How to Disable Downtime on Your Apple Watch and Maintain App Usage


How to Disable Downtime on Your Apple Watch 8 and Maintain App Usage: One of the advantages of the Apple ecosystem is its ability to synchronize settings across devices, ensuring a seamless user experience. However, this convenience may not always be desirable. For instance, enabling Downtime on your iPhone automatically triggers it on your Apple Watch as well. If you find yourself in this situation and wish to use your Apple Watch 8 apps while still benefiting from Downtime on your iPhone, we’ll guide you through turning off Downtime specifically on your Apple Watch.

Understanding Downtime on iPhone and Apple Watch:


Downtime is a feature that limits screen time and restricts app usage on your Apple devices. When enabled, all applications are disabled. You can also set a schedule for Downtime, such as during your sleep hours, and it will activate automatically. However, it’s important to note that Downtime is shared across all devices. In order to avoid this synchronization inconvenience, follow the steps below.

Also read: Update to watchOS 10.1 to Finally Use Double Tap on Your Apple Watch 9

How to Disable Downtime on Your Apple Watch:

Below are three methods to disable Downtime on your Apple Watch, beginning with the most effective solution:

Turn Off Sync Across All Devices:


To ensure that Downtime is only enabled on your iPhone, follow these steps to disable the “Share Across Devices” toggle:

  • Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.
  • Step 3: Scroll down and turn off the toggle for “Share Across Devices.”

Note: Disabling this toggle will prevent any Screen Time settings from syncing to your Apple Watch or other devices linked to the same Apple ID.

Disable Downtime via iPhone Screen Time Settings:

Alternatively, you can turn off Downtime entirely on your iPhone, which will also reflect the change on your Apple Watch, even if the “Share Across Devices” toggle is on. To do this:

  • Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.
  • Step 3: Tap on Downtime.
  • Step 4: Select “Turn Off Downtime” or “Ignore Downtime Until Schedule” if you have a Downtime schedule enabled.
  • Step 5: Disable the toggle for the schedule to prevent automatic reactivation.

You can also customize the Downtime schedule on your iPhone and modify the time intervals, which will also apply these changes to your Apple Watch.

Request Assistance from the Family Group Organizer:

If a family member or parent controls your Screen Time settings, you can ask them to modify the Downtime settings specific to your devices. They can disable Downtime, allowing you to use your Apple devices without limitations.


Troubleshooting Apple Watch Downtime Issues:

In the event that you encounter difficulties in turning off Downtime on your Apple Watch even after disabling the “Share Across Devices” toggle, consider trying these alternative solutions:

Allow Time for Changes to Take Effect:

After disabling the “Share Across Devices” toggle, wait for a few minutes to allow the changes to propagate to your Apple Watch. Sometimes, it may take a little longer for Downtime to be disabled.

Ensure iPhone and Apple Watch Pairing:

Ensure that your Apple Watch is properly paired with your iPhone via Bluetooth, as this connection is necessary for syncing control over your Apple Watch via your iPhone. Check in your Apple Watch’s Settings app under Bluetooth and verify that it is connected to your iPhone.

Lock and Unlock Your iPhone:

Try locking and then unlocking your iPhone, as this may trigger a refresh and apply the changes you made. In some cases, this successfully disables Downtime on the Apple Watch.

Restart Your Apple Watch:

Restarting your Apple Watch can refresh its connection to your iPhone and potentially resolve the issue. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Digital Crown once to access the home screen and go to Settings.

Step 2: Tap on General.

Step 3: Select Shut Down to turn off your Apple Watch.

Step 4: Press and hold the side button to power on your Apple Watch.

Step 5: Press and hold the side button again to turn it on.

Disable Screen Time Completely and Enable Sharing Across Devices:

If none of the above solutions work, you can disable Screen Time entirely on your iPhone. This action will undo any changes made by Screen Time settings on your Apple Watch and effectively disable Downtime. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.

Step 3: Select “Turn off App & Website Activity.”

Step 4: If necessary, turn on the toggle for “Share Across Devices.”

Unpair and Pair Your Apple Watch:


If all else fails, you can unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone and then pair them again. This time, ensure that Downtime is disabled on your iPhone or the “Share Across Devices” toggle is turned off. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on All Watches in the top left corner.

Step 3: Tap on the “i” button next to your watch.

Step 4: Select “Unpair Apple Watch.”

Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your Apple Watch again.


FAQs on Apple Watch Downtime:

1. Can I adjust Downtime settings directly on my Apple Watch?
No, the only way to modify Downtime settings for your Apple Watch is through your iPhone.

2. Can I set a separate Downtime schedule for my Apple Watch?
No, your Apple Watch follows the Downtime settings you have applied on your iPhone.

3. How can I prevent Downtime from automatically activating on my iPhone?
To stop Downtime from turning on automatically, you can disable the Downtime schedule on your iPhone.


We hope this guide resolves your issue of enabling Downtime on your iPhone without simultaneous activation on your Apple Watch. However, the complexity of these settings is unexpected from Apple, a company renowned for its user-friendly experiences. We anticipate that improvements will be made in the future to streamline these processes and provide users with greater control and convenience.

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