How to Block Porn on iPhone

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A screenshot showing Safari on iPhone blocking a restricted website.
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There are several options available to block porn-related web content on your iPhone or iPad. Users running iOS 12 have Screen Time to filter adult content, while devices running iOS 11 or earlier have a similar option using restrictions via the general settings area.

To ensure all web browsers (not just Safari) block porn on your iPhone, OpenDNS provides free, pre-configured DNS servers that filter out a vast selection of adult and x-rated content. Mobile apps (free and paid) are another viable solution to block porn websites on your device.

The instructions included in this article apply to devices running iOS 10, 11, and 12.

How to Block Porn Sites on iPhone With Screen Time in iOS 12

Introduced with iOS 12, Screen Time offers a variety of content and device management features, including blocking Safari's access to porn or adult-related websites. In addition to prohibiting access to most well-known x-rated websites, the option to add individual websites is also available. However, Screen Time only blocks adult content when browsing with Safari.

If running iOS 11 or earlier, go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Websites, then select Limit Adult Websites. You'll also have to set or enter your password.

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Screen Time.

  2. Tap Turn on Screen Time, if it's not already enabled.

    If you've previously enabled Screen Time and gone through the set up, skip to step 5.

  3. Tap Continue.

    A screenshot showing Screentime being enabled in iOS 12.
  4. Tap This is My iPhone. If the device is for a child, tap This is My Child's iPhone and follow the steps when prompted.

  5. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.

    To retain your restrictions settings, tap Use ScreenTime Passcode, then follow the on-screen instructions.

  6. Tap the toggle to enable Content & Privacy Restrictions, then tap Content Restrictions.

    A screenshot showing ScreenTime's content & restrictions options enabled.
  7. Tap Web Content.

    To ensure your device doesn't display adult content while in the iTunes store (movies, music, books, TV shows, etc.), tap each selection under ALLOWED STORE CONTENT, then change the rating or setting.

  8. Select Limit Adult Websites.

  9. When attempting to visit porn-related sites in Safari, the following error message is displayed.

    A sceenshot displaying ScreenTime's content restriction options.
  10. That's it!

How to Block Porn Websites on iPhone With OpenDNS

OpenDNS provides free (for home users) FamilyShield nameservers offering protection from various forms of potentially dangerous content, such as pornography, phishing, malware, etc. The setup process is the same for any iOS device and will work for all browsers.

An excellent alternative for OpenDNS is CleanBrowsing.org, which offers three free DNS filters.

  1. Launch the Settings app, then tap Wi-Fi.

  2. Tap the circular i icon to the right of the network you connect to.

  3. Tap Configure DNS.

    A screenshot Wi-Fi settings in iOS 12.

    In iOS 10, tap the DNS address to trigger the cursor. Delete and replace both DNS servers, keeping them separated with a comma, then exit the Wi-Fi section to save the changes.

  4. Tap Manual, then tap the red icon next to the first DNS server.

  5. Tap Delete, then repeat for the second DNS server.

  6. Tap Add Server.

    A screenshot showing manual DNS configuration in iOS 12.
  7. Enter 208.67.222.123 for the first DNS server, 208.67.220.123 for the second, then tap Save.

    You'll have to enter the OpenDNS FamilyShield nameservers each time you connect to a new Wi-Fi network. You only have to do it once, and the DNS servers get saved.

  8. Open Safari, then go to the OpenDNS test page.

    If you entered the nameservers correctly, you'll see a checkmark on the OpenDNS welcome page. If the checkmark is not visible, double check the DNS server addresses.

  9. If an attempt is made to visit a website with pornographic content, OpenDNS displays message stating the site is blocked.

    A screenshot OpenDNS blocking an adult related website.

    OpenDNS' nameservers only block and filter content when connected to Wi-Fi, not cellular data.

  10. You're all set!

How to Block Porn on iPhone With Apps

There are multiple porn blocking apps available in the iTunes store. Some work as a content blocker for Safari, while others block adult content device-wide and on any browser. If Safari is your primary browser, Porn Block Plus is a great app to test out. It's free, and supports devices running iOS 9 or later.

  1. Go to Porn Block Plus' iTunes link, tap Open, then GET.

    You can also search for the app from the iPhone's App Store.

  2. Tap Install.

  3. Enter your Apple ID password, then tap Sign in to continue the installation.

    A screenshot showing the installation of Porn Block Plus on iOS.
  4. Open the Settings app, then tap Safari.

  5. Tap Content Blockers.

    A screenshot showing Safari's settings in iOS 12.
  6. Tap the Porn Block Plus toggle switch to allow it as a content blocker.

  7. Porn Block Plus will block access to adult content in Safari.

    A screenshot of Porn Block Plus blocking access to an x-rated website.
  8. You're done!