Have you ever wondered just how much time you spend in a particular app on your iPhone or iPad? Whether you’re curious how long you spend in Messages, or you’re concerned you’re wasting time all day in an app like Facebook or Minecraft, you can use a neat little iOS trick to see exactly how much time has been spent in any particular app used on a device.

You’ll need a vaguely modern version of iOS to have this feature, older releases do not contain detailed information on app usage. This is the same on iPhone and iPad:

1) Open the “Settings” app in iOS, then choose “Battery”
2) Scroll down to the “Battery Usage” section of settings and then tap on the little clock icon
3) Under the app name in question, see exactly how much time an individual app has been used

It’s important to differentiate between “on screen” and “background” (shorthanded as ‘screen’ and ‘backgd’ in the iOS settings sometimes).

On Screen is time the app is spent in the foreground in active usage, meaning the app is actively on the screen and in usage – this is likely the most important time noticed since it lets you know exactly how long a particular app is being used actively.

Background activity is how long an app is active and doing something in the background, meaning it’s not in active usage but instead running in the background on its own, perhaps updating, downloading, playing music or podcasts, listening, or some similar background task.

Related: Tips and Tricks on How to Save Your iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Battery Life


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