How to find out how much time you spend in iPhone & iPad apps

One of the ways of keeping your smartphone addiction under control entails checking out how much time you’re actually spending in apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. iOS includes a feature that allows you to see the time spent on apps, but it’s buried counterintuitively in an unlikely place where most people won’t bother looking.

Here’s how to use it.

See you app usage on iPhone

See how much time you spend on apps

There are two easy ways to check how many minutes or hours you have given to apps on your iPhone or iPad.

1. Look into your battery settings

You can check the amount of battery used by each app and also see how much time per day or week you’ve spent using apps on your device. Here’s how:

1) Open the Settings app on your iOS device.

2) Tap the Battery section.

3) Now scroll down to the Battery Usage By App heading.

4) Touch any app listed underneath the Battery Usage heading to cycle the whole section between showing the amount of battery used by apps and the time spent in each app.

Battery Usage By App iPhone

For each listed app, you should see a message showing the number of minutes spent on the screen.

Related: 40+ ways to save battery on iPhone

Now you can see how long each app has been open or running in the background. For the sake of clarity, screen time indicates the time an app has spent running in the foreground while the display was turned on, regardless of whether or not it was actively used.

Tip: Tap the Last 24 Hours button or the Last 10 Days button in order to see the average app usage times during the last 24 hours or over the course of the past 10 days, respectively.

Battery Usage 24 hours 10 days iPhone

You might see one of the following usage types displayed under an app’s name:

  • Background Activity: An app is running in the background and consuming the battery
  • Audio: An app is playing audio while running in the background
  • No Cell Coverage: Your device is searching for a cellular network signal
  • Low Signal: Your device is used with a low cellular network signal
  • Backup & Restore: The device’s been backing up to or restoring from iCloud
  • Location and Background Location: The battery was used when tracking your device

To be clear, only the time an app has spent in the foreground is counted as screen time.

Apps that are running in the background (when the device is locked or while you were using another app) are indicated on the list with the message “Xm background”.

Battery Usage Background iPhone

iOS apps can perform a few specific tasks when running in the background, like stream or play music, download content, track your location, record audio, handle VoIP calls, and more.

If an app is constantly running in the background, your battery may deplete faster. For instance, if you navigate with Google Maps, it’ll probably show heavy background activity.

2. Check Screen Time activity

If you have enabled Screen Time on your iPhone or iPad, do the following to see your app usage:

1) Open Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap See All Activity.

3) Select Day or Week from the top. Next, scroll down, and you will see the most used apps on the top and their usage. Tap an app to go deep.

See All Activity in Screen Time on iPhone

Feel free to step up and let us know in the comments what you typically do on that iPhone or iPad of yours and for how long each day.

Additional tips: