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Opal is not blocking the app (iOS 15 and prior)

This article only applies to the old version of Opal (on iOS 15 or prior). Here’s why you should upgrade to iOS 16 and experience the new Opal.

It can take up to 5 full minutes to fully disconnect after you start an Opal session (because certain apps actively try to avoid detection to keep you connected at all time).

What is Cache?

Basically, the cache is your iPhone's store of memory for specific apps, including the Safari browser and third-party apps such as Facebook, Spotify, and Tinder.

Why does it look like I'm online?

Apps like Facebook or Instagram can pre-load content on your phone even before Opal is turned on, so that when you're open them, even if they are offline, you will see content like stories, pictures or text. If you really try to use the app though (such as posting content or trying to see a brand new post), cache won't be enough and Opal will block any new attempts to connect.

Is this specific to Facebook/Instagram?

We have noticed that Facebook and Instagram cache much more aggressively in the background on your phone. Even if you don't use the apps, they will load content in the background so that when you open the app, boom! everything is here immediately. Other apps do this as well, to a lesser extent.

What to do about it.

#1 Wait 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes the app should tell you you’re offline if you try to load new content (however cached content will still show).

How do I check if Opal is working correctly?

After 5 minutes, here are steps to follow to check Opal is working correctly and apps are disconnected:

  • When Opal is on, try pulling to refresh the app (such as Facebook or Instagram) to see if it loads. If it doesn’t, great! If not...
  • Force quit the app and reopen it.
  • If you see content, check when the latest post was (e.g 10min ago).
  • Tap through 5 or 6 profiles to see if content still loads. After a few taps, the app should tell you if you’re offline. Voilà!

#2 Install Shortcuts

We have a wy to block apps immediately, however, it requires a bit of additional setup (2 minutes). Once you set it up, you don’t need to touch it again and it works like magic.

Here is how to do it:

  • In the Opal app, go to Settings (top right corner button)
  • Scroll down and select the ‘Block with Shortcuts’ option. If you don't see this option, please first update the Opal app from the App Store.
  • Follow the step-by-step text instructions and/or the video tutorial. You will need to go back and forth between the Opal app and the Apple "Shortcuts" app which is natively installed on your phone.

Here are more ways to use Opal with Shortcuts

Check out our full guide on how to block apps on iPhone

It still doesn't work for me.

If the steps don't work for you, try this:

Reset VPN

If you are still seeing an issue, there could be an issue with Opal's VPN your phone. Try resetting the VPN:

  • Go to your iPhone's settings
  • Tap "VPN"
  • Tap the "i" next to Opal VPN, then "Delete VPN"
  • Open the Opal app
  • Opal will prompt you to install the VPN again, follow the prompts.This should reset the VPN and make it work.

Want to block an app that's not on Opal's list? Here's how

Contact us

We love hearing from you! If you still have any issues or questions, please shake your phone or take a screenshot while Opal is open to report it directly to our team and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

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