How to set up Screen Time on your Mac in macOS Catalina

Apple first introduced Screen Time with iOS 12 last year to help users be more intentional with their time on iPhone and iPad. Now with macOS Catalina, Screen Time comes to the Mac.

Screen Time for Mac lets customers see how much they are using their computer, including breakdowns on a per-app basis. You can also set App Limits, Downtime rules, and more. Note that it replaces Parental Controls in System Preferences, since those features are combined into the Screen Time settings.

This tutorial will focus on getting Screen Time up and running on your own Mac, and we’ll cover details on setting up Screen Time for a child’s Mac in another post.

  • How to use Screen Time on iPhone and iPad
  • How to set up Screen Time as a parent on a child’s iPhone or iPad

How to set up Screen Time on your Mac in macOS Catalina

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on Screen Time
  3. Click your profile in the left sidebar if you’re using Family Sharing (won’t be an option if not using Family Sharing)
  4. Click Options in the bottom left corner
  5. Choose Turn On in the top right corner
  6. Use Downtime, App Limits, Always Allowed, and Content & Privacy in the sidebar on the left to customize Screen Time