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How to Completely Disable and Block the App store on iPhone

There are several effective methods that can be used to disable or block the App Store on an iPhone / iOS device.

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated March 30, 2024

The App store allows you to gain access to many different types of apps. Whether it's for productivity, social media, or entertainment, the types of apps available on the App store is enormous. However, it is helpful to remove distractions, and limit what kinds of apps are available to you. For this reason, it is important to know how to disable the App store on an iPhone.

Some apps can be harmful, or enable unhealthy online habits. Social media, web browsers, or other Apps can promote a lifestyle that you don't want. A good starting point is to limit what kinds (or how many) apps you want to allow on you device.

There are a few reasons why you would want to disable or limit the App store:

  • Prevent apps from enabling unhealthy habits online.
  • Some apps can disrupt content filters, so preventing these apps from being installed on your iPhone will be very important if you are wanting to use any kind of content filter.

This guide will provide you with several different layers for disabling (or blocking) the App store on your iPhone device.

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Limit the App store using Screen Time

The simplest way to limit the App store is to use Screen Time. This can be done by introducing app limits to your iPhone.

The settings you will want to change on your device:

  • Disable Installing Apps
  • Choose whether to allow or disallow the ability to delete apps
  • Disable In-app purchases
  • Set an app limit for the App store

How to use Screen Time

Screen time is the built-in solution Apple provides for limiting apps or websites your iPhone can use. This can be useful if you're trying to improve your self-control while online.

Limit App store features

The first thing you can do is limit what the App store can do on your device.

Some of the settings you can change include whether new apps can be installed, whether currently installed apps can be uninstalled, and whether in-app purchases are permitted. For the most part, these settings should be disabled, since they can contribute to unhealthy habits online.

Block the App store 

Now that the features for the App store are limited, you can now use Screen Time to block the App store itself.

Locking down your Screen Time settings

Another important step for blocking the App store is to lock your Screen Time settings. Doing this will prevent the App store from being easily re-enabled. It is important to note that, while you can enable these locks, the most effective way to do this is to set up either a supervised or managed device, since these allow an iPhone to be locked down without the ability to disable these settings on the device itself.

There are two option you can try. You can either set up a personal passcode, or set up the device like a Child's device. We recommend setting up you iPhone like a Child's device, and use a secondary Apple ID to lock down your main account.

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Disable the App store on a Supervised iPhone

A supervised device is a device that has certain settings enforced by a profile. This profile can be modified to change all kinds of settings, such as:

  1. Enforcing or blocking certain apps on an iPhone.
  2. Control which Wi-Fi networks the iPhone can connect to.
  3. Enforcing which websites are allowed to be accessed on the device.

If you have set up a supervised device , then disabling the App store is very easy.

You can change which settings for what features the App store can do using a Profile Editor.

You can also create a Blocklist of apps you don't want to allow on your iPhone. This can be done by creating a Restrictions payload to your profile, and then selecting Restrict App Usage.

You can then select what apps you do not want to allow.

Configured Supervised Mode on iOS
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Disable the App store on a Managed iPhone

A managed device is a step above a supervised device. In addition to the features available to a supervised device, you also have some other advantages:

  1. Remote Management, you will be able to make changes to your device's profile without needing to physically access the device.
  2. DNS Proxy, which allows you to enforce a DNS filter on your device. This is not a supported feature for a standard or supervised device.
  3. Kiosk Mode, which allows you to disable all but a selected few apps.

To learn more about how to set up a managed device, check out our guide for creating a Healthy iPhone .

To block any App (including the App store itself), you will need to use a Mobile Device Manager. One example of a Mobile Device Manager (also known as an MDM), is called ManageEngine.

You can then add the App store to your App Blocklist, which will then automatically uninstall the blocked apps on your managed device. 

Closing Thoughts

Blocking the App store can be a powerful way for you to begin getting control over your digital life. There are several different ways that this can be done, with the most effective way being a managed device.

There is a lot more than can be done for a complete blocking solution. While an iPhone is a good place to start, another option to consider is setting up a content filter on your Router , which will allow all of the devices connected to your home network to be filtered. Tech Lockdown also provides guides for premium members that explain in detail how to set up filtering on a wide range of devices, including iPhone.

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