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App That Blocks Social Media While Studying iPhone

Get a solid dose of productivity with the App That Blocks Social Media While Studying. This free app gives you custom lock time intervals in which to block your smartphone from accessing any forms of social media. Perfect for students looking to limit distractions, study in peace, or multitask on a tight schedule, this app is exactly what you need to finish your schoolwork.

An app that prevents the user from viewing social media while studying for a certain period of time. Features include: Built-in timer and clock, Ability to block Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit and YouTube at one time.

Freedom is one of the most popular social media blocker apps available right now. It can be used on smartphones, tablets, and computers alike, and is compatible with Windows, Android, Mac/iOS, and Chrome devices. There are a handful of browser extensions that can be used alongside Freedom for additional leverage.

Freedom’s main appeal is that it allows users to set their own limits: you can block specific websites, block all websites except for specific ones you need, or block the entire internet. It also allows you to schedule specific times in which you’re allowed to use specific sites, as well as log how much time you spend on each website.

Freedom is free to use for the first seven sessions, after which you’ll be asked to pay for a subscription in order to keep using it.

StayFocusd is a free browser extension that controls the amount of time you can spend on specific websites each day. It’s currently only available for Google Chrome, meaning it won’t work on other web browsers like Firefox or Microsoft Edge. The downside to this is you can easily switch to another browser without StayFocusd installed.

StayFocusd, like its name implies, restricts the time users can spend on specific websites, with the goal of keeping you focused. After users meet their daily time limit for the sites in question, StayFocusd will lock them out of those websites for the rest of the day.

There’s also a strict “Nuclear Option” that prevents you from undoing the restrictions you set, so make sure you’re certain and don’t accidentally add on any extra zeros to the time limit (in hours).

Its site-blocking abilities are quite powerful, too – you can use it to block specific sites, as well as individual website pages, paths, and content hosted on an individual page (like photos or videos). It also syncs to all of your other devices, so that you can’t circumvent its software by opening up unwanted sites on another device.


Offtime App
Credit: Offtime

This app hones in on mindfulness by allowing you to block what distracts you most: social media, games, and even text messages. You can also break down what you can and can’t access for specific times like Work, Family, or Me Time, making it even easier to separate work and play. The app even shows you how much you use your phone and specific apps, which might be a huge, much-needed wake-up call.


Moment App
Credit: Fat Camera / Getty Images / Moment

Moment tracks how much you use your phone or tablet each day, and the results can be alarming. Once you know how much you’re using certain apps, you can set daily limits and get a notification or force yourself to stop procrastinating with a flood of notifications. It’s annoying but it does work. There’s even a “Moment Family” option, which allows you to track your family’s usage—and even set limits during dinner or homework time.

Get moment for iOS (Free)


Flipd App
Credit: Flipd

For those of us who need a huge push when it comes to cutting back on screen time, Flipd may be the right app for the job. Once you lock certain apps on your phone for a set period of time, there’s no going back. You might be able to disable other apps by restarting your phone, but not Flipd, making it the ultimate distraction stopper. It might sound intense, but once you get your work done, you’ll definitely be more appreciative of the time you spent distraction-free.

Get Flipd for iOS and Android (Free)

Serene (macOS, Windows “coming soon”)

Serene screenshot

Serene isn’t just a distraction blocker: it’s a productivity system built around periods of deep focus. Users choose a list of websites and apps they find distracting, then block them when it’s time to buckle down and get some work done. But there’s more than that here.

The app is built around planning your day. List how many things you want to work on and how long they’ll take. Then, when it’s time to work, click the Go Serene button to start a timer. All of your distractions will be blocked, optional concentration music will play, and you’ll be reminded that it’s time to focus and shown your countdown timer every time you try to open a site that you shouldn’t. These elements work really well together—you’re not only blocking distractions; you’re also reminding yourself of what you’d like to accomplish.

You can streamline your focus sessions even more with Serene’s Zapier integrations, which can create focus sessions from apps like Trello, Asana, Todoist, and any other task management app you can think of.

Serene pricing: $4/month. Free trial limited to 10 free deep work hours.

