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Blocking TikTok on an iPhone

Learn how to block the TikTok app on an iPhone

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated March 30, 2024

For the readers of Tech Lockdown who care about breaking harmful online habits, they know that they need to block TikTok on their iPhone. Because of the addictive nature of this social media app, many people discover that they need to go further than simply uninstalling the TikTok app and deleting their TikTok account.

Why? Because as we've seen with other subjects, like blocking adult content , people will go through great lengths to access addicting content.

It's not your fault: billions of dollars have been invested into increasing your screen time so that large corporations can influence you and keep you hooked.

For people who may need some extra assistance staying away, follow our guide to effectively block TikTok on your iPhone. 

This article suggests several methods: combine them all for the ultimate blocking setup!

Blocking TikTok Entirely

In order to thoroughly block TikTok on the iPhone, you should install a DNS Filtering service that configures an always-on VPN.

This approach has a few advantages:

  1. Blocking the TikTok app with a DNS Filter also blocks the mobile website that you can't access it in your browser. Blocking the app is a good start, but you don't want to allow a loophole where you can simply open Safari and view TikTok in the browser.
  2. This approach also can prevent you from accessing TikTok on another device, like a SmartTV or computer. This closes another loophole.

For example, I configure my Tech Lockdown Content Policy to always block harmful apps, websites, and categories. Blocking TikTok is simple this way:

Then, you can install the DNS Filter 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 method involves using the iPhone's built-in parental controls (Screen Time) to block the TikTok app.

Using the allowed apps section of screen time allows you to disallow access to apps you've already installed.

If screen time doesn't cut it, you can use Apple's supervised and managed device modes to block the TikTok app in a more effective way.

When you supervise or manage an iOS device, you can enforce rules and restrictions on your iPhone that can't be easily bypassed. 

Enabling supervised device mode can be a confusing process for some people. If you are a Tech Lockdown member, you can get step-by-step instructions in the Guides section of your account.
Manage iOS Devices at Home
Manage iOS Devices at Home
Become a member to access step-by-step guides.

Scheduling when you can use TikTok on your iPhone

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

Personally, I don't think you should use TikTok on your iPhone at all. However, you may decide that you aren't quite ready to entirely remove it from your life. Scheduling usage is an ideal way to limit the harm that TikTok can cause.

For example:

  1. If you are trying to quit addictive behaviors, scheduling TikTok usage earlier in the day can help you use it in a safer way.
  2. Scheduling usage allows you to rewire your habits so that you don't compulsively check TikTok.

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

In order to schedule TikTok usage, you should use a DNS Filtering service that lets you assign schedules to block rules in your Content Policy.

For example, I create a scheduled block rule using Tech Lockdown 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. iPhone Always-on VPN. You can schedule TikTok usage on your iPhone 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, 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.

Assigning a Time Limit to TikTok Usage on the iPhone

Another approach involves setting app time limits to block TikTok on your iPhone 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.

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  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 the iPhone's screen time feature.

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

Closing Thoughts

You can Block TikTok in a variety of ways on an iPhone. Whether it's by using Screen Time, or setting up and managing your device, some methods are more effective than others.

The most effective way to block any kind of content online with an iPhone is to use a Content Blocker, like a DNS Filter. Tech Lockdown offers a comprehensive solution for blocking content for all kinds of devices, not just iPhone. If you are interested in learning more about how Tech Lockdown can help you, check out our main page to get started!

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