The digital world is full of inappropriate and dangerous websites. That’s true whether you’re 5, 15, or 50. Thankfully, there are ways you can make that world safer for you and your family.
That starts with blocking certain websites from being accessed in the first place.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to block websites on an iPhone or iPad with 4 different methods. I tested each of these and can verify they DO all work (as of June 2023).
Those methods are:
- Most secure & foolproof method: Using a Website Blocking App
- Method 2: Use iPhone and iPad Built-in Settings to Block Websites
- Method 3: Using a DNS Service for Tech Aficionados
- Method 4: Block Websites on iPhone and iPad by Adjusting Your Wi-Fi Router (Extreme method!)
fBest Overall: How to Block Websites on iPhone and iPad – Using a Website Blocking App
Method: Use a parental control app like Canopy to block websites across devices, including iPhone and iPad.
Benefits: Canopy offers 100% control over the websites your kids can access across all mobile and desktop devices. With additional features that filter out nudity and pornography, and prevent sexting you’ll have all your bases covered for providing your child with a safe digital experience.
Why it’s the best: Canopy combines a user-friendly experience with top-notch website-blocking features that work seamlessly across devices. Plus, it’s built with tech-savvy kids in mind, so they won’t be able to bypass it easily!
Step-by-Step: How to Block a Website on iPhone and iPad with Canopy
- To block websites on iPhones and iPads with Canopy, you need to create an account (don’t forget to grab a free trial here).
- Got your account set up? Perfect! Now, download the Canopy for Kids app on the device you want to protect from unwelcome content. Here’s how to do that on your child’s iPhone or iPad.
- Once Canopy is installed on all your desired devices, you need to set up protection filters. You can do this for each child so that they each have age-appropriate experiences online.
- To block a specific website, log into the Canopy web dashboard, or open the Canopy for Parents app on your device.
- Choose the child whose device you want to protect, and navigate to Protection Settings, then Advanced Filtering.
6. In the main dashboard, make sure the Websites tab is selected. In the upper right corner, click on the + Add Website button to open a new window.
7. Type in the URL of the website you want to block (sayonara, unwanted content!). Choose your preferred filtering level, and hit the “Save” button.
8. Victory! You’ve successfully blocked a website on an iPhone or Ipad, keeping your child safe and sound online.
Method 2: Use iPhone and iPad Built-in Settings to Block Websites
Method: Your iPhone and Ipad will have built-in setting features you can use to block specific websites on those devices.
Benefits: Built-in settings offer a simple, no-fuss solution for blocking websites. However, it may lack advanced features and monitoring capabilities compared to specialized parental control apps like Canopy. It’s also much easier for a child to remove.
Step-by-Step: Using Free Settings Built-in to the Phone/iPad
1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Scroll down and tap “Screen Time.”
3. If you haven’t set up Screen Time before, tap “Turn On Screen Time” and follow the prompts. If it’s already on, proceed to the next step.
4. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions.”
5. Enter your Screen Time passcode if prompted.
6. Enable “Content & Privacy Restrictions” by toggling the switch on.
7. Tap “Content Restrictions” and then “Web Content.”
8. Choose “Limit Adult Websites” to automatically block known adult websites or select “Allowed Websites Only” to restrict access to a predefined list of websites suitable for children.
9. To add a specific website to the block list, tap “Add a Website” under “NEVER ALLOW” and enter the website’s URL.
10. Et voila! You’ve blocked websites on your iPhone using the device’s internal settings.
Keep in mind that while this method is effective, it might not offer the same level of customization, real-time blocking, or cross-device protection as a dedicated parental control app like Canopy.
Related Read: How to Block YouTube on iPad
Method 3: Using a DNS Service (for Tech Aficionados)
Method: Utilize a custom DNS service, such as OpenDNS, to filter and restrict access to specific websites on your iPhone and iPad.
Benefits: Provides an additional layer of website blocking without the need for extra apps. A one-time setup will apply restrictions across devices using the same DNS settings.
Step-by-Step: How to Block a Website on iPhone and iPad with DNS
Although this method requires some technical knowledge and may not be as user-friendly as Canopy or built-in settings, it can be a useful option for those comfortable with tweaking DNS settings.
- Sign up for a free account on a custom DNS service like OpenDNS.
- Follow the setup instructions provided by the service to configure your devices or home network to use their DNS servers.
- Log in to your account on the custom DNS service website.
- Navigate to the website filtering or blocking settings (usually under parental controls or security settings).
- Add the URLs of the websites you want to block or choose from predefined categories provided by the service.
- Save your changes and wait for the service to update its DNS records (this may take a few minutes).
- Next, you’ll need to configure your iPhone and iPad to use custom DNS by opening the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap “Wi-Fi” and then tap the “i” icon next to your connected Wi-Fi network.
- Scroll down to “Configure DNS” and tap on it.
- Choose “Manual” and tap “Add Server.”
- Enter the DNS server addresses provided by your custom DNS service (e.g., OpenDNS).
