How to Block YouTube Completely

Discover effective ways to block YouTube access and regain focus. Learn device-level and network-wide techniques for better productivity.

by Tech Lockdown Team
Updated September 1, 2023

This article provides detailed instructions on how to completely block YouTube on a device or entire home network.

While filtering content on YouTube is a possibility, sometimes it needs to be blocked completely. There are a few effective techniques that allow us to block YouTube, on either a device, or for an entire network.

If you're trying to cut down on your screen time, you might consider  filtering content on YouTube . You can follow our recommendations to limit compulsive YouTube usage by blocking thumbnails and even blocking searches on YouTube.

If this approach doesn't go far enough, keep reading to learn how to block access to YouTube entirely.

Block YouTube using a DNS Filter

The Best option for blocking YouTube is to use a DNS Filter. A DNS Filter can be used on either a device (like a computer or smartphone) or on a network (like a home Wi-Fi). For example, Tech Lockdown's DNS Filter can be set up on a home network and allows much more customization options.

You can block YouTube by adding to the filter blocklist:

There are also several Content Categories that can be used to block all kinds of websites and apps:

For YouTube specifically, you can enforce YouTube's built-in content restriction on any device that is connected to the filter:

Blocking YouTube on a Computer

Whether you have a Windows or a Mac computer, there are a few different techniques that can be used to completely block YouTube. 

Block YouTube on a Computer using the Hosts file

One method is to use the Hosts File to block YouTube . 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 entries:

Block YouTube on a Computer using a Blocking Application

Using a Blocking application is an effective approach, and usually more user friendly. However, the instructions might change depending on the application being used. A blocking application will use a browser extension to block websites.

Better Blocking for Mac & PC

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

Blocking YouTube on a Smartphone

The most effective way to block content on a smartphone is to create a "Dumb" or "Healthy Smartphone" , but it is always good to have a multiple layers of protection.

Using Parental Controls on an Android

One approach is to use the built-in parental control features for your Android . If you have a particular website in mind (like YouTube) that you want to block, then this can work. Family Link is an additional feature that can be enabled that can be very valuable to locking down a device.

First, you'll need to find it in Settings. If you need to, search for "parental controls" in the Settings app.

You can then set up App Timers to restrict the amount of time spent on the YouTube to the lowest possible value.

A step up would be to set up Family Link, with your Android device being set up as a child device. Family Link allows you to block certain apps, limit the websites visited, prevent installing new apps, and much more.

The most effective option to lock down an Android phone is to set up a managed device . This requires more in-depth setup but provides the best protection. You can even set up Kiosk Mode, which reduces the available apps to only those needed (like phone, messages, maps, etc.), all while blocking all other apps from even being visible to the user.

Using Screen Time on an iPhone

iPhone can be set up to block certain websites or restrict apps by using the built-in Screen Time settings. Screen Time is accessible through the Settings app.

We recommend setting up the device using the "This is my Child's Phone" option when setting it up for the first time. This allows you to set up a pin.

You can limit the YouTube app by setting it's time limit to the lowest possible value.

You can also block the YouTube website from being accessed in Safari. To do this from the Screen Time Settings page, tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, and then Content Restrictions.

There are a couple of options that you can choose. You can choose to Limit Adult Websites, and then add YouTube to the Never Allow Category:

Or you could choose the Allowed Websites Only, and manually decide which websites are available on the device.

An important note, it is strongly recommended that you set up a Screen Time pin, if at all possible, with another Apple ID. This will prevent you from resetting your pin, and works to keep you committed to quitting YouTube. 

Go Beyond Beyond Basic Blocking

Elevate your content blocking and bypass prevention.

Closing Thoughts

YouTube is an amazing resource and can provide a seemingly infinite amount of useful information. However, even too much of a good thing can become a stumbling block. This guide has gone over different techniques to block YouTube on a specific device.

While these techniques are very useful, they do not provide full coverage and protection against all types of content. A better option would be to use a Network Filtering Service. DNS Filter is a great option for filtering different categories of content, such as adult content, malware, social media and entertainment, and much more. Tech Lockdown offers DNS filtering, premium guides, and professional support for locking down all kinds of devices.