How to Set App Time Limits and Block Apps on Android

Locked lock mode in an application on an Android phone.
Khamosh Pathak

Spend much too much time on your Android device? Use a digital wellness app to track the use of your app and set its limits. Want peace of mind? Block a few specific applications with Focus mode.

How to set an application timer in Android 9 and above

Digital Wellbeing is Google's screen time management feature. It is available on Google Pixel Phones, Android One devices (running Android 9 Pie and later) and a limited number of other phones. After downloading the Digital well-being app on your device, it appears as a parameter item.

The Digital Wellbeing app monitors the time you spend on your phone. It tells you how many times you have picked up your phone, how long you have spent in a specific application, and how many notifications you have received today.

You can use this information to decide how much time you spend on your smartphone. The application also provides you with tools, such as App Timer, to limit your use.

With App Timer, you can limit the amount of time you can spend on an app. For example, you can set it up so that you only use YouTube for 30 minutes a day.

To do this, slide your finger on the notification pane, and then tap the gear icon to open Settings (or open it from the application tray). Then press "Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls".

In the dashboard, scroll to the YouTube app and tap the hourglass icon next to it.

Tap the hourglass icon next to the app.

In the pop-up window, set the time limit, then press "OK."

When your usage time is up, the application pauses. Its icon on the home screen will be grayed out and you will not receive any notifications. The next day, the timer resets and the application unlocks again.

Of course, you can always go back to the Digital Wellbeing app and extend or deactivate the stopwatch at any time.

How to use the focus mode on Android 10

Android 10 comes with a built-in focus mode. As for the application blocking features, this one is still pretty basic. All you can do is select several distracting apps to suspend when you turn on focus mode.

It acts as a manual switch to block multiple applications simultaneously. At this point, you can not program applications to pause automatically at a certain time. However, this is possible with some third-party applications that we cover below.

If you just need a quick switch to block the applications, Focus mode will come in handy.

Open the Settings application and press "Digital Welfare and Parental Controls."

Tap "View your data."

Tap "View your data".

Here, press "Focus Mode".

Select the applications you want to pause when you turn on focus mode. Press "Activate Now" to activate Focus Mode (press the same button to disable it).

You can add a thumbnail "Focus Mode" to the notification panel if you do not want to access the Settings application every time. To do this, open the notification panel and press the Edit button (the one that looks like a pencil).

Tap the Edit button in the notification area.

Drag the "Focus Mode" thumbnail to the active thumbnail section.

You can now press the "Focus Mode" tile to enable or disable this feature.

Alternatives for other Android phones

As mentioned above, Digital Wellbeing features are only available on a handful of Google Pixels. Android Oneand other devices. Even on these, the mode of development in Android 10 is quite limited.

What if you want to use these features on other Android phones? Or if you want to schedule Focus mode to block applications automatically at certain times? You can do both with third-party applications.

Stay focused

Screenshots of the Stay Focused app

Stay focused is a time management application that shows you how to use your device. This helps you limit your use in many ways. You can set a daily or hourly usage limit and block applications for specific time intervals or based on the number of launches.

Once you open the app, it asks you to grant usage permission. Tap "Click to tune" if you want to do it.

On this screen, tap "Stay focused".

Then, enable "Allow access to use".

You end up in the application. Look for the app that distracts you, then tap the lock icon next to it.

Tap the padlock icon next to the distracting app in Stay Focused.

You see all the options available here. Tap "Limit daily use".

On this screen, select the days of the week to which you want to apply the limit, set the time limit, and then press "Save."

Configure your limits of daily use.

You return to the screen of the application list. Select an application and, in the setup screen, tap "Specific Time Intervals".

From there, you can block an application for a given period. Select the days of the week to which you want to apply the limit, and then press the plus sign (+) next to "In intervals".

Tap the plus sign.

In the pop-up window, select the "From" and "To" times, and then touch "OK".

Tap "Save." If you try to open the managed app outside of the specified times, the Stay Focused application displays a startup screen telling you that you can not access it.

You can use the "Specific Time Intervals" feature to create multiple schedules for the same application. For example, you can have a schedule from Monday to Friday and another for the weekend. Tap "Add Schedule" on the Setup screen to add another schedule.

Stay Focus is a free application, funded by advertising. You sometimes see banners and full screen ads. If you upgrade to the Pro version, this disables ads and unlocks all features.

ActionDash

The time interval menus, gallery and debug mode in ActionDash application.

ActionDash is primarily a dashboard on which you can view the duration of your device's display. It's a good substitute for the Google Digital Wellbeing app. If you unlock the Pro version for $ 7.99, you can access application limits and application blocker features.

ActionDash integrates with ActionLauncher and offers a better user experience when it comes to viewing and managing device usage. The app has a cleaner interface, similar to the Google Digital Wellness feature.

After you install the ActionDash application and grant access permission to use it, you go to the home screen of the application. Tap "More" to unlock all features.

When you have the Pro version of ActionDash, select an application from the device usage list, and then tap Application Limitations.

Set the limit of the application, then press "OK."

Return to the ActionDash dashboard and press "Focus Mode".

From there, select the applications you want to add to the focus mode, then tap "Activate Now" to enable it.

You can also schedule the focus mode. Press the Menu button (the three vertical dots) on the focus mode screen.

Press the Menu button.

Select "Schedules in Focus Mode".

You see several ready-to-use presets.

Press any toggle to activate a preset program for focus mode.

If none of the presets offer what you want, tap "Add Calendar" to create one.

Select the days and the start and end times. Tap "Back" to return to the "Schedules" screen.

Set the start and end times.

You can now activate multiple programs for Focus mode. You can also turn off any program, although you have to wait 20 seconds to turn off one you have just set.

ActionDash will block the application you have automatically selected at the configured time and each time you exceed the timeout limit.

We can also help you if you want to use similar features on your iPhone or iPad.

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