How to Block TikTok on iPhone: The Ultimate Guide for Parents

April 7, 2024

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TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps among teenagers and young adults. Its fun videos, viral challenges, and addictive feeds make it easy to spend hours aimlessly scrolling.

However, as a parent, you may have some valid concerns about TikTok’s content and want to limit or block access on your child’s iPhone.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore several effective methods to block TikTok on iPhone and help you make informed decisions about your child’s social media use.

Why Parents Want to Block TikTok

Why Parents Want to Block TikTok

Before diving into the how-to steps, let’s overview some common reasons parents block TikTok and other social media apps:

  • Inappropriate content – The TikTok algorithm can surface videos with adult themes, language, or imagery not suitable for kids. This content often shows up on the “For You” feed.
  • Privacy concerns – TikTok’s data collection practices and potential access by foreign governments raise privacy issues.
  • Addictive nature – Short videos and infinite scrolling make TikTok extremely habit-forming for teens. It can quickly become a time sink.
  • Cyberbullying – Any social platform comes with risks of harassment, predators, and bullying in comments or messages.
  • Distraction from responsibilities – Heavy social media use can take time away from family, school, chores, homework, and other obligations.
  • Physical health issues – Excess screen time, especially before bed, can negatively impact sleep quality, eye health, and more.

If you feel your child is too young for TikTok or you’ve noticed negative effects of overuse, blocking the app on their iPhone may be the right decision. Just be sure to communicate openly with them about your concerns.

Method #1: Restrict TikTok with Screen Time

The easiest way to block TikTok on an iPhone is by using Apple’s built-in Screen Time feature. Screen Time allows parents to restrict access to specific apps, limit overall screen time, and filter inappropriate content.

Here are the steps to restrict TikTok with Screen Time:

  1. On your child’s iPhone, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap App Limits.
  4. Tap Add Limit and select Social Networking.
  5. Locate TikTok and tap the circle next to it.
  6. Select the time limit for TikTok usage per day.

Once this limit is reached, the TikTok app will be blocked for the rest of the day. You can also block it entirely by setting the limit to zero minutes per day.

The advantage of using Screen Time is it allows some access rather than completely banning TikTok. However, your child can still access TikTok on other devices unless you set Screen Time restrictions there as well.

Method #2: Delete the TikTok App

Simply deleting TikTok from your child’s iPhone is an easy way to block access:

  1. Locate TikTok in the list of installed apps.
  2. Press and hold the TikTok icon until it starts wiggling.
  3. Tap the X icon to delete TikTok.
  4. Confirm deleting the app when prompted.

Without the app installed, your child won’t be able to open or use TikTok on that device.

The limitation is that they could reinstall TikTok from the App Store unless you restrict app downloads. So combine this method with Screen Time restrictions for better results.

Method #3: Use Parental Control Apps

Dedicated parental control apps provide more robust blocking capabilities compared to Apple’s Screen Time feature. They make it easy to block any app on your child’s iPhone with just a few taps.

Here are some top parental control apps to consider:

  • Qustodio – Block TikTok remotely or limit daily usage time. Also monitor texts, calls, and location.
  • Bark – Uses advanced algorithms to detect concerning content in TikTok and other apps.
  • Boomerang – Set time limits on TikTok or hide it completely with one click.
  • Famisafe – Shut down TikTok at specific times or allow limited daily access.
  • MMGuardian – Block TikTok remotely even if your child tries deleting the app.

The advantage of third-party parental controls is they give parents more granular blocking abilities and work across iOS and Android devices. However, there may be monthly fees involved.

Method #4: Disable App Downloads on iPhone

If you want to prevent your child from downloading TikTok again after deleting it, you can disable app downloads on their iPhone.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  2. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
  3. Tap Installing Apps and select Don’t Allow.

Now when your child tries installing TikTok or any other new apps from the App Store, they will be blocked from doing so.

