- Kids can get around Screen Time restrictions relatively easily.
- Parents can take some steps to limit this.
Kids can get around Screen Time on the iPhone and iPad using a few easy tricks to hack Screen Time limitations on iOS 13. This is what kids need to know to get around Screen Time limits, and what parents can do to stop them.
Even on iOS 13 and iPadOS, 13 kids are finding ways to watch YouTube after going past time limits, using Siri to get around messaging limits and other hacks.
How to Hack Screen Time
There are a few ways that kids are hacking Screen Time on the iPhone and iPad to play more or to get around time restrictions. Here’s what kids are doing to get past iPad parental controls. Kids don’t need the Screen Time Passcode and these even work when Screen Time is applied with the Family Sharing feature.
Watching YouTube in Messages
Kids quickly discovered that they can open Messages, tap on the apps button, and then on YouTube to pull up a miniplay of YouTube that they can then use to search for and watch videos on the iPhone and iPad even if the app time limit is up.
Get Rid of Screen Time App Time Limits by Uninstalling and Reinstalling Apps
If parents lock down an app to a specific time limit kids can get around this by uninstalling the app and then reinstalling the app. Since it is an app that isn’t being purchased it is easy to install it again.
Once this happens the timer isn’t reset, it simply doesn’t carry back over to the new game. Do this once and specific app time limits disappear. This is an easy way to get around a time limit, but it’s not the only Screen Time hack.
Bypass Screen Time Limits by Changing The Time
Another way to limit kids is to set time limits that they can play during. Kids quickly discovered that they can change the date and time settings on the iPhone or iPad and play outside of designated times.
This will also allow kids to change the day to a weekend when they may have unrestricted or longer time periods.
Screen Recording to Steal Passcodes
We’re hearing reports of kids turning on-screen recording features to record when a parent enters a passcode for additional time, and then the child knows the passcode.
Getting Around Communication Limits
On iOS 13.3 kids can get around Communication Limits when an unknown number texts and then they can add to the address book. As long as it is not in iCloud the child can now communicate with this number, all without a parent entering a passcode.
Kids are also using Siri on the Apple Watch to get around this limitation, to call or text any number, contact or unknown. Apple is reportedly working on a fix for the first part of this issue.
What Parents Can Do About Screen Time Hacks
There is still something that parents can do to stop kids from getting around Screen Time limits and parental controls on the iPad and iPhone.
Here’s what you can do to prevent some of these Screen Time hacks and cheats.
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Screen Time
- Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions
- Toggle On.
- Tap on iTunes & App Store Purchases
- Turn off Installing and or Deleting Apps
This will stop kids from uninstalling and reinstalling an app to get around Screen Time time limits.
You can also set a lock for time zone changing. It’s convoluted, but you only need to set this up once.
- On the kid’s iPhone turn off Screen Time.
- Go to Settings -> general -> Date& Time and choose Set Automatically.
- Turn Screen Time back on.
- Go to Content & Privacy Restrictions -> Location Services -> System Services.
- Make sure Setting Time Zone is set to on.
- At the top of this screen, change to Don’t Allow Changes.
This should now make time zones greyed out.
Parents can also add a block for the YouTube website to prevent kids from using iMessage to watch YouTube.
- To do this, go to Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions and enter your passcode.
- Choose Web Content and Limit Adult Websites.
- Now enter https://www.youtube.com
This should then prevent using YouTube in iMessage, and in any browser. So once the app time limit is up, YouTube is done for the day.
It is possible to turn off Siri on the iPhone or iPad to avoid kids using the assistant to send messages.
- Go to Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions and enter your passcode.
- Choose Allowed Apps.
- Turn off Siri & Dictation
Apple may need to add this to make Screen Time a more useful tool for parents.