While the debate on whether screen time is good or not continues, it’s possible to manage and monitor how much time is spent on your device.
Perhaps you want to see the time you spend on particular apps, especially those that distract you from completing your to-do list, and you end up in a rabbit hole having done nothing all day.
If you’re a parent or have children living with you, and you want to see how much time they spend watching stuff or playing games, you can get this information by viewing the screen time.
In this step-by-step guide, we’re going to show you how to check screen time on devices running the major operating systems.
Also on Guiding Tech
Check Screen Time on iOS
Smartphones and other mobile gadgets are a central part of most people’s daily routine, if not integral to it.
Whether you’re sending an email, text message, streaming movies, chatting on WhatsApp, or live streaming on Facebook, or editing your photos with cool filters, it can be hard to stay away from screens, and worse still, not know how much of your time it consumes every day.
To check your screen time on an iPhone or other iOS devices, use these steps:
Step 1: Open Settings and tap Screen Time.
Step 2: Tap Turn on Screen Time and then tap Continue.
Step 3: Select whether it’s your device or your child’s device.
Note: If it’s your child’s device, it’s possible to set up Screen Time, use Family Sharing to configure it from your device, or create settings on the same device.
On your iPad, the same steps apply to view your screen time.
Once you set it up, you can view screen time reports and adjust any settings from your device using Family Sharing.
On your iOS device, you can see detailed reports about how you use your device, the apps you open, and websites you visit by going to Settings>Screen Time>See All Activity under the graph.
If you enable Share Across Devices, you can also view the usage across devices you’ve signed in with your Apple ID and password, if you have multiple devices.
Check Screen Time on Android
Unlike iOS devices whose users can easily check their screen time from the built-in feature we've described above, Android users have to take a different route but still get to view their usage.
To check screen time usage on Android for different apps and other services, use the steps below (For this guide, we used a Samsung S8+ running Android Pie).
Step 1: Open Settings and tap Device Care.
Step 2: Tap Battery.
You'll see a list of the apps you've been using, the total active hours or minutes, total battery usage in percentages at the right-hand side, and time the app has taken running in the background for the current day or whole week.
Also on Guiding Tech
Check Screen Time on Windows 10
In Windows 10, you can check screen time through the Family Safety settings. It's particularly useful if you have kids and want to monitor and manage their activities as well as time spent on the computer.
The tool was introduced by Microsoft to give parents control over what their children or family members can do and use on Windows 10 computers.
It's an improvement from Windows 7 Parental Controls, which managed the experience locally. It offers a seamless way of managing the safety of your children on the computer and online through Microsoft Accounts.
You can view activity reports, see the websites visited, review games and apps that can be accessed, and manage when your device is used. You can even block an account.
Here's how to set up and check screen time in Windows:
Step 1: Click Start>Settings and select Accounts.
Step 2: Click Family & Other Users.
Step 3: Click Add a family member to configure family safety. You can add a child by clicking Add a child.
Note: If the child or family member you're adding doesn't have a Microsoft account, click The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address to create one for them.
Go to the email account you just created, accept the invitation, and click Sign in and Join.
Step 4: Click Start>Settings>Accounts>Family and Other Users, and then click Manage Family Settings Online.
That will load the Activity Page from where you can click Screen Time to start viewing how much time is spent on apps, games, and other activities on your computer.
Check Screen Time on Mac
As with iOS devices, the Screen Time feature is also native to Mac computers, and you can check app usage or limits, notifications received, and even the number of times you picked up your iPhone or iPad and the app you opened first.
Here are the steps to take when checking screen time on your Mac:
Step 1: Click Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
Step 2: Click Screen Time.
Step 3: Click on the Options in the bottom left side of the screen.
Step 4: Toggle the switch at the top right side to Turn On screen time.
You can also see the usage data for all other devices using your Apple ID and password by selecting Share across devices and turning on the same setting on the other Apple Devices.
Also on Guiding Tech
Take Back Control of Your Time
Your smartphone, tablet, or laptop needn’t take up too much of your time, especially on things that leave you feeling like you wasted your day. By knowing how to check your screen time on different devices, you can take back control of every minute and hour you spend and keep track of how much time you save or lose every day.
If productivity is your priority, check out our complete guide on how you to use Google Tasks effectively to simplify your daily to-do list and get more done.
Next up: Have you tried using Google Tasks to ease up your to-do lists and work load? Well, here's a guide on how to use Google Tasks to boost your productivity.