Cold Turkey Blocker (Windows, macOS)

Cold Turkey screenshot

Cold Turkey Blocker is, in a word, customizable. Install this site-blocking app, and you can create lists of websites and desktop apps to block, then set a schedule for blocking. You could, for example, block social media and video sites during every work day. You could also block work apps, like Slack, when the work day ends. It’s all up to you. Or, if you prefer, you can turn blocking on and off manually. There’s even a mode called Frozen Turkey, which prevents you from accessing your computer entirely: turn it on, and you’ll see a blank screen until your scheduled outage is over.

Because this is a system-wide tool and not just a browser extension, you can’t work around it by changing browsers. But it goes further than that—there are all kinds of settings that thwart future versions of yourself from working around your current intentions.

You can block the Time & Language settings, stopping you from working around a scheduled block by changing your computer’s time. You can stop yourself from accessing the Chromium Task Manager, which you could, in theory, use to disable the blocking extension. You can even make it impossible to uninstall Cold Turkey Blocker until your scheduled blocking is complete. I could go on, but the basic point is that you can stop yourself from working around your block. Try this out if you’re the self-sabotaging sort.

Cold Turkey pricing: $39 Pro plan with unlimited blocking, scheduling, and the ability to block desktop apps as well as websites.

LeechBlock NG (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera)

LeechBlock screenshot

LeechBlock NG (the NG stands for “next generation”) works on most major browsers, is free, and gives you a bunch of options for blocking distractions. You can make lists of sites to block, then restrict them in all kinds of ways.

You can schedule times for apps to be blocked outright, which is very straightforward. Alternatively, you can limit your time on distracting apps by setting up rules. For example: you could give yourself 20 minutes of YouTube time every day, or four minutes of Twitter every hour. You can get even more specific, if you want, combining time limits with a schedule—think five minutes of Instagram every hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Or, if you don’t want to mess with schedules, you can trigger a one-off “lockdown” schedule.

It’s a lot of power, particularly for a free tool, and you can even lock down the settings during block sessions if you want. The only downside: this is a browser extension, not an app, so you can work around it by switching browsers. If you can avoid that temptation, though, LeechBlock should work nicely.

LeechBlock pricing: Free

Forest (Android, iOS, Chrome)

Forest for Chrome screenshot

Your phone is a time machine, but not in a useful way. It’s way too easy to pick it up and then notice a couple of hours have disappeared. Forest is an adorable app designed to help you with that.

The idea is simple: you open the app and say you want to plant a tree. Then you put your phone down. If you pick up your phone and switch to another app, your tree will die. Last 25 minutes, and your tree will live. Over time, you’ll grow an entire forest of trees, a reminder of all the time you intentionally spent getting things done instead of scrolling through Twitter. Plus, if you use a paid version of the app, your focus time could help fund real trees via a partnership with Trees for the Future.

Forest also offers a Chrome extension, meaning you can grow trees on your computer as well. This one works more like the other apps in this list but with an option to load distracting sites if you want to. The downside to overriding the block: you’ll have to deal with delightfully twisted copy. “This will kill your cute, little tree,” you’re warned. It gets worse: try to look at a distracting site and you’re told, “your tree is dead.” It’s manipulative, sure, but it’s manipulating you to spend your time wisely. Better than the reasons most apps manipulate you.

Forest pricing: Free on Chrome and Android, $1.99 for iPhone. Android Pro version costs $1.99, one-time, and offers syncing across devices and more tree varieties.


AppBlock App
Credit: AppBlock

AppBlock allows Android users to temporarily block distracting applications on their phone, giving them more time to focus on things that actually need their attention. It’s one of the simpler apps we found and won’t track your usage. But you can still schedule specific times to lock yourself out of certain apps to prevent distractions before they happen.

Get AppBlock for Android (Free)


SelfControl App
Credit: SelfControl / Peter Chernaev / Getty Images

Your computer is the greatest machine to get work done, but it’s also the biggest source of distraction. SelfControl is an app for MacOS that allows you to block access to websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the internet. By creating a blacklist of sites and choosing a set amount of time to block, you’ll improve productivity until the time is up. Warning: During this time you will be unable to access what you blocked—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

Get SelfControl for MacOS (Free)


The average student spends more than 10 hours per day on their phone. During that time, they check their phone at least 85 times resulting in 12% of that time checking social media. The above apps allows you to lock yourself out of all social media while you study and want to get things done.

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