How to Block Websites on an iPhone
Blocking specific websites allows you to have more control over the content your children can access on their iPhones. In fact, iOS has a feature that blocks adult content and you can manually insert URLs for all websites you want to keep your children away from.
The best thing about these restrictions is that they apply to all browsers including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. You won’t need to go back and access each browser’s settings to set website blocks. Check out the following sections for a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Utilize Screen Time Options
As of recently, iOS features a Screen Time tab that keeps track of your app usage. In addition, this is where you can block certain websites and set more usage restrictions for specific apps. Here is what you need to do.
Launch the Settings app and tap Screen Time to access more options. Then, choose Content & Privacy Restrictions and you’ll be presented with a comprehensive menu from which you can block/restrict almost anything on your phone.
To restrict websites and other online content, tap on Content Restrictions. Select Web Content and choose “Limit Adult Websites” or “Allowed Websites Only” to set the restrictions.
If you select the “Limit Adult Websites” option, two additional menus will pop up, allowing you to manually insert the sites that you want to block or allow. The “Allowed Websites Only” has a list of child-friendly websites such as Disney, Discovery Kids, HowStuffWorks, etc.
You can include more by tapping on “Add Website” but it’s important to note that all other online content/sites will be blocked.
Important iOS Notes
The previous steps apply for iPhones and iPads that are using iOS 12 or later. Prior to iOS 12, there were no Screen Time options and you had to access restrictions in a different way.
If your iPhone is running iOS 11, open Settings and select the General tab, then navigate to Restrictions. Hit “Enable Restrictions” and provide the passcode you use to unlock your iPhone. You’ll need to do this twice.
That out of the way, you should navigate to Allowed Content and tap Websites to access the settings. Then, you’ll be taken to the menu where you can block particular URLs. Similar to iOS 12, you get to choose All Websites, “Limit Adult Content,” and “Allowed Websites Only.”
Other Screen Time Restrictions
Aside from blocking specific websites, Screen Time offers two more restrictions you might find useful, especially if a child is using the phone.
Downtime allows you to set a schedule and limit the phone and app usage. To be precise, during the Downtime period only calls and allowed apps are at the user’s disposal. And you can also choose to set blocks for specific types of applications.
Tap on App Limits, choose “Add Limit” and select the app category – Games, for example. Hit Next at the top right of the screen and set the timer to the desired number of hours and minutes. There is an option to customize the days of the week when you want the limit to be effective. Once you are done, hit Add and you’re good to go.
Screen Time passcode is an extra layer of protection that can ensure your child doesn’t change the settings. Tap the “Use Screen Time Passcode” and select a four-digit code that you’ll use to change the settings once the limit expires. It is advisable to use a code different than the one that unlocks your iPhone.
Screen Time for Family
From iOS 12 onwards, it has become super easy to set parental controls on an iPhone. The system gives you the option to add existing Apple IDs of your kid’s accounts and keep track of their browsing habits and phone usage from your device. Of course, you can also create an account for your child and sync it with his or her iPhone.
This way, there is no need to snatch the child’s device to make changes and you can set all the restrictions remotely. The best thing about Screen Time for Family is that the interface is super easy to use even if you are not really tech-savvy.
Choose one of the options from the initial screen and follow the setup wizard. Once you are done, you’ll get notifications about the child’s screen time and usage.
If you are not satisfied with the native iOS options, you can always check out one of many third-party parental control apps. What’s more, some carriers like Verizon and T-mobile have their own apps that allow you to block and manage online content.
If you’re not satisfied with the native solution, it’s advisable to go with the one from your carrier, if available. Whatever you choose, make sure that the app allows decent restriction options without any hidden fees.
By now, you should already be a pro at blocking websites on the iPhone. Plus, you can toggle on the “Share Across Devices” option and get combined screen time from all devices that are signed in to your iCloud account.
Do you think that the native iPhone options are enough for your blocking needs? What websites would you like to block? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.