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Apple says it finally fixed the Screen Time bug that let kids see blocked websites

Published Jun 5th, 2024 11:01AM EDT
Screen Time bug fixed with iOS 16.6.1
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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It’s been a few years parents have been complaining about bugs with the iPhone’s Screen Time. This feature is helpful for parents to limit the amount of time children can stay on some apps, block access to websites, and even for those trying to keep their bank data safe if they get robbed.

The last time BGR reported on bugs regarding Screen Time was in 2023 with iOS 16.6. At the time, after updating to this version, parents couldn’t set restrictions on their kids’ devices.

With iOS 16.6.1, Apple said it fixed this issue. “We are aware that some users may be experiencing an issue where Screen Time settings are unexpectedly reset,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We take these reports very seriously, and we have been, and will continue, making updates to improve the situation.”

However, while this might have been a fix for a few users, others have continued reporting this and other bugs. At least, this is what The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern reports in her latest story.

According to her, two security researchers have reported a bug to Apple since 2021 that lets kids visit blocked sites. After Stern contacted Cupertino, the company said it would fix this issue, which apparently has been solved with iOS 17.5.1.

Still, the journalist says these Screen Time improvements aren’t enough, as she – and many other users – have reported a list of issues, including:

  • App limits: Often don’t work. An hour limit on Instagram expires, and Instagram still works
  • Screen usage chart: Often inaccurate or blank
  • Time and app requests: Stern says it doesn’t get them

To the journalist, an Apple spokeswoman said: “We take reports of issues regarding Screen Time very seriously and have been consistently making improvements to ensure users have the best experience. Our work is not done, and we will continue to make updates in upcoming software releases.”

Will Apple fix them with iOS 18, or will the company release a new iOS 17.5 update? Next week, during WWDC 2024, we might learn more about what Cupertino has in store for Screen Time.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.