Effective ways to Block TikTok

Learn techniques to block the TikTok App and website on your devices

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated May 13, 2024

With a never-ending stream of dopamine inducing content, TikTok obsession is common nowadays. Despite the value that TikTok might add in some ways, many people have realized that it would be better to block TikTok entirely and stop using it.

For the readers of Tech Lockdown who care about blocking Adult content , they know that TikTok is incompatible with that goal.

Since TikTok is one of those platforms that encourage compulsive habits, it can be difficult for some people to delete their TikTok account and completely stop using it. 

This guide will discuss the best methods for completely blocking the TikTok platform, especially considering that you might feel motivated to bypass blockers to get access to it during a moment of weakness.

For a more effective system for blocking TikTok and preventing blocking bypass, we recommend combining multiple approaches.

Scheduling when you can use TikTok

Instead of blocking TikTok 24/7, you might consider starting off using tools like DNS Filtering to schedule when you can use it.

Personally, I don't think TikTok is safe to use at all, but I understand that some people use it for marketing at their job or small business or don't want to cut it out of their life entirely. Furthermore, reducing usage can be a stepping stone to quitting it completely.

If you are trying to quit addictive behaviors, scheduling TikTok usage earlier in the day can help you use it in a safer way.

Furthermore, you'll significantly cut down on your screen time with this approach.

Finally, scheduling usage allows you to rewire your habits so that you don't compulsively check TikTok.

The first layer I recommend is to use a DNS Filtering service that allows you to schedule when an app is allowed or blocked.

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

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

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

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

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

Setting Time Limits

Another approach involves setting app time limits to block TikTok after it has been used for a certain amount of time. This can be a good approach, especially when you combine this with scheduling when you can use TikTok.

You can do this on both iPhone and Android smartphones using parental control features that come with your smartphone.

For example, you can set App Limits with Screen Time , which can be used to limit how long you can use TikTok.

One of the issues with parental controls like Screen Time and Digital Wellbeing is that they are fairly easy to bypass. 

For example, once you hit an App Limit, you receive a prompt to add more time:

In our experience, we don't recommend depending completely on parental control features that come with your smartphone.

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

Block TikTok Entirely

The most universal approach to blocking TikTok entirely is to use a DNS Filtering service.

This gives you a more thorough approach to blocking TikTok without having to hack together a few solutions.

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

Then, you can install it on your devices:

  1. Home Router / Home Wifi DNS settings: You can  install a DNS Filter on your home router  by pointing the 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 TikTok for everyone at home.
  2. Always-on VPN: You can install an always-on VPN on smartphones and computers that keeps your devices connected to your filter, even when roaming on 4g/5g.
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

Another approach you can use to leverage some of the features that come with the device you are using. For example, if you want to Block TikTok on iPhone  you can block apps  using the allowed apps section in Screen Time:

A common way to bypass blocked apps is to just use the web browser to access the mobile-version of the app. In this case, you would also want to use a few techniques for blocking websites .

This is one of the reasons we recommend combining multiple methods. If you use a DNS Filtering service to block TikTok, it will cause the app to stop functioning properly (effectively blocking it), while also blocking access to the browser version of the application.

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

Although TikTok is most commonly used on smartphones, some people switch to using it on the computer, especially if they are trying to bypass their smartphone restrictions.

This is another reason why we recommend blocking TikTok with a DNS Filter - you aren't limited to just blocking TikTok on smartphones, you can block it everywhere:

If you've installed the DNS Filter on your router, and even optionally install the always-on VPN on your computer, TikTok would be blocked on your computer as well.

Sticking with our multi-layered approach, you can also use two other methods on computers:

  1. Hosts file
  2. Browser extensions

The Host File is a special file on a computer that can be used to change how a computer interacts with the internet. In the case of TikTok, we can prevent a computer from allowing a connection to the site.

Modify your Host File by adding these entries: tiktok.com tiktokv.com tiktokcdn.com

These entries will block the TikTok.com main site and its Content Delivery Network . That gives you 3 ways that TikTok is blocked!

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

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 smartphones:

  1. Parental controls that come with a device are 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 parental controls with 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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