are able to play while your phone is locked, they likewise will not be counted as screen time.

    Does deleting an app get rid of screen time? ›

    You will need to uninstall Screen Time from within the app and not through the normal method of uninstalling Android apps. If you're child tries to deactivate Screen Time's “Device administrator” in order to uninstall the app, this will lock the device with your Screen Time password.

    Can I lock my child's phone remotely? ›

    Google's Family Link app allows you to schedule a span of time for the phone to be off, such as bedtime. But you can also completely lock the device so kids can't even get into it.

    Why is my son's screen time not working? ›

    First, ensure that your device is running the latest version of Android. If your device is running the latest Android version but still having trouble, try restarting your device. This can often fix minor glitches that may be causing the screen time feature not to work correctly.

    Can apps be hidden from screen time? ›

    Using Content Restrictions Feature

    Go to Settings and tap on Screen Time, in Content & Privacy Restrictions, choose Apps this time. There are some categories like 4+ and 9+. Select the category and apps that don't belong to the rating will disappear from your home screen.

    How do I make the screen time not track my apps? ›

    At the moment there is no way to disable a specific app from Screen Time, you can turn it off if it really annoys you or when Screen Time is displayed deduct the time from the app from the total time if you want to exclude the app manually. At this time there is a range of settings accessed by "Always allowed".

    How long is screen time data stored? ›

    7 days is the limit.

    What are the two types of screen time? ›

    First, there are two different kinds of screen time, non-recreational and recreational. Non-recreational screen time is time spent on a computer, tablet, phone or television that has an educational or activity based component. Non-recreational screen time promotes learning, creativity, curiosity, exercise and movement.

    What is an example of screen time? ›

    "Screen time" is a term used for activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games.

    What is counted as screen time? ›

    Screen time is the amount of time spent using a device with a screen such as a smartphone, computer, television, or video game console. The concept is under significant research with related concepts in digital media use and mental health.

    What are the dangers of screen time? ›

    Too much screen time can lead to obesity, sleep problems, chronic neck and back problems, depression, anxiety and lower test scores in children. Children should limit screen time to 1 to 2 hours per day. Adults should also try to limit screen time outside of work hours.

    What is the safest screen time? ›

    What's a healthy amount of screen time for adults? Experts say adults should limit screen time outside of work to less than two hours per day. Any time beyond that which you would typically spend on screens should instead be spent participating in physical activity.

    What is a good screen time limit? ›

    "Most experts agree that adults should limit screen time to less than two hours per day outside of work-related activities," Dr.

    Can screen time block websites? ›

    Filter Inappropriate Websites (Android Only)

    Screen Time puts you in control of websites your child can access on their device. Block individual domains or entire website categories.

    How do I check my Android phone activity? ›

    Steps to go to My Activity:
    1. On your Android phone or tablet, open your device's Settings app. Google. Manage your Google Account.
    2. At the top, tap Data & privacy.
    3. Scroll to "History settings."
    4. Tap My Activity.

    Does leaving apps open in background drain battery? ›

    You might be surprised to learn that both can be true. While background apps may not use your phone's resources on their own, Android phones and iPhones will refresh background apps periodically by default. This uses your phone's battery and your data.

    What apps are always running in the background? ›

    There are a few ways to see what apps are running in the background and consuming your Android's resources.
    • Go to Settings > System > Developer Options. ...
    • Tap Running Services. ...
    • To see apps consuming battery power, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Usage.
    22 Mar 2022

    How many attempts do you get to unlock screen time? ›

    Screen Time is a parental monitoring app available on iPhones that allows users to monitor their kids' iPhone activities and control their iPhone usage. However, some users often forget their Screen Time passcode and lockout their iPhone after Screen Time passcode 10 failed attempts.

    Should you remove apps from background? ›

    A broad consensus regarding the constant closing of Android apps is that you should avoid doing so as much as possible. It would be best if you only closed apps in the situations mentioned above. Moreover, closing background apps will negatively affect your phone's battery life and overall performance.

    How do I make my Android screen stay on longer? ›

    To get started, open the Settings app. From there, scroll down to Display. In the Display settings menu, look for the Screen Timeout settings option. Tap in and choose the timeout duration that best suits your needs.

    How do I adjust my screen timeout? ›

    You can change the Auto-Lock setting that turns your screen off with a few taps.
    1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
    2. Scroll down and tap Display & Brightness.
    3. In the Display and Brightness settings, tap Auto-Lock.
    4. Choose the amount of time you want your screen to stay on after you last touch your iPhone.
    25 Aug 2022

    How do I stop my Android screen from turning off? ›

    How Do I Stop My Android Screen From Turning Off?
    1. Open Settings.
    2. Tap Display.
    3. Tap Sleep or Screen timeout.
    4. Select how long you want your Android smartphone or tablet screen to stay on before turning off due to inactivity. The change will take effect immediately. The maximum time allowed is 30 minutes.
    13 Dec 2021

    Why does my screen turn off so quickly? ›

    Your phone or tablet has a power save function that turns the screen off after a predetermined amount of time. If it's set for 15 seconds, it may seem like the screen is turning off too soon, but this is normal. The amount of time can be adjusted from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.

    What is Android Screen timeout? ›

    Screen Timeout is an option on Samsung devices that will turn the screen off to save battery life. Out of the box the default is 30 seconds. See the steps to change the Screen Timeout option to keep your phone or tablets screen on for longer.

    How do I keep my phone screen indefinitely? ›

    All you need to do is click on the settings menu from the notification panel or the app drawer and go to the settings icon. Now click on the Display icon. Click on Screen Timeout and click on the Never option. After Clicking on Screen timeout your phone screen will stop turning off.

    What is the ideal screen timeout? ›

    Overall though, more than 67% of readers opt for a screen timeout between 30 seconds and two minutes. This compared to just 6.4% of readers setting their screen timeout to more than 10 minutes.

    Why is my screen time not going off? ›

    First, ensure that your device is running the latest version of Android. If your device is running the latest Android version but still having trouble, try restarting your device. This can often fix minor glitches that may be causing the screen time feature not to work correctly.

    What is screen timeout duration? ›

    Tap “Screen Timeout” to open the time options. Things can vary by device here, as well. Almost all Android devices have 15 and 30 seconds, or 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes as an option. However, some phones will have an additional 30-minute choice.

    Why does my phone Screen turn off by itself? ›

    The Fault In Batteries

    The battery can make the device shut down if it is not charged. Before buying any Android or iPhone, make sure that the device's battery power is strong and boosted. Charge your phone sufficiently to prevent irregular and unwanted turn-off.

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