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How to block Facebook and Instagram on iOS 15 and older
How to block Facebook and Instagram on iOS 15 and older

This article describes how Facebook and Instagram app blocking works on iOS devices, and provides some tips for helping it work better.

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Written by Freedom
Updated over a week ago

NOTE: These instructions only apply to earlier versions of Freedom for iOS. Starting with Freedom 6.0 for iOS 16+, we can fully block all apps without needing this extra step. For more information, see How to Block Apps on iOS.


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.

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!


To fully block the Facebook and Instagram apps, we recommend turning on Enhanced Blocking in your Freedom app settings, and adding the Meta filter to your blocklist. When this filter is included on your blocklist, the enhanced blocking feature is activated, which blocks the full range of connections used by the Facebook and Instagram iOS apps.


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. This should only be necessary if you are not using Enhanced Blocking.


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.

Having trouble?

If you're having any difficulty, please feel free to contact us. We're happy to help!

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