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How to block apps on Android

Take control of your time by blocking Android apps.
By
December 6, 2023

Are you tired of certain apps? Are they just sucking your productivity away in endless scrolling sessions? Don’t worry. Today, we will show you how to block apps on Android and retake control of your time.

QUICK ANSWER

The simplest way to block apps on Android is to use app timers. Go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls > Dashboard. Then, find the app you want to limit and tap the hourglass icon next to it. Set the timer to zero and hit OK.

You can also use third-party apps, Family Link, and more. Keep reading for more details.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7a running Android 14 to formulate these steps. Some menus may look different depending on your device and software version.

How to block apps on Android

There are a few ways to block apps on Android. The official one is using Digital Wellbeing. More specifically, you can set app timers so that you don’t use them for longer than what’s reasonable. By the way, the timer can be set to zero, technically not allowing you to use the app.

How to block apps using timers:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  3. Tap on Dashboard.
  4. You should be on the Screen Time page now.
  5. Look for the app you want to set a timer for. Tap on the hourglass icon next to it.
  6. Set the time you want to be able to use the app, daily. If you want to block it off, input zero hours and zero minutes. Then hit OK.

Of course, you can go back into the settings and remove the timers. But at least it creates some friction and conscience on what you’re doing with your time.

Additionally, there are apps you can use to block apps on Android. Some of the most popular ones include AppBlock, Lock Me Out, and Norton App Block.

What if you want to block apps on Android for your kids? You can use Family Link to do that.

How to block apps on your kid’s phone using Family Link:

  1. Launch the Family Link app.
  2. Select the family member.
  3. Tap on Controls.
  4. Hit App limits.
  5. Select the app you wish to block.
  6. Hit Block.
  7. Tap on Done.

How to block specific Android apps from being downloaded

Trying to micro-manage all apps can be a hassle. You can use parental controls within the Google Play Store to select age restrictions, so kids or other users can only download appropriate content.

How to set Google Play Store age-based restrictions:

  1. Launch the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap on the profile icon.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Expand the Family section.
  5. Tap on Parental controls.
  6. Toggle on Parental controls.
  7. You will be asked to enter a PIN twice.
  8. When ready, tap on Apps & games.
  9. Select which kind of apps you want the device to be able to download. Then hit Save.
  10. You can also change the Movies, TV, and Books restrictions.

If you want total control of which apps your family members can or can’t download, you can make it so that apps require your explicit approval to be downloaded.

How to require purchase approvals on the Google Play Store:

  1. Launch the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap on your profile icon.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Expand the Family section.
  5. Select Manage family members.
  6. Select the family member.
  7. Tap on Purchase approvals.
  8. Select All content.

Now, you will be asked to approve every Play Store download your family member attempts.

You can also hide or disable apps

You can’t eliminate all apps, or you might not want to. If you find yourself in this situation, it is possible to hide or disable applications on Android. We have a dedicated guide on hiding apps and other content on Android. Additionally, here are the instructions for disabling apps on Android.


FAQs

Yes. It’s especially easy to bypass app blocks if you’re just trying to limit yourself, as you can go into your own settings, enter your PIN/password, and make any changes you want. And even Family Link restrictions can be bypassed with enough effort. There are more advanced parental control apps if you want better protection.

Family Link app blocks sync across other Google devices. This means these apps will be blocked on Android phones, Android tablets, and Chrome OS computers.