How To Use Screen Time On Mac - A complete guide

Would you like to know how to use the Screen Time feature in Mac? How we can control daily usage on screen? Read the above article to know more.

Last year, Screen Time was first introduced with iOS 12 to help Apple users better monitor the time they spend on their iPhone and iPad. Now in macOS Catalina, Screen Time feature can help individuals keep track of their time spent not only on their smartphones but also on their Mac laptops. Parents have the option to set a time limit per day for contacts or set a rule of overnight calling only to a few family members or relatives. But more than putting restrictions, Screen Time helps you to optimize your daily schedule by tracking where is your time being spent, which apps you use the most and then aids you in deciding how to better utilize it.

The concept of Screen Time was set in motion by Apple in 2018 with iOS 12 to enable all its users to track their time spent over different Apple devices. In order to impart digital wellness among the users, the same features of Screen Time have been made available for the Mac users through macOS Catalina. The feature has been designed to improve our digital wellness and get us away from our screens every once in a while. Just like the Digital Wellbeing feature in Android smartphones.

Unlike the Digital Wellbeing feature in Android devices, the Screen Time feature for Mac users lets its users to see how much they are using their computer. You can also set Downtime rules, App Limits, and many more with screen time feature in Mac.

Note- Parental Control option was replaced in System Preferences and combined into the Screen Time settings.
If you have already updated your iMac or MacBook to the latest version then, here are the complete steps to use screen time on macOS. Have a look!

What Is Screen Time?

Screen Time is a new feature that will show how much time you have spent on your mobile or PC/laptop. This feature was introduced to lower mental stress that happens due to our heavy digital lifestyle. The Screen time feature keeps records on app usage, app timing and other user's behaviors. There are negative health effects by watching continuously on the screen. To prevent harmful exposure, the government has introduced the Screen time feature on mobiles and PC/laptops.

macOS Catalina's Screen Time makes the users aware of the overall computer usage as well as provides a breakdown of time spent on different apps. It also allows users to set limits for various Apps, Downtime rules, etc. However, Parental control is not available in system preference, instead, the features are merged into the Screen time settings.

How To Enable Screen Time On Mac?

System Preferences on Mac
Screen Time feature is available for all Mac users who have updated to MacOS Catalina. You simply have to enable it from System Preferences. Here is how you can enable it.
  • Open System Preferences by going to settings and select Screen Time.
  • Select Options from the left bottom corner of the screen time window and select Turn On (if it is turned off).
  • To check usage information for every device that you have signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID, select Share across devices on each Mac. To check in iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, go to Settings > Screen Time and enable the same setting.

Screen Time Settings on Mac
Once the screen time option is available, you will able to see your usage timings and statistics

How To Turn Off Screen Time On Mac

It is very simple to turn off screen time on Mac by following the below steps.
  • Open System Preferences by going to settings and select Screen Time.
  • Select Options from the left bottom corner of the screen time window and select Turn Off.
Once the Screen Time option is disabled, you will not be able to track your system usage on Mac.

How To Track You Screen Time Usage On Mac

With this feature, you can easily track each app usage data on a daily and weekly basis. Easy to find to app usage every day of the week or an entire week from Screen time feature in Mac. Here is how to track your Screen Time usage on Mac.
Track Screen Time usage on Mac
  • Open System Preferences by going to settings.
  • Select Screen Time.
  • Select the App Usage option from the left.
  • Select any app and check daily and weekly usage from the graph. Scroll down to see whole app details.
  • Click on Today to check previous and today's app usage.
  • Click on Date to check previous or last week usage of the app.
By looking at more graphs will get more insights about the category of apps that you are using in Mac and keep tracking on it.

How To Track Notifications Using Screen Time Feature?

Track Notifications using Screen Time
Notifications can be disturbing during work time and might affect your productivity. Apple always allows keeping your account notifications that you receive in Mac. Now, with the screen time feature in Mac, you can easily find the number of notifications received over the week or the whole day as well. We have below mentioned a few steps to track your notifications using Screen time feature in Mac.
  • Open System Preferences by going to settings and select Screen Time.
  • Locate and select Notifications from the left side.
This is quite similar to the App Usage option, however, you can view notifications count each day and the whole week by using a graph from the notifications window.

