Apple Acknowledges Screen Time Bug, Promises Further Improvements

Apple has acknowledged a bug with its parental controls feature Screen Time on the iPhone and iPad, and promises it will take additional steps to remedy the situation, according to a report this weekend from The Wall Street Journal.

Screen Time iOS 16
Screen Time provides parents with settings to remotely manage a child's device, allowing them to restrict device usage to certain times, set time limits for apps, and block inappropriate content. However, some parents have complained that Screen Time settings sometimes reset or fail to sync across all devices within a Family Sharing group.

"We are aware that some users may be experiencing an issue where Screen Time settings are unexpectedly reset," an Apple spokesperson said, in a statement shared with The Wall Street Journal. "We take these reports very seriously and we have been, and will continue, making updates to improve the situation."

Apple already fixed an issue with Screen Time settings failing to stick with iOS 16.5, released in May, but the report claims that some parents have continued to experience the issue on devices updated to iOS 16.6 and the iOS 17 public beta. It's unclear when Apple plans to roll out additional improvements to Screen Time.

Screen Time launched in 2018 as part of iOS 12, providing parents with a built-in option for the type of controls that previously required third-party apps.

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Top Rated Comments

tripsync Avatar
13 months ago
It's generally not a bug if screen time shows you're spending too much time arguing on MacRumors forums.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
g5powerbook Avatar
13 months ago
Honestly this has been an issue with screen time for a long time. Apple really doesn't want your kids off of their phones. Kids will always outsmart screen time anyways. Steve jobs didn't have these devices in his house for a reason. Take them physically away from them. Though i'm not one to talk so do as I say not as I can do for my own kids.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
richinaus Avatar
13 months ago

Honestly this has been an issue with screen time for a long time. Apple really doesn't want your kids off of their phones. Kids will always outsmart screen time anyways. Steve jobs didn't have these devices in his house for a reason. Take them physically away from them. Though i'm not one to talk so do as I say not as I can do for my own kids.
It's amazing to watch their mood and attitude change after a few days of no screens. Actual creativity happens.

Screen time is rubbish and is a bane of my life. No way will the kids tell you it has reset and they have unlimited access.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
13 months ago
I half expected this to be Apple recognizing screen time is essentially just one giant bug. It is a barely functional mess of a feature.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
13 months ago

This bug has been going on for almost a year. I expect a fix by the time iOS 17 rolls out.
I don't envy the position that Apple is in. They build something wonderful, and then users "expect" and "demand" perfection at all times. Software is hard, really hard. Let's appreciate the wonderful software that is working wonderfully well in this complex networked world.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
13 months ago
Bugs bugs bugs bugs bugs bugs bugs BUGS BUGS!!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)