Apple introduced Screen Time in iPhone with the release of iOS 12. It helps to monitor your activities on phone and control the online behavior. Good news is that the same Screen Time function is available in macOS version 10.15 or macOS Catalina. In this article, let us explain how to use Screen Time in Mac to find how you spend your time.
How to Use Screen Time in Mac?
With macOS Catalina, you can setup Screen Time on Mac and share the online time across your devices. This is useful for the people continuously spending time on multiple devices using the same Apple ID to track the entire online time on all devices.
Turn On Screen Time in Mac
Click on the “Apple” icon on top left corner of your Mac and go to “System Preferences…” option. You will see lot of icons and click on “Screen Time” icon.
Click on the “Continue” button on the next screen to setup Screen Time.
Now you will see Screen Time pop-up like below. Click on “Trun On…” button to enable Screen Time on your Mac.
Share Across Devices:
Enable this checkbox, if you want to combine the Screen Time settings on other devices like iPhone and iPad. You should have logged into the same Apple ID on all devices in order to use this service.
If you have already enabled Screen Time on iPhone, then the moment you click the checkbox, all your iPhone restrictions will be applied to your Mac also. You will get notifications in case if you have reached the restrictions.
Screen Time Passcode
Enable this option to setup a passcode to modify Screen Time settings on your Mac. You will see you a warning, when you enable this option on an administrator account. Apple recommends not to setup a password for admin account.
Remember, this option will be automatically enabled when you have passcode on iOS device and selected the previous “Share Across Devices” option.
Screen Time Settings on Mac
When you enable share across devices option, all your previous iOS settings will be automatically applied to your Mac. You can navigate through the sidebar options to view the report and update settings. You can also filter the usage based on individual device or view the usage together on all devices.
After enabling Screen Time, this section will show the usage of your devices. Hover over the apps to see the hourglass and info icons.
Click on the info icon to see the category and rating for the selected app. Click on the hourglass to setup a new app limit for the selected app. You can limit the app usage on daily basis by setting up time with “Every Day” option. Alternatively, choose “Custom” time option to setup a custom usage limit for each day.
Here you can view the number of notifications from apps on your Mac and iPhone. You can easily find the app that sends lots of notification and take necessary action in different ways.
- You can setup a usage limit for that app.
- Block the notifications from that app.
- Delete that app and try other alternative apps.
Pickups section will show you the number of times you have picked up the device. If you are always looking at the device for each minute, try to fix a limit yourselves to avoid spending too much time on the devices.
We strongly recommend you to setup a “Downtime” option to safeguard your sleeping time without devices. For example, you can setup the downtime as 11PM to 6AM so that you will not be able to use the device during this time except for calls. This is also helpful in restricting your kids to avoid looking at the device during night time.
You will get a downtime reminder 5 minutes before the starting time.
You can enable or disable the “App Limits” for each app, categories and individual websites. If you are always spending time on Facebook you can easily limit the usage.
- Go to “App Limits”.
- Click on the + icon and scroll down to the “Websites” section.
- Click on “Add Website” and type the website address, for example – facebook.com.
- Setup time for every day or custom time for each day. For example, you can limit the usage on all working days to 1 hour and on weekends to 2 hours.
- Click “Done” button to complete the settings.
Screen Time by default will block apps as per your settings. However, you can add exceptions for any critical apps that you want to always allow under “Always Allowed” section.
Content & Privacy
This is one of the very useful feature in Screen Time to restrict different types of actions on your Mac.
You can easily restrict all adult websites by simply enabling “Limit Adult Websites” option under “Content” tab. You can also add exceptions to allow or deny access to any specific website easily. In addition, you can restrict the followings:
- Restrict internet access from Siri and disable using explicit words.
- Disable music profiles and posts.
- Disable multiplayer games and adding friends in Game Center.
Here you can setup what type of apps are allowed in the App Store based on rating and country. However, you can’t stop in-app purchases like iOS App Store.
As of now, you can’t disable the default apps like Safari on your Mac. This is a biggest challenge for parental control to restrict the internet access. Screen Time finally allows you to disable the default Apple apps like Safari, Camera, FaceTime, etc. You can simply select the checkbox under “Apps” tab to deny access to the selected apps.
This section basically allows you to enable or disable changes to the privacy based settings. For example, you can disable changes to account changes on your Mac under this section.
Screen Time is a much awaited featured in Mac. With this feature released in macOS Catalina, you can easily monitor daily and weekly online time. It is a good idea to use sharing across devices and monitor the usage time on your devices. This will also help you to restrict and monitor your children’s online usage.