Smartphone addiction is an issue in today’s world. Knowingly or unknowingly, you may find yourself picking up your phone and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, checking emails, or catching up on Slack messages. This is why it is essential to know your screen time, the amount of time spent looking at your phone in a day.


Do you think you only spend a couple of hours looking at your phone’s display throughout the day? The reality is that your screen time is higher than you expect. Constantly checking for new texts, Slack messages, and emails quickly adds up. However, you don’t have to worry about missing an important notification or message. A good smartwatch can ease your anxiety and act as a bridge until you can completely unplug.

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How to check your screen time on Android

Checking your screen time is straightforward as long as your Android phone has the Digital Wellbeing feature.

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Settings app.
  3. Select Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.

The Digital Wellbeing chart appears on the screen, displaying a breakdown of your app usage. For a more detailed breakdown of your app usage, tap the pie chart to access the screen time dashboard. From here, go through your screen time history for more insight into your phone usage habits.

How to add a screen time widget to your homescreen

You can add a screen time widget to your Android phone’s homescreen if you check your screen time frequently. The widget is available on devices running Android 9 or higher.

  1. Long press an empty area on your phone’s homescreen.
  2. Tap Widgets.
  3. Select the Digital Wellbeing widget.
  4. The widget comes in three sizes and displays a varying amount of information. Select the size depending on your preference.

How to add the Digital Wellbeing icon to your app drawer

There’s no need to jump into the Settings menu or use the widget to access screen time in Digital Wellbeing. The app can appear in the app drawer if you prefer accessing it that way, though you’ll need to enable the relevant option first.

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Settings app.
  3. Select Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.
  4. Scroll down and enable the Show icon in the app list option.

On Samsung phones, tap the three-dot overflow menu button in the upper-right corner of the Digital Wellbeing page, select Settings, and then turn on Show Digital Wellbeing on Apps screen.

What does your Digital Wellbeing screen time indicate?

The Digital Wellbeing dashboard shows a rundown of your screen time, including how much you stare at your phone daily and the time you spend on various apps. This is a great way to gain insight into your phone usage habits, such as how long you use it to get work done and how long you spend on social media apps or games.

Digital Wellbeing also lists how many times your phone was unlocked and the number of notifications received throughout the day. If the number is on the high side, follow these tips to manage notifications on your Android phone.

Digital Wellbeing’s screen time helps you put your smartphone use into perspective. Working professionals who use their phones to check emails, Slack messages, and more average a screen time of around three to four hours. Anything higher than this should be the exception rather than the norm.

Using your phone for an extended period of time can negatively impact its battery life. When the screen time dashboard indicates that you spent hours playing Temple Run 2, that may be the blame for the poor battery life.

Digital Wellbeing’s screen time feature is available for Android phones and tablets. If your child uses an Android tablet for studying, use screen time to get an overview of how the device is used.

Various Digital Wellbeing tools can bring some sanity to your work-life balance. To achieve this, consider setting up Digital Wellbeing on your Android phone.

How to set up app timers to limit your screen time

You can reduce the usage of specific apps by setting up app timers in Digital Wellbeing. Use this feature to specify the amount of time you should use an app on a daily basis. Once that quota is exhausted, Digital Wellbeing makes that app inaccessible for your well-being.

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Settings app.
  3. Select Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.
  4. Tap the Digital Wellbeing pie chart.
  5. Tap the hourglass icon beside the app name for which you want to set a usage limit.
  6. Specify the maximum amount of time you want to use that app daily. The timer resets daily at midnight.

When an app’s time limit is exhausted, its icon is grayed out. When launched, a prompt says the timer has run out, and the app can only be used from tomorrow. It is possible to set up app timers for multiple apps.

Android’s Digital Wellbeing screen time implementation is severely limited compared with iOS. On iPhones, you can set different time limits for various days, which is not possible on Android. Similarly, you cannot request an additional five minutes of app usage on Android if the daily quota is exhausted. App timers provide a great way to limit your child’s activity in non-educational apps.

How to set up Focus mode to prevent distractions from other apps

Set up Focus mode if you are frequently distracted by notifications from social media apps while checking emails, Slack messages, or other activities. For example, pause notifications from Facebook, Instagram, and Gmail until after work hours. Set up a Focus mode for such a use case.

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Settings app.
  3. Select Digital Wellbeing and parental controls
  4. Scroll down and tap Focus mode.
  5. Select the distracting apps you want to block.
  6. Tap Set a schedule.

  7. Select the time and days during which the Focus mode should automatically enable itself.
  8. Tap Set to confirm.

Focus mode automatically turns on during the specified schedule and blocks notifications from selected apps.

How to set up Bedtime mode

Bedtime mode is another useful part of Google’s Digital Wellbeing suite. This mode triggers itself when you are about to go to sleep. It automatically changes multiple system settings to ensure your sleep is not affected. This includes turning on Do Not Disturb to block notifications, switching the phone’s display to grayscale to reduce the strain on your eyes, and lowering the screen brightness. The Pixel 7 series also offers Snore and Cough Detection in Bedtime mode.

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Scroll down to Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.
  3. Tap Bedtime mode from under the Ways to disconnect section.
  4. Ensure the toggle for Do Not Disturb for Bedtime mode is enabled.
  5. Tap Next.

  6. Set a schedule for Bedtime mode to enable automatically. Alternatively, you can set Bedtime to enable when your phone is put on charge after 9:00 p.m.
  7. Give Bedtime mode access to your daily app usage, motion and light detection, and time zone history.

  8. If you want to use cough and snore detection on your Pixel 7, grant it access to your phone’s microphone.

After you’ve set up and used Bedtime mode for a few weeks, you get an overview of your screen time and cough and snore information.

If you are addicted to your smartphone or social media apps, use the Digital Wellbeing tools on Android to limit your screen time. Take advantage of Focus mode and app timers to better manage your work-life balance. Bedtime mode is another great feature that helps ensure your sleep cycle is not affected by your constantly buzzing phone.

Setting up Digital Wellbeing can do wonders for your mental health. And if you use a OnePlus phone, set up Zen mode to unplug from the online world.

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