What to Fix when Screen Time/Downtime Is Not Working on iPhone/iPad

Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by Joanna Lake

Now, we have easily spent more time on screen since many apps are designed for craving our attention so as to earn the profits by selling more advertisements. If you have watched Social Dilemma, you would know how it goes.

Fortunately Apple users can manage their time limits via Screen Time from the iOS12 and later. Also, they can set a limited hour for their kid’s device. While some users complain that the screen time is not working on their iPad/iPhone.

For example, some users find they haven't got the reminder when they reach the app limits, and the screen time on iPad/iPhone isn’t accurate. What’s worse, they find their children watch the iPad much longer without requesting them and entering the passcode.

#1Solution 1: Check the Screen Time Server and Network Connection

The screen time server and device isn’t connected will lead to the screen time not working. So, we should check whether the network connection is working and the screen time server is on.

First, open the Apple System Status on the browser, check if the light next to Screen Time is green or not (green means available, orange means have a problem, red means totally down). If not, you should wait till it solved by Apple.

Then, go through any website on your browser to see whether the network is working. When you find the WiFi is not working, just switch to the mobile data and check again.

When you find it works, make sure you have allowed the settings app to use mobile data: Open Setting app ⟶ Mobile(Cellular) Data, then swipe down to touch SettingsWLAN & Mobile (Cellular) Data. If the network is totally down, you should call for help right now.

#2Solution 2: Adjust The Date and Time on Your iPhone/iPad

Another possible reason is the wrong date and time on your device. The device and service don't run at the same time will lead to the screen time not working. Then, adjusting the date and time will fix the issue.

Search “exact time now” on Google and check it on your device. If the date and time on your device and Google are identical, skip to the next reason.

While you find the time is not the same, just turn on automatically set date and time on iPhone/iPad: Tap the Settings app, swipe down and you will find a search bar, type “time”, touch Date & Time and turn on the Set Automatically.

#3Solution 3: Fix iPhone/iPad Unknown Errors

Except for the two reasons above, there are still some unknown errors that will cause the issue. We can still fix it with a tool, or just go through some general fixes.

Fix the iPhone Errors with iOS Problem Killer

iOS System Recovery is the comprehensive iOS errors dealer, which is able to eliminate all the hidden errors on an iOS device with one-click. Furthermore, the whole progress won’t cause any data loss.

iOS System Recovery (Win)iOS System Recovery (Mac)iOS System Recovery (Win)iOS System Recovery (Mac)

First, connect the device to the computer, if the device asks your permission to trust this computer, tap Trust. Then, launch the program on your desktop, click iOS System RecoveryStartFixConfirm.

Next, the program will require you to download a firmware, click the Next button and when the firmware is downloaded, the reparing process will start in a second, then your device's errors will be cleaned. When it ends, press the OK button.

2 Tips to Fix iOS Problems

Tip 1.Turn off and Turn on Screen time.

Turn off the screen time: tap SettingsScreen Time, swipe down to touch the Turn Off Screen Time. If you have set the screen time password before, you will need to enter it.

Note: How to directly delete the passcode

Click Forget Passcode, if you see the iCloud account sign-in page, sign in to your account to restore the passcode. Otherwise, it will be easily deleted with iPhone Unlocker, which is made for removing the iOS passcode, including the screen time passcode, Face ID & Touch ID.

Turn on the screen time: Press SettingsScreen TimeTurn on the screen timeContinueThis is My iPhone/This is My Child’s iPhone.

Tip 2. Reset All the Settings

Press the Settings app, swipe down, then hit the search bar. Type “reset”, and tap Reset All Settings. After that, all the settings will be switched to default ones.


To limit our time on screen, screen time is a feature that we can use. When it is not working, it will confuse us. That is why we should pay some time to kill the errors.

Before following the solutions you should check whether it is caused by the connection of the device and server, the wrong date and time or other issues.

Now you know how to fix not working screen time. Once you fix it, you can live a life that benefits from technology but without drowning.


1.Why could my son watch YouTube under the limits of Screen Time, he didn’t get the passcode?

This issue can result from blocking the Ignore Option on iPad/iPhone. Press IgnoreRemind Me in 15 Minutes/Ignore Limits For Today, the user will be able to continue using.

And you can block it by: Hit SettingsScreen TimeApp Limits, tap one app limit, turn on Block at End of Limit. Then, it will only offer One More Minute or Enter passcode. Then your child will be only allowed to use it for one min, after that, he won’t be able to use it ,unless you enter the passcode.

Perhaps you also want to let them put down the phone during downtime. Go to Screen TimeDowntime, tap the button beside Block at Downtime. And your child can’t view their phone without the screen time passcode.