How to use Screen Time Communication Limits on iOS

Set Up Communication Limits on iPhone

With the release of iOS 13.3 came a new Screen Time feature called Communication Limits. This is a cool tool that parents have to limit who their children can communicate with during downtime or anytime.

So if you want your child to only be able to contact you or your spouse during their device downtime, for example, this feature lets you do that.

Setting up the Communication Limits on iPhone or iPad takes only a few minutes and we’ll walk you through how to do it in this tutorial.

Set up Communication Limits in Screen Time

Open your child’s iPhone or iPad Settings app or, on your device if you have their Screen Time settings set up there, and select Screen Time. Tap Communication Limits for your child and then follow these steps.

Under Allowed Communication you have two options for During Allowed Screen Time and During Downtime. You can set up different limits for each. So, let’s start with During Allowed Screen Time.

Communication Limits on iPhone

During Allowed Screen Time

These settings apply to the active time you allow your child to use their device.

For Allowed Communication, you can pick from Everyone or Contacts Only. Everyone means exactly what it says and Contacts Only refers to only those people in their iCloud contacts.

Next, you have an option for Allow Introductions in Group. If you enable this setting, it lets them to be added to a group conversation when one of your family members or iCloud contacts is in the group.

Communication Limits during ScreenTime

Once you finish with this section, tap the arrow at the top to go back.

During Downtime

These settings apply to the Downtime you set up for them in Screen Time. The During Downtime options will change depending on what you select for During Allowed Screen Time above.

So, if you pick Everyone for During Allowed Screen Time, then Everyone will be an option here as well. But if you pick Contacts Only, then Contacts Only will be an option for During Downtime.

Communication Limits during Downtime

Depending on what you choose above, you can now select either Everyone or Contacts Only if you like. But to limit communications to only certain people, pick Specific Contacts.

Specific Contacts

Specific Contacts lets you choose from existing or new contacts that you can create. These are the only contacts you want to allow your child to communicate with during downtime.

When you tap Specific Contacts, you’ll then pick either Choose From My Contacts or Add New Contact. Make your selection and follow the prompts to add contacts to the list.

Communication Limits during Downtime Contacts

Removing Specific Contacts

If you add certain people that your child can communicate with during downtime and later decide to remove them, this is easy.

Swipe the contact’s name in the list from right to left and tap Remove.

Wrapping it up

The Screen Time feature is a wonderful tool for limiting apps, websites, and content from your little one’s eyes. So the addition of the Communication Limits option just make sense.

What do you think of the Communication Limits feature? Are you going to set it up for your child? Let us know in the comments below!

And for more, check out how to use Screen Time on Mac and how to use the helpful Screen Time reports.