Best Practices
August 26, 2022

How to Block Apps on an iPhone

Want to block apps and regain your productivity back? Read this guide and learn how to block apps on iPhone.
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Many of us unconsciously spend the entire day playing mobile games or scrolling through social networking apps on our phones. As a result, we tend to forget our tasks and lose track of time. And for those with ADHD, getting distracted by your apps can be quite daunting.

But that doesn't mean you can't regain your productivity back.

In reality, there are tons of ways to block and restrict your access to several apps on your smartphone. In this guide, we’ll show you how to block apps on iPhone.

How to Block Apps On iPhone Using Screen Time

The easiest way to block apps on your iPhone is through the Screen Time panel.

This robust feature allows you to see a breakdown of the amount of time you've spent on different app categories. For instance, you'll know whether you use social networking apps more than productivity apps. 

There's also a "Most Used" section, where you can view your most used app and your average daily use.

Apart from this breakdown, the Screen Time panel contains various options that let you block or restrict apps. If you're using iOS 12 and above, you'll encounter the following options:

  • Downtime,
  • App Limits,
  • Always Allowed, and
  • Content & Privacy Restrictions.

To block apps on iPhone using Screen Time, simply follow these steps below:

Step 1: Access the Screen Time Feature of Your iPhone.

To get started, go to your iPhone’s Settings (the gear widget on your home screen). Then, scroll down and tap Screen Time.

Step 2. Set Up a Unique Screen Time Password.

To fully maximize the features of the Screen Time panel, we highly suggest setting up a unique four-digit password. Doing this prevents you and other people from changing your modified settings. 

Under Screen Time, scroll down and tap Use Screen Time Passcode, and type in your unique four-digit password.

Note that for iOS 13.4 and above users, you may need to provide your Apple ID and password.

How to Block Apps On iPhone Through Downtime

Once you've set up a Screen Time password, you can then proceed with blocking or restricting your access to certain apps on your phone.

The first option is to do this using your iPhone's Downtime feature. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1. Tap The Downtime Feature.

The Downtime feature won't completely block off your access to certain apps. Instead, it restricts your time on your phone for a specific period of the day.

Step 2. Schedule Downtime.

There's also an option to set your iPhone's downtime every day or on particular days of the week, from Mondays to Sundays.

Step 3. Customize Always Allowed Apps.

During the downtime period, you'll only be able to access phone calls and the apps you've allowed. 

But you can view and customize your allowed apps on the Always Allowed option under the Screen Time feature.

How to Block Apps On iPhone Through App Limits 

If you find yourself consistently using apps like Genshin Impact or PUBG Mobile, you can choose to limit your daily use of these games through the App Limits feature under the Screen Time panel.

To get started, follow these steps below:

Step 1. Tap the App Limits Feature.

The App Limits feature will help you manage the amount of time you'll spend on your most used apps.

Step 2. Tap the Add Limit Option.

Next, tap Add Limit. Note that limits on apps you choose reset every day at midnight.

Step 3. Choose An App Category.

Unlike the Downtime tool, you can set daily time limits for a specific app category, namely:

  • All Apps & Categories,
  • Social Networking,
  • Games,
  • Entertainment,
  • Creativity,
  • Productivity,
  • Education,
  • Reading & Reference,
  • Health & Fitness, and
  • Other.

Step 4. Customize Apps Under All Apps & Categories.

You can also view and customize the apps under the All Apps & Categories option on your Screen Time's Always Allowed feature. 

How to Block Apps On iPhone Through Content & Privacy Restrictions

The first two options discussed don't completely block your access to certain apps. They only restrict your use by setting a time limit for app categories. 

Because of this, some iPhone users control their access to these apps by permanently deleting them on their phones. And the good news for Apple users is that you can prevent yourself from downloading and reinstalling them.

Here’s what you can do:

Step 1. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.

First, tap the Content & Privacy Restrictions button under the Screen Time Settings.

Step 2. Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions

To prevent any new downloads and installations on your phone, enable Content & Privacy Restrictions under the Content & Privacy Restrictions panel.

Step 2. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.

Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases. Then, under the iTunes & App Store Purchases, tap Installing Apps. You'll also see options for Deleting Apps and In-App Purchases.

Step 3. Set the Option To Don't Allow.

Upon disabling the Installing Apps option, you won't be able to download and reinstall old and new apps on your iPhone. You can also control your expenses by preventing future in-app purchases.

Limitations of Blocking Apps on iPhone

You may have already noticed, but the steps we mentioned don't completely block your access to certain apps. For instance, the App Limits feature only blocks a particular app category. 

That means you also won't have access to other apps that fall under it. It's almost impossible to block TikTok through this feature without restricting your access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

On the other hand, it's also easy to change and disable your Screen Time settings, especially if you remember restricting their use. For example, enabling the Downtime feature lets you ignore your daily limit when pressing the app.


If you're looking for a way to block apps so you can be more present in your life, Opal is here to help. Opal, the #1 Screen Time App, is designed to help you schedule your days, block distracting apps and focus fully, on any device.

Here's how to block apps with Opal:

  1. Download Opal from the App Store and sync the Chrome extension;
  2. Create an App Group to block specific social media sites;
  3. Start a session.

Yes, it's that easy! While you'll still be able to open your apps, you won't be able to refresh your feed and see any new posts.

Say hello to focusing on better things.

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