Good news! Freedom 5.6 for iOS includes big improvements to Facebook and Instagram blocking. If you haven't yet, we encourage you to give the app an update and see how it goes! If it's still not working properly, please read below for some tips.
Question: I'm blocking the Facebook and Instagram apps using Freedom on iOS, but they are still loading. Why?
On iOS, Freedom blocks apps by preventing new content from loading into the app. Because of this, you will still be able to open the app, but it won't load new content.
Facebook and Instagram can be challenging to block because of the way they cache content that was loaded before your block began.
Additionally, blocks on these apps may take a few minutes to start working. We recommend that you avoid trying to open these apps immediately upon starting a block session - blocks should kick in within a few minutes.
If you seem to be having trouble blocking other apps as well, you'll want to make sure you have app blocking set up correctly. Please see the following help articles for information about iOS app blocking in general:
If most of your apps are effectively blocked using these suggestions, but you're still seeing content in Facebook and Instagram, you can find our tips below!
Make sure the Instagram/Facebook filters are on your blocklist.
The Airplane Mode fix
Limit ability to refresh in the background
1. MAKE SURE THE INSTAGRAM/FACEBOOK FILTERS ARE ON YOUR BLOCKLIST
We recommend that you use our premade filters called "Facebook" and "Instagram" when creating your blocklist. Adding only the facebook.com and instagram.com URLs to your blocklist will be sufficient to block those sites in the browser, but the apps use multiple URLs on the backend. These filters block several URLs in addition to the main Facebook and Instagram URLs, so this will help the blocks work better.
2. THE AIRPLANE MODE FIX
Turning Airplane mode on and off quickly will break any existing app network connections. This will allow Freedom to start blocking the troublesome apps quicker. You can find some more detailed instructions and screenshots for this in the following article: iOS App Blocking - Airplane Mode Fix.
3. LIMIT ABILITY TO REFRESH IN THE BACKGROUND
Your iOS device has a setting called Background App Refresh. This setting allows apps to load new content and refresh feeds in the background, even while you're not using the app.
The Freedom app needs to have Background App Refresh enabled in order to block properly, but that doesn't mean you have to allow it for all apps! You can turn this off specifically for Facebook and Instagram by going to your iPhone/iPad's Settings > General > Background App Refresh, and toggling Facebook and Instagram to OFF.
As long as you don't open the apps, this will limit Facebook and Instagram's ability to maintain a constant connection and load new content. After these apps have been in the background for a few minutes without background app refresh on, you will probably find that they are unable to refresh new content if you open them during a Freedom block session.
Need more help?
If you're still having difficulty, please feel free to send us an email at email@example.com or chat with us via the green chat bubble in the bottom right corner of the page. We would be happy to help troubleshoot what's going wrong!