How To Bypass Screen Time Limits On Your Mobile Device
By Lela S.
Sorry Dad ;)
Maybe you’re happily playing a game of Adopt Me on Roblox. You could be having an intense conversation about the correlation between condensed milk and the fourth dimension with your best friend on Messenger Kids. You might be talking to a certain someone *non-covid cough* on Discord, or you could possibly be writing an NF x Reader fanfiction on the Notes app of your phone.
Until your screen time runs out.
In that moment, you feel hopeless. When the time limit icon pops up on your screen, there is no point in continuing life anymore. It’s all you can do to not throw your brand-new iPhone 13 across the room or punch the life out of your gaming PC in a fit of rage, frustration, and despair. You sink your head into your hands and start hysterically sobbing, curled up into a ball on your couch. Why me?
Okay, I may or may not have been exaggerating a bit there. But the point is, a lot of people, including myself at some point, tend to give up at that point. They unwillingly submit to the time limit, putting down their phone and getting off the couch.
However, I disagree with that mindset. Do you really want to be the person who gives up? I know I don’t. In life, you must persevere. In life, you don’t give up when someone, or in this case, something, tells you to give up. This article will show you my ways to bypass screen time limits THAT ACTUALLY WORK on your mobile device, whether it be an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device.
Part 1: Bypassing Downtime
Downtime. One of the most annoying creations humanity has invented. For me, it’s at 8:30 PM that all access to my apps are blocked. Or is it…
The Date and Time Method
What is it: This one has been known for ages, but I had to include it. There is a setting on your device that you can easily change: by setting the time of your device to something else (in my case, 7:30 would be a viable option), it’s possible to trick your device into thinking it’s earlier and giving you more screen time.
How to use it:
Simply go to the Settings app.
In the General section, scroll down to the Date and Time tab.
Under the 24-Hour Time box should be a Set Automatically box, which should normally be on.
Turn it off, and change the time to something else.
And there you go!
The catch: If your parents find out that you’ve been using this hack to bypass downtime, they can actually restrict this option, which will gray out the box and give you the message “the time zone cannot be set manually due to device restrictions”. How do I know this? Well, you see, it happened to me… If you have an Apple Watch like me, Lea, and Emi, you are at a disadvantage. Since the time on your phone is synchronized to your watch, setting the device time to 7:30 PM when it’s actually 8:30 PM, will set the watch’s time to 7:30 PM as well. As soon as my dad caught a glimpse of the screen, his suspicions that I was abusing the Set Automatically button were confirmed. Poor me.
Bonus: You can easily use this hack in the middle of a day to give yourself more screen time for an app. Here’s how: let’s say you’re only allowed 15 minutes of Minecraft every day (don’t worry, I’m not that bad). It’s 12:30 PM, and you’ve already used all of it. By setting the time to sometime before you used it all up, you are given more screen time for that app! (Unfortunately, I can’t do it anymore for obvious reasons, but you can!)
Part 2: Bypassing App Limits
When you’re literally in the middle of a conversation with a friend on Discord and your FREAKING FIFTEEN MINUTES OF DISCORD IS UP!?!!!??!!? (Yes, that is actually the amount of time I’m allowed on Discord per day.)
This is a hack that isn’t found anywhere on the internet. How? I made it up myself, and it works! It’s simply a glitch in the system, so if it doesn’t work for you, this article might be too old. There are a few steps to it, but once you master this hack, you can do it effortlessly.
The “More Than One More Minute” Method
What is it: This is a hack that isn’t found anywhere on the internet. How? I made it up myself, and it works! It’s simply a glitch in the system, so if it doesn’t work for you, this article might be too old. There are a few steps to it, but once you master this hack, you can do it effortlessly.
How to use it:
You are currently under Downtime. Click on the app that you want infinite time to for the whole day: for example, Pinterest.
It should present you with a Time Limit screen. Underneath the OK button, click on Ask For More Time.
There should be three options: One More Minute, Send Request, or Enter Screen Time Passcode. Unless you used up your minute for the day, you should be able to click on it.
Now, you’ve got to act fast. Exit the app as fast as you can.
Use the Date and Time method above, and set it to sometime earlier than the downtime.
You’re safe now. For a couple of minutes, go around and play with your app, other apps, whatever you want.
Eventually, you should go back and reset it to the proper time. Once you do that, Downtime should activate on all the other apps except the one that you want, which is exactly what you want!
The catch: Well, it’s the same catch as the previous method. Since the More Than One More Minute method relies on the Date and Time method, if the option to Set Automatically is disabled, well, then, you’re kind of screwed.
The “Uninstall-Restart-Reinstall” Method
What is it: Well, it’s fairly self-explanatory, isn’t it? After deleting an app, which sort of erases the amount of time you appear to have spent on an app (take note of the sort of, we’ll cover that later), you can actually power on and power off your device a couple of times to give you more time.
WARNING: BEFORE YOU USE THIS METHOD, AS WITH ALL OTHER METHODS THAT INVOLVE DELETING APPS, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE APP STORE AND IT IS NOT DISABLED ON YOUR DEVICE. AS WELL AS THAT, IF YOU HAVE TO ASK TO DOWNLOAD APPS, MAKE SURE YOU DID NOT USE THE FAMILY DOWNLOADS METHOD (covered later) TO DOWNLOAD THE APP.
How to use it:
After making sure everything is okay (see above warning), delete the restricted app. In my case, after my fifteen minutes of Discord time is up, I would delete Discord.
Restart your device. You can do this as many times as you wish, but most of the time one restart should suffice.
Go to the App Store and reinstall your app. When it’s installed, the icon should not be grayed out. Click on it, and bye-bye to the limit!
If the limit is still there, restart your device a couple of times.
It depends on the device, but if you repeat this a couple of times, you’re eventually not going to have to restart your device anymore to get your time back.
The catch: Well, there’s a lot of catches to this. The first one I mentioned was the sort of in the first paragraph of this explanation. See, it may look like everything is fine and you’re perfectly innocent in your screen time settings, but if Family Sharing enables these limits on more than one device, you’re in trouble. If a parent decides to check if you did something, they can see exactly how much time you spent. How do I know all this? Again, been there, done that, got the T-shirt. In other words, I got caught. There’s not much you can do to prevent this except probably trying to distract your parents.
The second catch: Like I warned, with this method as well as all other methods that involve deleting, you must be extremely careful to not permanently delete the app by accident.
The third catch: It’s actually relatively easy for a parent to quickly fix this method by imposing a few more screen time restrictions. They can easily disable deleting and installing apps through screen time restrictions, which is what, unfortunately, happened to me.
To close this unbelievably long article, I would like to provide a disclaimer: if YOU are a kid like me who just wants to get around screen time restrictions that your amazingly strict parents impose on your device, that’s great! But if you get in trouble and your parents are mad at you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. (LOL) Thank you so much for reading; if you feel like it, please leave a like and share this article with a friend who might need it. :)