Apple Confirms Some Screen Time Limits for Kids Aren’t Working

If you’ve been thinking your kids seem to be getting a lot more screen time than you’ve allotted them, you might not be wrong.

Apple confirmed to The Wall Street Journal this week(Opens in a new window) that a bug has been preventing some Screen Time limits set from the Family Sharing system from saving correctly. The issue specifically deals with the Downtime setting.

Downtime allows parents to block access to a child’s device entirely. For the past several months, however, that setting has had a bug that might have prevented parents from saving their selections, ultimately giving kids more screen time than intended. In some cases, the setting returns to a previously set state, while in others it defaults to no restrictions at all.

In some cases, parents reported the bug not only gives their children more time on their device than intended but it also allowed some kids to access adult content that should be restricted.

In a statement to the Journal, Apple said: “We are aware that some users may be experiencing an issue where Screen Time settings are unexpectedly reset.” It went on to say that it’s working on an update to correct the issue, though no timeline was provided.

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The issue also isn’t new. Apple’s iOS 16.5 update in May was expected to fix “an issue where Screen Time settings may reset or not sync across all devices,” which was obviously unsuccessful.

Worth noting: While the feature doesn’t work when set through Family Sharing, restrictions made physically on a device do appear to save correctly. If you’re a parent who uses the feature, you may want to make changes directly on your child’s device for the time being until Apple is able to roll out a successful fix.

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