Freedom Desktop App Blocking

We're excited to share our new desktop app blocking feature with you!  This document will explain what desktop app blocking does, and how to use this feature.  Right now, desktop app blocking is only available for Mac, but we plan to roll it out to Windows soon.

What is Desktop App Blocking

Desktop app blocking enables Freedom to hide, or even quit, desktop apps during your Freedom session. This means that you can now block your access to mail clients, games, music streaming, editing software, word processors, and more.  For example, let's say you've got a great game on your Mac that is distracting you when you're working.  You'd simply add that game to your list of apps to block, and Freedom will hide (or quit) that game if you try to open it!  

How to use Desktop App Blocking

To take advantage of desktop app blocking, first make sure you are using Freedom 1.6 or later.  If you're not, please visit our  downloads page to download and install the latest version of our Mac app.

Once you're on the correct version of the app, you'll click "Manage Blocked Mac Apps" in the Freedom dropdown menu.

Next, a window will open up which allows you to select the apps you want to block.  Click on the apps you'd like to block, and then press "Save"

In this case, we're going to block Evernote, Chrome, and Mail.  Once you've selected the apps you wish to block, press Save.  

Finally,  visit your dashboard and add "Desktop Apps" to your blocklists.  This lets Freedom know when to turn on App Blocking when this blocklist is running.  You will not see the "Desktop Apps" option in your dashboard until you actually select apps to block in the Mac app.

Let's Recap

To get blocking working on a Mac, you need to:

  1. Select the apps you wish to block with the Freedom desktop app.
  2. Add "Desktop Apps" to your Blocklist.
  3. When you run a Freedom session containing the Desktop App filter, the app blocking feature will turn on.

Hide vs Quit Apps

Desktop app blocking, by default, will hide blocked apps.  We've found this to be a pretty useful approach - if you try to re-open the app, it hides instantly.  However, if you'd like to actually quit the app, you can choose "Kill Blocked Apps" in the Freedom desktop menu under Options -> Advanced.  Please use caution with this setting, it will quit the app, potentially losing unsaved work if a Freedom session starts while you are working in an app you wish to block (e.g. drafting an email).

A few important points.

  • You must select the apps you wish to block individually on your devices.  Because there are so many different types of apps and installations, the apps you choose to block on your desktop only affect that device.  So you'll need to set up the apps you wish to block on each device.
  • Windows app blocking is in the pipeline and coming soon!  

Thank you for trying desktop app blocking!