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Question: How can I keep my teen from changing the date/time on his phone to get around screen time’s down time setting?

I was so excited to turn on the screen time restrictions in the new iOS. Until my 13 year old found a work around within 2 minutes of handing his phone back to him during “down time”—he went to settings and changed the date/time of his phone to an unrestricted time and voila! Free screentime again.


I don’t see a way to restrict him from changing that setting. Any ideas would be great. Thanks!

Posted on Sep 18, 2018 8:38 PM

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Sep 19, 2018 4:00 AM in response to BORg529 In response to BORg529

The screen time passcode is set and he doesn’t know it. He circumvented the downtime settings by simply changing the time on his phone. Downtime is 10p to 7a, it’s 11p so he goes into the settings and changes the time to 11a which opens everything back up.

Sep 19, 2018 4:00 AM

Question marked as Helpful

Sep 26, 2018 1:09 PM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

I work in the cyber security industry, and I can tell you over the years, I've seen kids - including my own - do things that first-world government teams and crack white hat groups could not have done any better. Give up now.


There is no app, no operating system, no proxy, scanner or firewall, and no setting that will ever defeat a determined kid. Plus, they work in groups, and are able to coordinate even better than their adult counterparts to find and disseminate new hacks. It's an arms race that cannot be won with technology. You find a setting, they find a workaround. Apple updates, they find a new weakness.


Take their phones. Put them in a box. Sit on the box and guard it. Maybe buy a Faraday bag or something. Watch them cry and talk about how they'll be social outcasts and their friends will mock them, or moan about how they need it for school to check the Facebook page their teacher posts assignments to. Turn a deaf ear. Know that you are helping them just like our parents were when they made us eat vegetables (which you know, are actually pretty darned good - thanks, Mom).


Show no weakness, @melindafromhagerstown - we're in this together. Apple won't help. Heck, Google and Facebook need those screen hours, so goodness knows they won't help. But we parents are here for you. Good luck to us all. To victory!


P.S. We parents should probably put the phone away at 11PM too :-)

Sep 26, 2018 1:09 PM

Question marked as Helpful

Sep 27, 2018 10:12 AM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

It's time for Grumpy Grampa: ScreenTime isn't meant to be your child's nanny. That's your job. You set rules and limits for your child - ScreenTime can help inform your child that the limit has been reached. If your child breaks the rules, the phone gets taken away. "But he needs his phone!" you say. Easy. Go to Walmart and get a cheap flip phone. When he breaks your rules take the SIM out of the iPhone and put it into the flip phone and give him the flip phone. Problem solved.

Sep 27, 2018 10:12 AM

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Sep 18, 2018 10:00 PM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

( Settings > Screen Time > Change Screen Time Passcode. ) Make a new Screen Time Passcode, and don’t tell your teen the new passcode. But write new code down and keep it in secure place, in case you forget. Also, as a last resort, take away his iphone, if things get out of control.

Sep 18, 2018 10:00 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Sep 19, 2018 4:00 AM in response to BORg529 In response to BORg529

The screen time passcode is set and he doesn’t know it. He circumvented the downtime settings by simply changing the time on his phone. Downtime is 10p to 7a, it’s 11p so he goes into the settings and changes the time to 11a which opens everything back up.

Sep 19, 2018 4:00 AM

Reply Helpful (7)
Question marked as Helpful

Sep 26, 2018 1:09 PM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

I work in the cyber security industry, and I can tell you over the years, I've seen kids - including my own - do things that first-world government teams and crack white hat groups could not have done any better. Give up now.


There is no app, no operating system, no proxy, scanner or firewall, and no setting that will ever defeat a determined kid. Plus, they work in groups, and are able to coordinate even better than their adult counterparts to find and disseminate new hacks. It's an arms race that cannot be won with technology. You find a setting, they find a workaround. Apple updates, they find a new weakness.


Take their phones. Put them in a box. Sit on the box and guard it. Maybe buy a Faraday bag or something. Watch them cry and talk about how they'll be social outcasts and their friends will mock them, or moan about how they need it for school to check the Facebook page their teacher posts assignments to. Turn a deaf ear. Know that you are helping them just like our parents were when they made us eat vegetables (which you know, are actually pretty darned good - thanks, Mom).


