How to Block Websites on an iPhone [December 2019]
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. Or you may just want to avoid certain websites yourself.
Note that the how-to instructions in this article work for both the iPhone and the iPad.
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 block websitess with your iPh9ne or iPad.
Utilize Screen Time Options for iOS 12 or Higher
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, tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and you’ll be presented with a comprehensive menu from which you can block or 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 restrictions.
Limit Adult Websites
If you select the Limit Adult Websites option, the following description will appear:
Limit access to many adult websites automatically. Specific allowed and restricted websites can be added below.
Below that will be Always Allow and Add Website that you can tap to add websites you want to always allow even if they’re blocked by the general restriction on adult sites.
And below that, you’ll find Never Allow and Add Website where you can add websites you want to block in addition to the ones blocked by the general restrictions on Adult sites. Never Allow is where you add websites you specifically want to block.
Allowed Websites Only
The Allowed Websites Only blocks all websites except for a list of child-friendly websites such as Disney, Discovery Kids, HowStuffWorks, National Geographic – Kids, PBS Kids, and other kid-friendly sites. If you scroll to the end of the list of allowed websites, you can Add Websites that you’d like to allow.
You can include more by tapping on Add Website but it’s important to note that all other online websites will be blocked other than the ones listed there. Typically Allowed Websites only is used for an iPhone used by a child.
Unrestricted Access, of course, enables you to access any website you want from your iPhone.
Blocking Websites with iOS 11 or Earlier
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 tap Restrictions.
Next, tap 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 tap 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.
Settings for Safari
Safari is the default web browser used on an iPHone. When you’re done blocking a website using Screen time, you might as well make sure that your Safari web browser settings are set to provide some protection against fraudulent websites. To do this tap Settings to open the Settings app, scroll down, and then tap Safari.
Make sure that the Fraudulent Website warning option is toggled to on.
Apps to Block Websites on iPhone
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.
If you found this article useful, check out other TechJunkie articles, including this one about How to Check Your iPad and iPhone Privacy Settings.