How to Block Facebook on iOS

The Freedom iOS App Blocker technology works reliably for all apps and websites that we have tested, but we have noticed some challenges with the Facebook app. Because of an internal cache in the Facebook app, you may find that you’re able to load content after blocks have started. This will generally time out after a little while, but you might not want to wait for that.  You can confirm blocks are working by trying to visit Facebook.com in Safari, Chrome, etc.  We realize this is frustrating - it is to us as well!  We will continue to work on ways to block Facebook, but please realize we are limited by Apple restrictions on what we can and can't do.  Here are some solutions that may work, depending on your level of Facebook addiction.

1) Delete Facebook App and Block App Store

If you'd like to be banned from Facebook, you can delete the app, and the prevent reinstalling by blocking the app store.  To block the app store, block itunes.apple.com.  By deleting the FB app, and running a session that blocks Facebook and the App Store, you'll be kept off Facebook in the browser, and you won't be able to re-download the app until your block is up.

2) Use Facebook As Website

If you'd like to keep distractions to a minimum, you can just use Facebook via the website. Freedom is able to block the Facebook website from a web browser, such as Safari or Chrome. You can even save a bookmark to your home screen which will look just like an app.  Here’s how to do that:

1. Delete the Facebook app

Hold down on the Facebook app icon until it (and all the other app icons) begin to “vibrate”. You’ll see a little “x” appear in the corner of the icon. Tap this "x" to delete the Facebook app.

2. Open Safari and launch Facebook.com

3. Tap the “action” icon at the bottom.

4. Tap “Add to Home Screen” in the second row of actions. You might need to drag the list to the left in order to find it

5. Keep the name “Facebook”, confirm that the url is “https://m.facebook.com”, and press “Add”

The icon will be saved to your Home Screen. It will look just like a regular app icon, and you can move it to another location just like a regular app icon. Whenever you want to use Facebook, just tap on the icon and it will launch facebook.com in Safari, giving you a fully-featured experience very similar to using the Facebook app. If you try to launch it while a Freedom session is running and Facebook is blocked, you won’t be able to access the site.

A technical note about Facebook for iOS

Freedom's limited VPN blocks DNS requests on your iOS device - this is how we're able to run a blocker that is fast, private, and effective.  Unfortunately, Facebook's app comes pre-bundled with IP addresses it can use in a fallback if there is ever a DNS interruption.  This is an interesting decision on Facebook's part, as most app developers/websites try to stay away from raw IP's as much as possible.  But supporting direct IP usage allows the Facebook app to be used if routers are improperly configured, if DNS ever breaks, or if DNS is poisoned, such as in the case of Turkey's political protests.  The unfortunate side effect is it makes the app very difficult to block, but please know we are always working on solutions that will be compatible with Apple's regulations.