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How to turn your iPhone into a dumb phone
How to turn your iPhone into a dumb phone
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Written by Freedom
Updated over a week ago

In an effort to prevent the constant distraction of your smart phone, it may be tempting to switch to a basic flip phone or "dumb phone" with limited functions such as calling, messaging, music and maps.

Good news: with Freedom, you can do this with your existing iPhone!

To set this up, you will need to choose which apps you would like to access, and then set Freedom to block the rest. You can also choose to block all internet, or set up a custom website blocklist. Finally, you will need to decide if you want to turn your iPhone into a dumb phone at only certain times, or 24/7.


Choosing which apps to allow

To choose which apps you would like to access at all times, set up your "Always Allowed" list. You can do this by going to the Settings app on your iOS device and selecting Screen Time > Always Allowed. In the screenshots below, we have decided to allow only essential tools such as phone, calculator, and calendar:

Next, open the Freedom app and head to the Blocklists tab. Tap the name of the blocklist you would like to edit, or create a new blocklist. Then select "Add iOS apps to block."

From here, you can choose "All Apps & Categories." This will block all apps on your device, except those you've added to your "Always Allowed" list.

Setting up website blocks

When you add ‘All apps and categories” to your blocked apps list, this includes most browser apps, including Chrome and Firefox, so you will not be able to browse websites in those unless you’ve added them to your “Always Allowed” list.

If you would also like to block website browsing in Safari (which is always allowed by iOS, even if it isn't on the "Always Allowed" list) you can use Freedom’s “Block all internet” feature. You will still be able to open the Safari app, but all websites will be blocked using Freedom’s Content Blocker. In the screenshot below, we have created a blocklist that includes all apps and categories, and also includes “Block all internet.”

You can also customize the blocklist to block only the specific URLs or categories you’ve entered. To do this, deselect “Block all internet” and add URLs and/or curated filters instead. In the screenshot below, we have chosen to block all apps, and the URLs for and We have also selected the “Social” and “Search Engine” filters, which will block all common URLs in those categories.

For more information on setting up your custom blocklists, see Adding custom websites to a blocklist.

Set up your schedule

Once you’ve followed the steps above, you can use this blocklist for any Freedom session where you would like to transform your device into a dumb phone. You can learn more about scheduled and recurring sessions here: Start Later and Recurring Sessions.

If you would like your iPhone to remain this way at all times, you can set up an “Always Active” session. Find more information here: How to set up an always active schedule.

Having trouble?

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

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