I enjoy the new Downtime feature in iOS 12 that’s been added as part of the broader Screen Time feature. I used it to set my whole workday as Downtime, so that I will be discouraged from using my iPhone while working.

I find that this feature makes it really hard to use Safari, however, as every website I visit shows a “Time Limit” screen. I can ignore the time limit for 15 minutes, which would be fine if I just had to do it once as I only use Safari for short breaks away from work. The “Time Limit” screen, however, appears independently on every domain I visit.

It’s possible to set time limit for each domain you visit frequently via the Screen Time overview for your device, however downtime seems to override this.

It’s also not possible to set Safari as “Always Allowed”, nor to manage this specific setting for any of the invidual domains.

Is there a way to whitelist domains, or preferably the entirety of web browsing using Safari, using Screen Time? I imagine a potential solution is switching to Chrome, but I’m curious about a solution that lets me use Safari.


Simple answer: it’s not possible. I don’t understand how anyone at Apple could release this feature with Safari missing from the list of apps


Best option: Download Firefox (or another browser) and enable that during downtime. You may additionally set a Daily time limit for Firefox to stop you from going overboard using it.

ScreenTime is very confusing. I found https://www.tekrevue.com/tip/ios-12-screen-time-limits-specific-apps/ to be helpful in using it.

If you turn on Downtime, you can't use anything on your phone except apps you add to Always Allowed and apps you add to App Limits.

But Safari is special. It wants to respect Downtime on every webpage you try to visit, and it seems whitelisting does not work properly for these. This is why adding a different browser app bypasses the problem. You do lose the per-page restrictions when you do this, and I guess the partial answer to to that is to limit Firefox to a certain amount of minutes overall, and return to Safari after downtime is over for website-restricted browsing.


I think the problem is in the categories that you have selected. For myself, the technology website WindowsCentral.com will also be blocked if I tick the “All Social networking” in the App limit categories.

The workaround is pretty simple in iOS 13,

Go to Setting-> Screen Time -> App Limit -> Edit List -> deselect the current selection and instead, pick the app that you want to be limited individually.

For example, Facebook.com will be blocked in the Safari if the “All Social Networking” category is ticked. In contrast, Facebook.com is allowed if we deselect the Facebook option in the App limit list.

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