How Many Time You Can Check Your System With Screen Time Feature?

Check System Time with Screen Time
Have you ever counted how many times you have checked your system notifications? How many times you have to browse any web browser? How many times you have to open apps in a day? Well, we have mentioned below a few steps to get proper understanding of your computer usage in a day.
  • Open System Preferences app on your Mac.
  • Select the Screen Time option.
  • Click on Pickups at the left.
  • You can easily find and check the number of times you have used your Mac machine for the whole day and all the apps that you have opened as well.

Enable And Use Downtime Feature In Screen Time

Downtime feature in Screen Time
Now, Downtime is another feature of Screen Time, which sets or remote your Mac after a certain time period. With the help of the Downtime feature, you can set a particular time from night to morning so that kids will not be accessible to any apps during the particular time frame.
  • Open System Preferences app on your Mac.
  • Select the Screen Time option.
  • Select the Downtime option from the left.
  • Click on the "Turn On" option from the right corner.
  • Once the Downtime option is turned on, you can schedule the time frame from the same window.
  • If you want Downtime to be run on every day then, scheduled to Everyday and set the starting and end time.
  • If you would Downtime to be set on a specific time, days or week, select the Custom option from the drop-down and select the time, day or week that you want Downtime should be running on your Mac.
Note- All the applications will be disabled after the Downtime was setup. You can still opt-out a few apps for a limited time period of time when the Downtime is enabled.

Setup App Limits On MacOs

App Limits in Screen Time
Now, apart from the Downtime feature, you can easily set a time limit for individual apps on your Mac. To enable it, you have to first create new App Limits and set an app to a particular time limit which can be used each day.
  • Open System Preferences app on your Mac.
  • Select the Screen Time option.
  • Select the App Limits screen option.
  • If the App limits options are off, click on Turn on.
  • Once the App limits option is turned on, click on the + button from the bottom of the list to create or add a new app list.
  • You can either choose to expand the list or an entire category and choose individual apps to set limits.
  • Choose the time limit.
  • You can select Every day and set a particular time limit for setting time usage for all days in a week.
  • You can also set different app limits for days and choose a separate time limit for each day.
  • Once you have set the time limit, select Done.
Now, your Mac will start tracking your usage and will block the opening apps when the time limit exceeds.

Restrict Contents And Apps Using Screen Time Feature

Restrict Contents and Apps Using Screen Time
You can also restrict parent control feature for kids in Mac OS versions. Apple always parental control features and other content restrictions feature in all iOS devices. Now, you can easily find the same feature in macOS Catalina as well.
  • Select the Apple logo from the left corner of the screen.
  • Choose the System Preferences option.
  • Select the Screen Time option.
  • Choose the Content & Privacy option from the left.
  • Select and choose your content restrictions preferences so that children wouldn't open any apps or any content.
  • Click on Stores tab and choose the contents and apps that you want to allow/block from the iTunes store.

Get Screen Time Feature Of All Devices On Mac

Enabled Screen Time on all Apple device
As we all know that all the Apple devices have Screen Time feature by default, and you might be using the same Apple Id in your all iOS devices and Mac as well. If you are using the same Apple Id then, it is possible to check screen analytics on each Apple device.
  • Open System Preferences from the settings menu.
  • Select the Screen Time option.
  • Select Options from the left.
  • Click on the Share Across Devices option.
Once you start syncing, you will be able to see all the app usage statistics from the Screen Time feature on your Mac. If you want to check all the app usage from your iOS devices, follow the below steps:
  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Open Screen Time option.
  • Scroll down and navigate Share Across Devices.
Now, you will get a clear idea to use the Screen Time option in iOS devices and Mac OS.
Above we have mentioned all the steps to use Screen Time feature in Mac OS. We would recommend you go through all the steps to use the Screen Time option in Mac. If you are concerned about your Mac and want to boost up your Mac machine by removing unnecessary files like junk and cache files, we would suggest you using Mac Cleaner software that will take care of your Mac and protect your Mac optimized. Mac cleaner software will also take care of duplicate files present in your system. It will quickly find all the duplicate files and removes them from your Mac, and you will save more space as well. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

Author Bio
This article is written by Sophia Kaile, content writer at Systweak Software. Systweak is a product-based company that provides software and apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.


No responses found. Be the first to comment...

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: