I'm having a hard time configuring my daughter's iPhone with Screen time. I would like to completely block some apps during the weekdays and allow some time for them during the weekends.

Screen time only allows me to set a limit strictly greater than 0, so I have to set all the apps I want to block to 1 minute. Knowing that she can auto-extend for 1 additional minute, an app that I want blocked has instead 2 minutes of usage per day (not a big deal but still...). There is a "Always Allowed apps" list but not a "Never Allowed apps" list. Uninstalling the apps is also not a solution as I want them available during the weekend.

Is there a way, with Screen time or another app, to have a better control and put in place what is described above?

2 Answers 2


A possible solution is to use the Downtime function exactly opposite for what it was designed. Downtime was to basically turn off applications with the exception of a select few for critical needs to make the user want to put down the phone and go do something else. In other words, lock down the phone.

In computer security (especially firewalls), we take this approach as well, lock everything down and only enable or allow the bare minimum. So, in this case, make your "operational hours" your "downtime." Create the iOS downtime schedule and map it to when you want your child to only have access to the apps needed for education. This will, by default, block out recreation and social activities, etc. Since in (iOS) downtime, you can specify the contact(s) that can be called and/or messaged, your child won't be without the ability to reach someone important. All of the apps you want to be utilized can be used and none of the ones you don't will have access.

Next, set time limits for the apps you want to be able to be used when (iOS) downtime is off. Since it will be during the "recreational" time, an extra minute here or there won't cause too much consternation.

It can be frustrating when Apple seems to implement something only half baked like to use App schedule based time restrictions, of either having a restriction with at least 1 minute or having no schedule at all. This is definitely something you want to leave Apple Feedback but hopefully this workaround gets you to (or closer to) what you need.


You might want to consider using Jamf NOW which is a more robust and versatile way of locking down and managing iOS (and other) devices. We use the Jamf Edu MDM at my school to manage > 300 iOS and > 900 laptop devices.

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Disclaimer: satisfied user of Jamf: no financial or other ties.

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