Effective Ways to Block Facebook

Discover effective ways to block Facebook completely. Learn device-level and network-wide blocking techniques for better productivity and reducing unwanted content.

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated May 13, 2024

While some people might decide to deactivate their Facebook account and uninstall the app, sometimes it's also necessary to block the Facebook app and website completely.

There are a few effective techniques that can be used to block Facebook. You can pick one of the techniques detailed below or combine them together for a more robust approach. 

Scheduling when Facebook is Blocked

An option to consider before blocking Facebook completely is scheduling when it can be accessed.

You can use tools like DNS Filtering to schedule when Facebook should be blocked and this will apply to both the Facebook app and Facebook website.

Scheduling when Facebook can be accessed allows you to rewire your habits to eliminate compulsively checking Facebook, eventually quitting it entirely.

At a bare minimum, you'll significantly cut down on your screen time  by reducing Facebook use to predefined time windows.

You can use a DNS Filtering Content Policy with a scheduled rule to decide when Facebook is allowed or blocked.

For example, I update my Tech Lockdown Content Policy to give myself a 30 minute window at lunch where I can browse Facebook, news, and other social media:

When dealing with addictive habits, bypass prevention is an important point to consider. Otherwise, you'll simply develop a habit of compulsively adjusting your Facebook block schedule until you eventually don't block it at all.

To keep myself from adjusting my Content Policy rule schedule, I lock my Tech Lockdown profile .

Another advantage of using a DNS Filter to block Facebook is that you can install this on all types of devices:

  1. Home Router / Home Wifi. Schedule when Facebook can be accessed on all devices using your home internet connection.
  2. Smartphone App. You can schedule Facebook usage on your smartphone by downloading an app that ensures your schedule is still enforced even when your WiFi is off and you are using 4g/5g internet.
  3. Computer Application. Similar to the smartphone, Windows and Mac computers can install a program that keeps you always connected to your Content Policy .
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

Setting Facebook Time Limits

Another approach involves setting app time limits to block Facebook after it has been used for a certain amount of time.

You can schedule Facebook App time limits on both iPhone and Android smartphones using parental control features that come built-in to the smartphone.

For example, you can set App Limits using iPhone parental controls , which can be used to limit how long you can use the Facebook app.

However, this only applies to the Facebook App. You could still login to Facebook using a browser to access the mobile version of the Facebook website. This is where DNS Filtering provides a more thorough approach: both the App and Mobile Website are restricted.

Another one of the issues with parental controls like Screen Time and Digital Wellbeing is that they are fairly easy to bypass. Remembering or recovering a 4 digit screen time pin is fairly easy to do, so it's not an effective approach for people motivated to bypass a block.

In our experience, we don't recommend depending completely on these built-in parental control features unless you are actually a parent managing a child's device.

However, time limits can supplement more effective approaches, like our previously discussed scheduled DNS Filtering Content Policy block rule.

Completely Block the Facebook App and Website

When dealing with apps like Facebook, which have endless content feeds that can encourage compulsive behaviors, we've realized that a multi-layered blocking approach is often necessary.

This makes blocking harder to bypass and can help deter compulsive use.

In most cases, the first layer of blocking the Facebook app and website will be more than enough for most people. However, you might decided to combine Layer 1 and Layer 2 for a more effective Blocking System .

Layer 1: DNS Filtering

The best way to block Facebook completely is to use DNS Filtering.

This allows you to:

  1. Block the Facebook app on iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac
  2. Block the Facebook website in mobile and desktop web browsers

This gives you a more thorough and reliable approach to blocking Facebook without having to hack together a few solutions on each type of device that you care about.

For example, you can configure a DNS Filtering Content Policy that specifies things that should always be blocked. 

You can create a rule to always block the Facebook app/website and have this rule applied always:

If you only want to block Facebook for some people in your household and not others, you can update your block rule to only apply to specific people :

Then, you can install it on your devices:

  1. Home Router / Home Wifi DNS settings: You can apply a Content Policy to your home network by pointing the router's DNS settings to your filter .  All devices that use your home internet connection will benefit from your Content Policy, so you could choose to block Facebook for everyone at home.
  2. Application: You can install an app on smartphones and computers that keeps your devices connected to your filter Content Policy, even when roaming on 4g/5g. This also makes it easier to block Facebook for some people and not others.

Layer 2: Blocking Facebook App and Website on Smartphones

Smartphones have built-in options that give you some basic control over blocking apps like Facebook.

For example, you can use the iPhone's Web Content Filter to add facebook.com to the Never Allow list. Android also has some decent blocking apps that you can download from the app store that do the same thing as Screen Time.

Furthermore, with Apple Screen Time , you can toggle off the Facebook app if it is installed on the device:

You could go a step further and prevent installing new apps if Facebook isn't installed and you want to prevent it from being installed from the iPhone App Store:

The downside of this approach is that now all app downloads are prevented.

Screen Time caveat 
When disabling installing apps using Screen Time, apps won't automatically update anymore, meaning that some apps will eventually stop working unless you disable Screen Time and manually update everything.

However, these Layer 2 methods are quite easy to bypass and are limited on their own. They are best used when combined with Layer 1 Facebook blocking.

If you wanted to go further with Layer 2, a more effective way to block apps natively on Android  and iOS is to set up Device Management.

Mobile Device Management lets you create app blocklists on your Android or iOS smartphone in a way that is hard to bypass.

Furthermore, you can even prevent installing apps that aren't specifically on your whitelist.

This is a highly restrictive approach and one of the reasons why we are big advocates for Device Management on iOS and Android.

Manage Android and iOS Devices at Home
Manage Android and iOS Devices at Home
Go further with blocking content and preventing bypass on iPhone and Android smartphones.

Layer 2: Blocking Facebook on a Computer

There are two main techniques for blocking Facebook on a computer:

  1. Hosts file DNS Entries
  2. Browser extension that blocks websites

One method is to use the Hosts File . The Host File is a file on a computer that can be used to change how the computer interacts online. 

Using the Host File method, add these Facebook DNS entries to block the app and website: facebook.com fbcdn.net facebook.net

The hosts file and browser extension options are fairly limited and inflexible on their own, so we recommend combining with Layer 1.

This would give you 3 ways that the Facebook app and website is blocked, which is much harder to bypass:

  1. Update your Content Policy to block Facebook, then install on either your Router or Computer (or both!)
  2. Add the Hosts file entries to block Facebook domains
  3. Install a website blocking browser extension and block Facebook with that as well

Better Blocking for Mac & PC

Elevate your content blocking and bypass prevention with DNS Filtering and Device Management.

Going Further with Bypass Prevention

When it comes to dealing with addictive apps like Facebook and the subsequent bad habits, I've found that a Blocking System that considers multiple factors is a better approach.

Here's what I mean by that:

  1. Content Blocking is fairly easy to bypass, especially if you are self-managing. 
  2. Some people are highly motivated to get around blockers to access addictive content and this creates challenges for any blocking system.

In order to add significant friction to help break compulsive behaviors, I've written a definitive guide that goes through concepts like the following:

  1. Go much further with bypass prevention using device management techniques to enforce restrictions on a device.
  2. Increasing accountability and browsing transparency
  3. Preventing uninstall of apps and browsers extensions
  4. Handling common bypass methods

These step-by-step instructions are made available to Tech Lockdown members in your account dashboard in the guides section.

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