How to reset forgotten Screen Time passcode

6 min read

We spend a lot of time on our devices. Even too much time — on average, over seven hours every day. 

To help us monitor and reduce the time we waste looking at various apps (e.g. social media), Apple came up with Screen Time — a free default utility that shows you daily and weekly reports, keeps track of how many times you look at the phone, and allows you to set time limits for any app and website. 

Screen Time settings sync over iCloud to all your devices and can be protected with a Screen Time passcode to make sure you keep yourself accountable. The problem is that the Screen Time passcode is easy to forget.

What is a Screen Time passcode?

A Screen Time passcode is a four-digit combination you need to enter to change Screen Time settings or allow yourself (or your child) to go over the predefined limit on any app. 

If you don’t often hit the limits on your apps and didn’t save the passcode somewhere safe, you might forget it. Luckily, you can reset the passcode on both your Mac and iPhone by using the Apple ID.

How to reset Screen Time passcode on iPhone & iPad

If you forgot Screen Time passcode iPhone uses to unlock app limits, you can reset it with your Apple ID and password. 

To recover Screen Time passcode on iPhone or iPad: 

  1. Go to Settings ➙ Screen Time. 
  2. Tap Change Screen Time Passcode and then tap Change Screen Time Passcode again.
  3. Tap Forgot Passcode? 
  4. Type in your Apple ID and password. 
  5. Type in your new Screen Time passcode.

time passcode on iphone

Make sure to check whether your Screen Time settings sync over iCloud. If they do, the passcode change will apply to all iCloud devices. If they don’t, you’ll only need to use the new passcode with your iPhone or iPad. 

Wondering what’s the best way to manage your phone from your Mac? Give AnyTrans for iOS a try. 

AnyTrans is a fast and easy way to transfer files to your phone, create backups, manage iCloud files, download videos, set ringtones, and much more. Just connect your iPhone to Mac via USB to get started. 

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How to reset Screen Time passcode on Mac

You can also recover Screen Time passcode using your Mac. If your Screen Time settings are synced via iCloud, the change will take place across your devices. If you don’t have the sync enabled, only the Mac passcode will change. 

To reset Screen Time passcode on Mac (macOS Catalina or later): 

  1. Go to System Settings ➙ Screen Time.
  2. Click Change Passcode… 
  3. Click Forgot Passcode?
  4. Enter your Apple ID credentials.
  5. Type in a new Screen Time passcode twice to make the change.

change screen time passcode mac

Instead of wondering how to bypass Screen Time passcode, wouldn’t it be better to make sure you never forget it? All you have to do is use a safe password manager like Secrets. 

Secrets is a secure and easy-to-use password manager that works via iCloud to sync any private information to your iPhone and iPad. Use Secrets to store passwords, logins, secret notes, credit cards, driver’s license, or your Screen Time passcode. 

With Secrets, your information stays on your devices and is never synced to a remote server (other than iCloud). 

screen time password manager mac

How to remove Screen Time passcode on Mac

In case you can’t remember restrictions passcode iPhone requires you to set, or if you don’t need to set Screen Time limits anymore, you can remove Screen Time passcode in a few clicks. 

To turn off Screen Time passcode on Mac: 

  1. Open System Settings ➙ Screen Time.
  2. Toggle off Lock Screen Time Settings.
  3. Enter your Screen Time Passcode to confirm.

turn off screen time passcode mac

To keep your online accounts secure, more services are now asking to enable two-factor authentication (2FA), which usually means having a one-time passcode generated on your device. One convenient way to create and manage 2FA codes is Step Two. 

Step Two is a lightning-fast and beautiful utility that saves your 2FA codes in one place and makes them easy to copy and paste into other services. You can add new accounts in a few clicks, autofill the codes in Safari, and sync them over iCloud to other devices. 

step two 2fa code mac

Reset Screen Time passcode in no time

As you can see, even if you don’t remember iPhone passcode digits, you can quickly reset them or even turn them off both on your Mac and iPhone. Then you can further enhance the experience of managing your phone by using AnyTrans, storing all your passcodes and account credentials in Secrets, and saving 2FA codes in Step Two.

Best of all, AnyTrans, Secrets, and Step Two are available for free for seven days with the trial of Setapp. Setapp is a platform with more than 240 unique apps for Mac and iOS that can solve any problem you might have, from design to productivity to web development. Try all the Setapp apps at no cost today and create a new collection of favorites.


What happens after 10 failed Screen Time passcode attempts?

If you get your Screen Time passcode wrong the first few times, you can try again immediately. However, after five attempts, your device will restrict the ability to try for a specific time, from one minute to one hour (when you fail 10 times or more). 

What’s the longest an iPhone can be disabled for?

Your iPhone might be disabled if you get the device passcode wrong multiple times. However, this doesn’t apply to Screen Time passcodes. You’ll be able to try to enter the Screen Time passcode after an hour even if you’ve tried more than 10 times. 

Does iCloud back up your Screen Time passcode?

While the Screen Time settings do get backed up with all your iPhone data, the Screen Time passcode is not saved anywhere. Better store it in a safe place like Secrets!

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