Apple Admits iPad, iPhone Users Have Screen Time Issues


iPhone Screen Time Issues 2

Users of the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro were particularly heavily struck when iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 first launched. Although subsequent updates have improved the situation, Apple has now acknowledged a new serious issue that affects all iPad and iPhone owners.

Apple confirmed a persistent fault affecting its Screen Time feature, a parental control function on iPhones and iPads, in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. This bug enables kids to circumvent time restrictions and view potentially harmful content without their parent’s awareness.

“We are aware that some users may be experiencing an issue where Screen Time settings are unexpectedly reset. We take these reports very seriously and we have been, and will continue, making updates to improve the situation,” said an Apple spokesperson.

With the help of Screen Time, parents may remotely supervise their child’s iPad or iPhone usage by placing limits on when the device can be used, establishing time limits for certain apps, and blocking undesirable information. A Family Sharing group’s time limitations and content controls may reset or stop synchronizing as a result of the bug.

iPhone Screen Time Issues

A Screen Time settings problem was previously fixed by Apple in the iOS 16.5 update in May. The repair, however, obviously did not work because there are several reports from parents who are still experiencing the issue on iPhones and iPads running iOS 16.6/iPadOS 16.6 releases and even the iOS 17/iPadOS 17 public betas throughout forums and social media.

Parents now have a native option for controls that were previously dependent on third-party apps thanks to Screen Time, which was launched in 2018 as part of iOS 12. Since then, the function has evolved into a crucial tool for families to regulate and track screen time usage.

Apple has not given a release date for its Screen Time fix, but it absolutely must arrive in iOS 16 given that iOS 17 no longer supports the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, 5th-generation iPad, and first-generation iPad Pro. Next month sees the introduction of iOS 17. The time is running out.

The fact that this bug was initially identified in October 2022 and linked to a forum post on Apple Communities may be the most unexpected finding. At the time, more than 2500 other users acknowledged they had the issue, which results in the reset of Screen Time limitations. The user clarifies:

I’ve used screen time for my kids to limit time on certain apps. It worked well for years, but now I will set the limits and then they will suddenly disappear after a day or even less. Other settings also get erased including downtime and content restrictions. I have changed the passcode and the kids swear they have not tried to change any settings. This issue started about two months ago.

Users have also discovered a temporary remedy until Apple publishes a repair: customize your Screen Time settings on each device separately and avoid using cross-device syncing. This is more dependable, according to multiple users, and it strongly implies that the fault is not with Screen Time itself but rather with the iCloud sync process.

Although it must be emphasized that not everyone will experience success with this, some users are discovering that the following methods will help them address the issue:

  1. Disable Screen Time on the device that needs to be restricted during downtime – this would typically be your child’s device.
  2. Ensure that all photos are synchronized with iCloud. Any unsynced photos could be lost in the process. You can verify this by scrolling to the bottom of the photos app to check if any are still pending.
  3. Log out of iCloud on all devices that have the authority to approve Screen Time requests or have set Screen Time restrictions. This includes both your child’s and your own devices.
  4. Reset these same devices – this does not imply erasing all content. Simply reset all settings by navigating to Settings, then ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone’, and finally select ‘Reset All Settings’.
  5. Reconnect all devices to iCloud by signing back in.
  6. Re-activate Screen Time and establish your desired downtime limits.

This method should only be used by people who often experience serious problems with the Screen Time bug because it entails resetting many devices. A formal fix will likely be made available via an iOS 16.6.1 update in the coming weeks as a result of Apple’s public admission of the issue.

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