TikTok Implements New Usage Limits for Teen Users, Adds More Parental Control Options

RECAP: TikTok is introducing new well-being features to limit screen time for teens, with a default daily limit of 60 minutes for users under 18. Teens over 13 can enter a passcode to bypass the limit, but will receive prompts at 100 minutes of usage. Users under 13 cannot opt-out of the hour limit, with parents controlling watch time beyond this. The updates also include sleep reminders, customized screen time limits, and expanded parental controls. These changes align with similar restrictions placed on Chinese youngsters to combat gaming addiction. The move could help TikTok present itself more positively with authorities and child safety advocates.


TikTok is introducing new well-being features to ensure teenagers are not spending too much time in the app. The biggest update is a new default time limit for teenagers: each account belonging to a user below age 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit. Users over 13 can circumvent this limit by entering a passcode, but the prompts will trigger more consideration about the time spent in the app. When teens reach 100 minutes spent, they’ll receive another in-app prompt alerting them to their usage. Users under 13 will not be able to opt out of the hour time limit, with a parent or guardian controlling the watch time beyond this initial period.

TikTok will also implement new customized screen time limits for all users, with people able to set variable time limits for each day of the week and set a schedule to mute notifications. Additionally, the platform is adding sleep reminders to deactivate the app. Finally, TikTok is expanding its parental controls, with new elements being added to its Family Pairing element, including a screen time dashboard to monitor kids’ use and the capacity to mute app notifications within chosen time frames.

TikTok’s move to restrict usage among younger users mirrors similar restrictions placed on Chinese youngsters, implemented as part of the Chinese government’s push to combat gaming addiction. TikTok usage among teens has been linked to various harmful behaviors, along with mental health concerns, and as such, it makes sense to implement at least some level of restriction to stop kids from tumbling down algorithmic rabbit holes for hours on end.

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