Show no weakness, @melindafromhagerstown - we're in this together. Apple won't help. Heck, Google and Facebook need those screen hours, so goodness knows they won't help. But we parents are here for you. Good luck to us all. To victory!


P.S. We parents should probably put the phone away at 11PM too :-)

Sep 26, 2018 1:09 PM

Reply Helpful (7)

Sep 26, 2018 1:33 PM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

Downtime isn't intended, from everything I've read, as a way to prevent children from accessing the phone. It's intended to encourage adults to look at their phone less by allowing them to restrict notifications to only what they consider essential. It's sort of Do Not Disturb on steroids.


DowntimeThink of this as a nap for your screen time. When you schedule Downtime in Settings, only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available.

Apple doesn't mention Downtime at all in the article on parental controls:


Use parental controls on your child's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support


So, I'm not entirely surprised that it won't do what you want. I suggest you submit feedback to Apple letting them know what you'd like to see:


Product Feedback - Apple

Sep 26, 2018 1:33 PM

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Sep 27, 2018 5:10 AM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

Melinda,


At this time what you can do use the features guided access and screen time at the same time. Guided access will allow you to keep iphone in a single app. Once you have set the screen time limit, enable guided access after opening the app your child would like to play and once the time limit has reached its point he will be unable to do anything with the phone. Once he gives you or you take phone you can then disable guided access and go back to using your phone like you normally would. Guided access requires passcode, touch id or face id to enable/disable. Guided Access also allows you to set an alarm that way if you would like to hear when the time is up you can set that as well. Hope that helps!

Sep 27, 2018 5:10 AM

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Sep 27, 2018 8:58 AM in response to SJC96GT In response to SJC96GT

My kids defeated Guided Access in about five minutes by forcing a reset of the device. Another kid at their school was able to keep a backup of his devices on iTunes before her parents set the feature, then she resets it back to the backup version as needed. Not all of this is malicious - sometimes the user legitimately needs the device when the parent(s) (AKA IT department heads) are not around.


By the way, so as not to pick on just Apple here - another child of mine had a Chromebook, and managed to disable the protection app they had installed via a Chrome extension in so little time that it did not even make it home from school. Now I get regular reports from the company the school contracted with that say he's been to zero Web sites and watched zero videos, and visited the school's "educational site" zero times - all despite daily use.

Sep 27, 2018 8:58 AM

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Sep 27, 2018 9:07 AM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

There are some subscription based parental control apps in the App Store (they use a type of managed deployment approach from a for-fee central account). Those might suit your wishes better, although I have no experience with any of them so you’d want to check into them carefully before spending money on them.


For example -

Parental Control App - Kidslox by Kidslox Trading Ltd

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/parental-control-app-kidslox/id914825567?mt=8



If you wanted to you and were willing to do the homework to learn how, you could also do your own home based managed deployment. A managed deployment profile offers far greater control over a device than any other form of restrictions or limitations you could impose. Remote deployments are the method schools and companies use to retain control over company owned assets and keep employees or students from using them as they wish to.

Sep 27, 2018 9:07 AM

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Sep 27, 2018 10:09 AM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

I'd check out all security ways of keeping a child out of certain apps for instance their icloud account like not allowing them to make purchases. This link - Use parental controls on your child's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support


From my understanding if you set this up using their icloud account/profile and make their password one only you set up (not them) you should have full control over everything they do on their phone. By creating a password yourself for their account that you only known no matter whether they reset the phone or any other scenario they try should make it impossible for them to get passed it.


Also check out family sharing, adding a child account to your family sharing will also restrict them and you also will be able view the amount of time they spend in an app.

Sep 27, 2018 10:09 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Sep 27, 2018 10:12 AM in response to melindafromhagerstown In response to melindafromhagerstown

It's time for Grumpy Grampa: ScreenTime isn't meant to be your child's nanny. That's your job. You set rules and limits for your child - ScreenTime can help inform your child that the limit has been reached. If your child breaks the rules, the phone gets taken away. "But he needs his phone!" you say. Easy. Go to Walmart and get a cheap flip phone. When he breaks your rules take the SIM out of the iPhone and put it into the flip phone and give him the flip phone. Problem solved.

Sep 27, 2018 10:12 AM

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User profile for user: melindafromhagerstown

Question: How can I keep my teen from changing the date/time on his phone to get around screen time’s down time setting?

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