Apple gives iPhone users the ability to block distracting websites at work or on vacation, but the option is buried deep in Settings.
the iPhone has good app security and privacy features, and Apple allows you to completely block a website if something goes wrong. Website blocking is usually associated with protecting children from adult content, but there are plenty of other good reasons to put a barrier in front of certain websites, even on someone’s own iPhone.
One of the big new features in iOS 15 is Focus and allows the user to segment their day into work time and personal time, as well as add a sleep period. The focus can allow some notifications while maintaining others for a more appropriate period. Focus can also customize the home screen to show apps that best fit a certain Focus category.
While Apple’s Focus feature makes it easy to block selected apps at work, there’s a way to do it for websites as well. While it might not be obvious that Screen Time can be used to prevent time-wasting websites from loading, it can be a good solution on iPhone and iPad. The control is buried deep in the Settings app under screen time > Content and Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions > web content. Once there, select Limit adult websitesthen adding any website that needs to be blocked to the never allow list will prevent access unless the user presses a button to override and allow it. Anything can be added including Facebook, TikTok, Slack and even Google preventing these websites from opening on iPhone Safari browser. Swiping left will reveal a delete button to prevent a website from being blocked. Alternatively, the user can simply disable Screen Time when it is no longer needed.
Why block websites on iPhone?
Having an iPhone set to block certain websites can be helpful. If this is set on a child’s iPhone, a passcode is required to override the decision. On the user’s own iPhone, this blocks the website and displays a message about the blocking along with a link to change the setting and ‘Allow website.’ It is important to note that a section of a website cannot be blocked. If you block Google Docs, for example, the search engine will also be included. Essentially, an entire domain name is restricted.
There are several good reasons to block beyond protecting children from adult content. For example, blocking can serve as a reminder and is useful in various circumstances. For time-wasting websites, the error message appearing on the iPhone screen that the website is blocked can be enough to deter the visit and inspire a return to work in progress. If a website has an app that is more useful, putting a step in front of website usage can be an incentive to use the app. For those who tend to work too hard, blocking work-related websites is a gentle reminder to take a break during holidays or days off. Whatever the reason, it is useful to know that the blocking websites option on a iPhone and iPad is available.
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