Effective Ways to Block Instagram on an iPhone

Learn how to block the Instagram app on an iPhone

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated May 13, 2024

Have you tried to uninstall the Instagram app from your iPhone, just to reinstall it a few days later? If so, you may have wondered whether it's possible to block the Instagram app entirely - without allowing you the possibility to reinstall it later on.

iPhone users seeking to reduce screen time  (time spent online) should be familiar with iOS's Screen Time settings. However, while Screen Time can technically be used to prevent you from installing an app, it's by no means the most effective way to do this. But how do you truly block the Instagram app?

  • Go beyond Screen Time app blocking with more comprehensive blocking to disable both the Instagram app and Instagram website viewed in Safari.
  • Block the Instagram app in a harder to bypass way with Apple's better Screen Time alternative .

In this guide, I'll start by walking you through Screen Time settings that will limit the Instagram app or prevent you from installing it again. However, if you want to truly block the app, I'll also go over more the advanced techniques that will block Instagram entirely.

How to Block the Instagram App on an iPhone

The most effective way to block Instagram is to use the Tech Lockdown DNS Content Policy to completely disable the app.

A DNS Content Policy doesn't prevent Instagram from being installed, but it will prevent the app from connecting to the internet. This can be useful if you want to schedule your Instagram usage, which we'll take a look at later on.

If you want to block Instagram specifically, you can easily create a Blocklist Rule to block both the application and website.

If you have  connected to Tech Lockdown's filter  with your iPhone, you might also consider installing it on your computer or home router - that way, you aren't tempted to use Instagram away from your iPhone. 

Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

In addition to creating a DNS Policy, you can also use Apple's built-in parental controls to block Instagram.

You can start off by blocking the instagram.com mobile website, usually accessed in the Safari browser on iPhone.

Most people don't use the web version of Instagram. If you have the app version installed on your iPhone, you can use the Allowed Apps section of Screen Time toggle disable the Instagram app.

The problem with this standard iPhone app blocking approach is that the app has to already installed.

If you want to prevent Instagram from being installed in the first place, lets you prevent any new apps from being installed by setting Installing Apps to Don't Allow.

Unfortunately, this will completely disable the App Store. While this might sound like a good thing, it means that apps won't automatically update, which will eventually cause some apps to stop working correctly.

A better approach would be to use Apple's alternative to Screen Time to create App Blocklists. This alternative is called supervised mode.

If you want to disable the entire App Store , you can do this in a better way compared to screen time by still allowing automatic app updates.

Supervising a device can be a confusing process, but we make step-by-step instructions available to Tech Lockdown members.

Manage iOS Devices at Home
Manage iOS Devices at Home
Become a member to access step-by-step guides.

Scheduling Instagram Access on an iPhone

Instead of blocking Instagram completely, you can schedule its usage on your iPhone.

You can schedule Instagram access using the same DNS Content Policy we talked about earlier.

I've enabled a scheduled DNS rule  for distractions so that I won't be distracted by Instagram outside my lunch break.

This rule preset includes Instagram, but you can also create a rule specifically for Instagram as well.

Note: If you want to remove the temptation to edit your YouTube block schedule, you can also lock your Tech Lockdown profile.  

If you combine Screen Time settings with your scheduled block rule, then you can further improve your blocking solution by setting an "App Limit" for the Instagram app:

I strongly recommend combining both options to get the best possible scheduling option for your iPhone. Screen Time settings alone aren't going to be the best option for you if you're self-managing. Screen Time as been designed for productivity, not content blocking.

Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

Use a Passcode to Prevent Changing Screen Time Settings

Screen Time lets you set a Passcode to lock your settings, however, we don't believe this is very effective:

  • The passcode to lock screen time is very easy to remember, being only four digits long.
  • The passcode can be easily reset by tapping "Forgot my Passcode".

Screen Time was designed to improve productivity - not block apps outright. To get around these limitations, you can use a secondary Apple ID to lock your iOS settings.

First, you'll need to create your secondary Apple ID .

After you have a secondary ID, a passcode, scroll down on the Screen Time page. When prompted, select the option that says "This is My Child's iPhone".

Setting a secondary Apple ID to lock your passcode won't prevent you from forgetting your PIN!

Going Further with Bypass Prevention

When it comes to dealing with addictive content online and the subsequent bad habits, I've found that a multi-layered approach is essential. Crafting effective blocking systems is what we focus on at Tech Lockdown.

However, you might need to go further in some cases with more of a focus on bypass prevention.

Here's what I mean by that. For iPhone:

  1. Screen Time 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

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 than screen time with Apple's supervised mode 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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