- Remove any other DNS servers listed, then tap “Save.”
Now, your iPhone or iPad will use the custom DNS service to resolve website addresses, effectively blocking the sites you’ve chosen.
While this method can be effective, it may not offer the same level of customization, real-time blocking, or cross-device protection as a dedicated parental control app like Canopy.
Method 4: Block Websites on iPhone and iPad by Adjusting Your Wi-Fi Router (Extreme method!)
Method: Modify your router settings to block specific websites, including on your iPhone and iPad. This method blocks access for all devices connected to your network’s wireless connection.
Benefits: Provides an additional layer of difficulty to undo the block, increasing security for your entire home network. Be mindful that this method only works when the device is connected to the Wi-Fi.
Step-by-Step: Blocking a Website on iPhone and iPad with Wi-Fi Router
- On your iPhone, iPad, or computer, open “Settings” and navigate to “Wi-Fi.”
- Tap the “i” icon next to your connected Wi-Fi network to view its details.
- Locate your router and copy its IP address.
- Enter the router’s IP address into your browser’s address bar.
- Log in to the router’s configuration page using your credentials. If you have forgotten your username or password, contact your service provider for assistance.
- Explore the website blocking features within the “Settings” or “Parental Controls” window and choose the most suitable option for blocking specific websites.
By adjusting your router settings, you’ve successfully blocked websites on your iPhone and iPad, along with any other devices connected to your home Wi-Fi network. This method might be a little more challenging for your tech-savvy kids to bypass.
What Websites Should You Block?
Odds are you came here with an idea of what you want to block on your or your child’s device. But just to be sure, here are some guidelines to the type of websites and content people block using the above methods.
Blocking Adult Content and Pornography
A common concern for parents is their child’s access to adult content and pornography.
Blocking these websites helps ensure that children aren’t exposed to inappropriate material.
Canopy is a parental control app that filters out inappropriate content and blocking websites in real-time but it also offers a porn blocker for adults.
Learn how to block porn across every site here.
Learn more about the consequences of porn for children and adults here:
- How porn affects relationships
- How porn affects the brain
- Impact of seeing porn on children
- Sexting: Impacts & consequences for young people
Blocking Inappropriate Content on Social Media Platforms
Parents may choose to block or limit access to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reduce distractions, encourage healthier screen time habits, or protect their children from cyberbullying and other online risks.
Equally, you may want to block these sites for yourself to minimize distractions and the negative impact exposure to social media can have.
With Canopy installed, all inappropriate images will be blocked in real-time, even on social media. If you’re trying to quit porn or would like to protect your children online, Canopy is an excellent parental control tool.
Blocking Addictive Online Gaming Sites
Online gaming can be addictive and may expose children and adults to violent or inappropriate content. Blocking access to gaming websites can help parents control their child’s gaming habits and ensure they engage in age-appropriate activities.
Blocking Video Streaming Services
Restricting access to video streaming platforms like YouTube or Netflix can help manage screen time, encourage healthier viewing habits, and prevent exposure to potentially harmful content.
Blocking File Sharing and Download Sites
File sharing and torrenting websites can be a source of malware and copyright-infringing materials. Blocking these sites protects your devices and helps ensure legal and safe internet usage.
Blocking Specific Websites or Categories
In some cases, parents may wish to block specific websites or entire categories of websites. This can include sites with content related to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or hate speech. Follow our guide on how to block specific websites to ensure a safe browsing experience.
The negative effects of watching porn (for teens AND adults)
Understanding the negative effects of porn consumption is crucial for parents and individuals looking to protect themselves and their families.
Let’s explore some of the harmful impacts of watching porn, with a focus on relationships, children, teens, and brain function.
How Porn Affects Relationships
Pornography consumption can damage relationships in various ways, such as reducing trust, fostering unrealistic expectations, and leading to dissatisfaction with a partner’s appearance or performance.
It can also result in compulsive behaviors and addiction, leading to withdrawal from social interactions and relationship strain. Learn more about how porn affects relationships and how to protect your loved ones.
Impact of Seeing Porn on Children
Exposure to porn at a young age can lead to distorted perceptions of sex and relationships, reduced self-esteem, and increased anxiety.
It can also result in desensitization to explicit material and the normalization of harmful behaviors.
Understanding the impact of seeing porn on children can help parents take proactive steps to shield their kids from these negative influences.
Get started with Canopy and prevent your child from experiencing the negative effects of porn exposure.
Effects of Porn on Teens
Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of porn. Frequent exposure can lead to poor academic performance, addictive behaviors, and engagement in risky sexual practices.
Explore the effects of porn on teens and how to foster a safe and healthy environment for your adolescent.
Effects of Porn on the Brain
Watching porn can significantly impact brain function. It triggers the release of dopamine, leading to addictive behaviors and reduced impulse control.
Over time, porn consumption can alter neural pathways, resulting in a compulsive need for more explicit material to achieve the same level of arousal. Discover more about the effects of porn on the brain and how to counteract these changes.