How to block websites on iPhone

For overworked parents, you can’t always be around to protect your children from the evils of the world. This includes what they can and cannot watch online via mobile devices. The ability to block certain websites on phones isn’t exclusive to the iPhone, but with so many kids these days using them religiously, it could be a great place to start.

Ensure more control over the content your kids have access to by using the built-in features iOS offers. The adult content filter will let you block all images and pop-ups that aren’t safe for your child’s eyes, and let you manually add URLs for any websites you think are not safe.

There is no need to go back and go to the settings for each browser as these restrictions will apply to all available browsers including Safari, Chrome and Firefox. This is great news for parents of tech-savvy kids born in the digital age who might be trying to get through the web block.

Keep reading to learn how you can block websites on your child’s iPhone.

Block websites on iPhone with screen time feature

The main iOS feature we’ll be looking at here is Screen Time. This feature tracks all app usage on iPhone and is where you can set restrictions for certain apps and block specific websites.

  • To get things started, launch the Settings app and tap Used Time to access options. Chances are if you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll need to Used Time above.
  • It will ask if the iPhone is for you or your child, so choose Kid.
  • Touch Content & Privacy Restrictions option to pull up a menu of different services. Enable the feature by tapping the green switch.
Content & Privacy Restrictions Window
  • We can now start placing restrictions on your child’s online content. Clap Restrictions on Content and choose Web content. Here you can choose between Limit adult sites or Only websites are allowed.
  • By choosing Limit adult sites Optionally, you will be allowed to manually insert the websites that you want to block or allow. The Only websites are allowed provides a list of kid-friendly websites like Disney, Discovery Kids, HowStuffWorks, etc.

All other websites will be blocked when this option is selected, so only add other sites like YouTube or Facebook if you agree with your child’s viewing them.

iOS 11 and earlier

The previous instructions are for those using iOS 12+. For anyone using an older version of iOS, Screen Time doesn’t exist, so you’ll have to take different steps to achieve the same goal.

  • For those using iOS 11, you can launch Setting and go in Shared navigation.
  • From here, navigate to Limitations and Restrictions allowed by providing your iPhone passcode twice.
  • Towards Content is allowed and click Webpage to access settings. The menu provided will allow you to add any specific URL you want to block and offers similar options Limit Adult Content and Only websites are allowed that iOS 12 offers.

Time to use the device for the family

Screen Time’s family version is for iOS 12+ users and makes it easier to set parental controls on your child’s iPhone. You can add all existing Apple IDs to your child’s account, allowing you to track all of their browsing habits and phone usage right from your device. You can even create an account for your child using your device and sync it with their iPhone or iPad.

Three young people sitting in the back seat of a car using iPhones

With this system, you will no longer have to wrestle your iPhone with your child just to make some necessary changes or restrictions to the device. You can block websites on your phone remotely and with absolutely no stress.

This option will require you to have a Family Sharing account and can be set up through Screen Time. Just choose Set up family time are from Used Time and follow the on-screen prompts for an existing or newly created account.

Additional restrictions

Screen Time isn’t just for blocking specific websites. The Downtime This feature can be used to set up phone schedules and set limits on phone calls and application usage.

By setting a “downtime” on the phone, for the time period you have set, the user will only have allowed calls and apps. You can even set a limit on the type of apps allowed.

  • Knock on App Limitschoose Add limitthen select the category of apps you want to restrict.
Application Limit Select application window
  • Clap Next and set a timer with the desired number of hours and minutes as you feel is necessary to control your child’s iPhone privileges. You even have the option to customize the days of the week that you want the limits to take effect. No more staying up all night playing mobile games during school night or chatting with friends after work via WhatsApp and Messenger.
Downtime menu window
  • When everything is set up to your liking, just press add and you’re good to go.

Another layer of protection to bypass all the restrictions you’ve added is the use of Screen Time passcode. This will ensure that your kids won’t be able to change the settings – as long as they never figure out the passcode, that is.

Click Use time passcode and choose a four-digit code to use. You’ll need to use this code any time you want to make Screentime changes, so make sure you can remember it. Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot using the same passcode needed to unlock the phone.

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