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How To Change Screen Time Passcode On iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac

Screen Time is a feature of Apple products that allows owners to monitor device usage.

It also offers control of a child’s device to restrict usage,  prevent access to inappropriate content, and prevent unauthorized purchases.

All of these restrictions are limited and controlled using the Screen Time passcode.

If you forget your Screen Time passcode you can’t change any of the restrictions on your device. So it is important to know how to reset, recover, manage, and change the passcode for your device. Or your child’s device.

In this guide you will learn:

  • How to recover your Screen Time passcode.
  • What to do if you forgot your Screen Time passcode.
  • How to bypass the Screen Time passcode.
  • The best way to reset the Screen Time Passcode.

These instructions will work on your own or your kid’s Apple device.

How To Change Screen Time Passcode

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What is the screen time passcode?

If you want to limit how long you or your children use your Apple devices then Screen Time will help.

Screen Time displays information on how long you use your device, and what activities you performed. If you want to restrict usage you can control what is done, and when.

Specifically, on your or your kid’s device you can:

  • Schedule time away from the screen using Downtime.
  • Set limits for usage of specific apps, with App Limits.
  • Set who you can communicate with, and when you can get in touch with Communication Limits.
  • Block access to inappropriate content using Content & Privacy Restrictions.

If you reach an app usage limit or try to use the device during scheduled downtime you will be prompted for the Screen Time passcode. It is not the same as the iPhone passcode.

Unless you use the same passcode for all of the features on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch it is easy to forget the Screen Time passcode. Especially if you don’t use the code often. For example, if you normally adhere to the restrictions and want a one-off change.

The iPhone offers parental controls which use a 4 or 6 digit passcode to restrict things such as:

  • Content and privacy
  • iTunes & App Store purchases
  • Restrict game center
  • Prevent explicit content
  • Prevent web content
  • And much more

Reset a forgotten screen time passcode on your device

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

If you can’t remember your Screen Time passcode, you can reset it using the following instructions:

  1. On your device, tap Settings.
    tap settings
  2. Tap Screen Time.
    Screen Time
  3. Choose Change Screen Time Passcode.
    Change Screen Time passcode
  4. In the pop-up window tap Change Screen Time Passcode again.
    Change Screen Time passcode confirm
  5. Tap Forgot Passcode.
    forgot Screen Time passcode
  6. You will be asked for your Apple ID and Password. If you don’t know them, see How to recover and change my Apple ID and password.
    Screen Time passcode recovery
  7. Enter a new passcode, and verify it.
    new Screen Time passcode

On your Mac

You can use Screen Time on any Mac computer including MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, Mac Studio, Mac Pro, or MacBook Pro.

It restricts usage in the same way as it does on iOS devices with a 4 or 6-digit Screen Time passcode.

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To reset a forgotten Screen Time passcode on Mac, do the following:

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences.
    Mac system preferences
  2. Next, click Screen Time.
    Mac screen time
  3. In the bottom left corner of the window, select Options.
    Mac screen time options
  4. Then click the Change Passcode button.
    Mac screen time change passcode
  5. In the pop-up window requesting the passcode, click Forgot Passcode.
    Mac screen time forgot passcode
  6. You will be asked for your Apple ID and Password. If you don’t know them, see How to reset my Apple account credentials.
  7. Enter a new passcode, and verify it.

Change Screen Time passcode on a child’s device

If you have enabled Family Sharing to manage your family’s accounts, you won’t be able to reset the Screen Time passcode on their device.

Instead, you need to use the family organizers device to change the passcode for your family member.

On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. On the family organizers device, tap Settings.
  2. Then, tap Screen Time.
  3. Under Family, choose the family member’s name.
  4. Next, tap Screen Time Passcode.
  5. Then, tap Screen Time Passcode again.
  6. If prompted, supply your device passcode (not the Screen Time Passcode), Face ID, or Touch ID.
  7. Choose a new Screen Time passcode.

If this does not work, make sure the family organizer’s device is updated to iOS 13.4 or iPadOS 13.4 or later.

On Mac

  1. On the family organizers Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences.
  2. Next, click Screen Time.
  3. On the drop-down menu in the left sidebar, select the family member’s name.
  4. In the bottom left corner, pick Options.
  5. Next, click the Change Passcode button.
  6. In the pop-up window, click Forgot Passcode.
  7. You will be asked for your Apple ID and Password. If you don’t know them, see How to reset my Apple account credentials.
  8. Enter a new passcode, and verify it.

If this process does not work, ensure your Mac is updated to macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or later.

Assuming you have Share Across Devices switched on, the new Screen Time passcode will be updated remotely.

How to setup screen time

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch do the following:

  1. Tap Settings.
    tap settings
  2. Scroll down a little, then tap Screen Time.
    Screen Time
  3. Then, tap Turn On Screen Time, then Continue.
    turn on Screen Time
  4. If you are setting it up for yourself, tap This is My iPhone. Screen time will be turned on and your activity graph and restriction options will appear.
    this is my iPhone
  5. If you are setting it up for a family member, tap tap This is My Child’s iPhone.
  6. Set the downtime limits, then tap Set Downtime.
    set downtime
  7. Next, set the app limits to restrict the times that apps can be used. Tap Set App Limit when done.
    set app limits
  8. To restrict mature content on the Content & Privacy screen. Tap Continue to enable this.
    set content and privacy
  9. You will be asked to create the Screen Time Passcode to turn on the restrictions.
    new Screen Time passcode

You can also set up Screen Time for a Mac computer.

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