We're excited to introduce improved app blocking for users of iOS 16+. To take advantage of these new features, please ensure you have the latest version available from our downloads page.
How to block apps on iOS 16+
With Freedom 6.0, you can now fully block apps by giving Freedom permission to access iOS Screen Time controls. To use this new feature, please ensure you have the latest version of Freedom available from our downloads page. Here's how to block apps with Freedom 6.0:
Choose which apps you would like to block
You can customize your blocklists to include which apps you would like to block with Freedom. To do this, select the Blocklists tab. To choose an existing blocklist to edit, tap the three dots to the right of the blocklist name > Edit Blocklist. To create a new blocklist, select Add New Blocklist.
From the Add Blocklist screen, select Add iOS Apps to Block.
If you haven't yet given Freedom permission to access Screen time controls, you will see a pop-up asking for permission. Select Continue and follow the steps to authorize Freedom.
After granting permission, you will be taken to a screen where you can select apps to add. Select which ones you would like to block, and then go back to the Add blocklist (or Edit blocklist) screen.
On the Add Blocklist screen, name your blocklist. You can also add websites to the blocklist if desired by selecting Add a website to block or a curated filter. Then select Create. You are now ready to add this blocklist to sessions!
Add your blocklist to a session
The apps you selected will now be blocked any time you add that blocklist to a session!
How to block apps with older versions of Freedom
The instructions below apply to Freedom 5.0, the older version of Freedom. If you are using iOS 16 or newer, we recommend updating to Freedom 6.0 from freedom.to/downloads.
Blocking apps by URL
On Freedom 5.0, blocking mobile apps works by blocking the URLs the apps connect to, preventing the app from refreshing new content. Freedom can only close out apps completely on Freedom 6.0+, which is available to users of iOS 16 and above.
Due to caching, it can take a few minutes before new content starts blocking (see the video below if you want to see what it looks like). The best thing to do is run longer sessions on iOS, so you can be sure any caches are clear. If your apps are still refreshing new data after 5 minutes, please let us know so we can help you with your blocklist, or check out Freedom for iOS Troubleshooting.
How to set up your blocklist
1. From the Freedom iOS app, select the Blocklists tab:
2. Select an existing blocklist to edit it, or tap Add New Blocklist to create a new blocklist. Many users choose to create a separate blocklist just for iOS Apps they would like to block.
3. From here, you will see several pre-made filters that block the most popular apps, as well as whole categories of websites/apps such as Social and Shopping. If you would like to block any of these apps or categories, toggle those on to add them to your blocklist.
4. If the app you want to block is not on the list, you will need to add the URL for that app by tapping Add a website to block at the top:
For guidance on finding what URL to add, please see How to Find App URLs below.
Once you've completed your blocklist, you can add it to your session and start blocking! On iOS, there is no need to include 'Block Apps' on your session. The URL on your blocklist is sufficient to block both apps and browser-based sites. For more information on setting up your sessions, please see Starting a Block Session.
How to find app URLs
If you're having trouble figuring out which URL(s) the app uses, we've got a few options:
Go to the app's page in the App Store, and locate the "Developer Website" - generally the company behind the App's website. Add this website to the blocklist to see if it helps.
Google "How to block [app]" - often times you'll find a discussion of how people have blocked the app on their router. If you find results, you can add the website to the blocklist.
Check out the Netify database here, which lists URLs for many popular apps.
Remove the app and block the App Store. If you are not having any luck, you can always remove the App and use our "iOS App Store" block. This will prevent you from re-downloading the app while Freedom is running.
Ask us! We're happy to search our database to find a hit. Here's how to contact support.
List of commonly-blocked apps
Below you will find a list of the most common apps our users like to block, and the URL/filter you should add for those:
Amazon: use our pre-made Amazon filter. Also contained in the Shopping filter.
BBC: bbc.com, bbc.co.uk. Also contained in the News filter.
CNN: cnn.com, cnn.io, cnn.net. Also contained in the News filter.
Buzzfeed: buzzfeed.com. Also contained in the News filter.
ESPN: espn.go.com, espn.com. Also contained in the Sports filter.
Facebook: use our pre-made Meta filter, which blocks all Meta apps. Also contained in the Social filter. Please also see How to block Facebook and Instagram on iOS.
Gmail: use our pre-made Gmail filter
Guardian: theguardian.com, guardianapis.com. Also contained in the News filter.
Hinge: appboy.com, fastly.net, hingeaws.net, hockeyapp.net, lyr8.net, hinge.co, appsflyer.com, gotinder.com. Also contained in the Dating filter.
Instagram: use our pre-made Meta filter, which blocks all Meta apps. Also contained in the Social filter. Please also see How to block Facebook and Instagram on iOS.
KakaoTalk: kakaocdn.net, kakaotalk.com, kakaocorp.com, kakao.com
LinkedIn: use our pre-made LinkedIn filter.
Netflix: Please use our pre-made Netflix filter. Also contained in the TV/Video filter.
New York Times: use our premade NY Times filter. Also contained in the News filter.
OKCupid: use our pre-made OK Cupid filter. Also contained in the Dating filter.
Pinterest: use our pre-made Pinterest filter. Also contained in the Social filter.
Prime Video: aiv-cdn.net, aiv-delivery.net, amazonvideo.com, primevideo.com, pv-cdn.net. Also contained in the TV/Video filter.
Reddit: use our pre-made Reddit filter. Also contained in Social and Time Wasters.
Snapchat: use our pre-made Snapchat filter. Also contained in the Social filter.
Tinder: use our pre-made Tinder filter. Also contained in the Dating filter.
Tumblr: use our pre-made Tumblr filter. Also contained in Social and Blogs filters.
Twitter: use our pre-made Twitter filter. Also contained in the Social filter.
Wall Street Journal: wsj.com, wsj.net. Also contained in the News filter.
Washington Post: washingtonpost.com. Also contained in News and Politics filters.
WhatsApp: use our pre-made Meta filter, which blocks all Meta apps.
Whisper: whisper.sh, tigertext.me
Yelp: yelp.com, yelpcdn.com
Youtube: use our pre-made YouTube filter. Also contained in the TV/Video filter.
Enhanced URL blocking for Meta apps and Telegram
To fully block Telegram or Meta apps on the older version of Freedom, we recommend turning on Enhanced blocking from the Freedom iOS app settings. Enhanced blocking will be activated when you have included the Meta filter or telegram.org on your blocklist.
Download Freedom for iOS
If you're having any difficulty, please feel free to contact us. We're happy to help!