The limitation of this method is that they could reset the Settings to regain download abilities. So be sure to set a Screen Time passcode that only you know.

Method #5: Block TikTok Traffic on Your Network

For whole-home blocking, you can block access to the TikTok app and website by filtering traffic at the network level.

This typically involves updating settings on your wireless router or using your router’s parental control software. You’ll need to:

  • Block access to tiktok.com
  • Block access to TikTok’s IP addresses
  • Block traffic on port 80 which TikTok uses

Consult your router’s documentation for specific steps. While results may vary by router, this approach blocks TikTok network-wide on all connected devices. However, your child could still use cellular data to access TikTok when not on your WiFi.

Method #6: Use a Child-Safe Browser

Browsers designed for kids block inappropriate content and limit access to allowed sites. They provide a safer, controlled web browsing experience.

Some popular child-safe browsers that can block TikTok include:

  • Kiddle – Kid-friendly search engine alternative to Google that filters explicit results.
  • YouTube Kids – Curated YouTube experience tailored for children with no advertising.
  • Junior – Provides a pre-configured list of allowed websites and blocks all others.
  • Mobicip – Filters web content based on age-appropriate categories and blocks blacklisted sites.

The advantage of kid-focused browsers is they encourage exploration within a protected environment. However, determined kids may find ways around their restrictions.

Key Takeaways

  • Use Apple’s Screen Time feature to limit daily TikTok usage on your child’s iPhone.
  • Delete the TikTok app from your child’s device if you want to completely block access.
  • Parental control apps provide advanced blocking options and work across different devices.
  • Disable app downloads in iPhone settings to prevent reinstalling TikTok.
  • Block TikTok website traffic at the network level through your wireless router settings.
  • Encourage your child to use kid-friendly browsers that filter content and block inappropriate sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remotely block TikTok on my child’s iPhone?

Yes, many parental control apps allow you to remotely block TikTok from your own smartphone or computer. Once installed on your child’s device, you can access the app’s dashboard online to manage restrictions.

Will deleting TikTok also delete their account?

No, deleting the TikTok app from an iPhone only removes the app from that device. It does not delete or deactivate their TikTok account. They can simply reinstall the app and log back into their account.

What happens if my child disables Screen Time restrictions?

If your child knows the Screen Time passcode, they could potentially disable any restrictions you’ve set. To prevent this, use a complex numeric passcode only you know and do not share with them.

Can I block TikTok on iPhone without affecting other apps?

Yes, using the app blocking features in Screen Time or parental control apps will block only TikTok while leaving access to other apps intact.

If I restrict TikTok, will my child hate me for it?

Your child may be initially upset if they can no longer use TikTok. However, calmly explain your reasoning and concerns. Set clear rules about responsible social media use and offer alternatives to TikTok they may enjoy instead.

Is TikTok safe for teenagers?

Most experts recommend 16 as an appropriate minimum age to use TikTok. The app’s community guidelines prohibit harmful content, but inappropriate videos can still slip through, making parental oversight important.

Can TikTok be educational for teenagers?

While TikTok holds potential for creativity and learning, its primary purpose is entertainment. But educational content does exist on topics like science, history, art, and culture. Discuss examples of positive skills and knowledge your teen can gain.

What age is OK for a child to start using TikTok?

TikTok’s terms of service require users to be age 13 and older. However, many parents feel 13 is still too young given content concerns. Consider your child’s maturity level, but 16+ is best for protecting their online safety and privacy.

Final Thoughts

TikTok can be a fun and engaging app for teenagers to express themselves, find community, and be entertained. However, as with any social media, it comes with risks for young users.

As a parent, you want to protect your child while allowing age-appropriate independence. Finding the right balance starts with open conversations about your concerns and their online behaviors.

If your child is not using TikTok responsibly or it has become a distraction, blocking access on their iPhone may be the right decision for now. We hope this guide provided helpful techniques to restrict TikTok on iPhone along with factors to consider as you make informed choices for your family.