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  • Post published:17/07/2021
  • Post last modified:17/07/2021
How to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac

How to Allow Apps During Downtime on MacHow to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac

Do you use Screen Time to restrict you or your kid’s Mac usage? If so, you might already be aware of the fact that you can set limits on apps, schedule downtime on the Mac, and more. In addition to this, you can also select certain apps that are allowed at all times on your Mac, even during downtime periods.


During Downtime, your Mac only lets you use apps that you choose to allow, as it’s the time that’s supposed to be spent away from the screen. By default, macOS sets essential apps like FaceTime, Maps, Messages in the “Always Allowed” list, but you can certainly change the apps in this list. For example, you can add the apps that your kid use for schoolwork to this list to make sure they’re accessible at all times. So, want to see how to modify the list of always allowed apps in Downtime for Mac? Then read on!

How to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac (Screen Time)

First of all, you need to make sure that your Mac is running macOS Catalina or later, since Screen Time isn’t available on older versions. The feature is enabled by default on macOS, unless you changed the settings. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the necessary steps.

  1. Head over to “System Preferences” on your Mac from the Dock or  Apple menu.

    How to Allow Apps During Downtime on MacHow to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac

  2. This will open a new window on your Mac. Here, choose “Screen Time” to proceed further.

    How to Allow Apps During Downtime on MacHow to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac

  3. You’ll be taken to the app usage section in Screen Time. Click on “Always Allowed” located in the left pane.

    How to Allow Apps During Downtime on MacHow to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac

  4. Now, just scroll through and select the apps you want to add to the “Always Allowed” list. Alternatively, you can use the search field to quickly find specific apps installed on your system. You can also deselect apps like FaceTime, Messages, etc. to remove them from this list.

    How to Allow Apps During Downtime on MacHow to Allow Apps During Downtime on Mac

There you go. Now you’ve learned how to add more apps to the always allowed list that will be accessible regardless of whether it’s downtime or screen time.

By properly managing this list, you have complete control over what apps can be used during downtime on the Mac. It’s a good idea to use a Screen Time passcode and change it if it becomes known  to prevent other users from modifying Screen Time settings.

If you’re new to Screen Time, you might not necessarily be aware of some of the hidden features that it has to offer. Apart from setting app limits, you can also use Screen Time on iPhone and iPad as well, and to do things like block access to specific websites, prevent kids from deleting apps or prevent installing apps, set communication limits, turn off in-app purchases on the device, and much much more.


Did you add more essential apps to the “Always allowed” list? What do you think of Screen Time? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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