Kyle Genoe


refrain app icon

Refrain was an app developed by me from 2016-2019. It's original purpose was to lock down Safari on iOS to remove distractions during working hours. iOS's Screen Time featureset has mostly replaced the need for Refrain, so it's development has stopped.

Block Unhelpful Websites

Refrain is meant to be used to block unhelpful websites from your device. That can mean different things to different people, but here are some suggestions on how to use it effectively:

  • Block distracting websites to help you stay focused while working
  • Block addictive websites that you compulsively check throughout the day, to curb device addiction
  • Block news or political websites to disconnect from the anxiety-inducing news cycle for a while

refrain main screen


  • Group together websites to block or unblock together
  • Initial groups of Social Media, News, Video, Sports websites and more
  • Siri Shortcuts Integration - block and unblock groups via Shortcuts

list of blocked websties

How To Enable

To start blocking distracting websites, you need to enable Refrain in the system settings:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Go to Safari -> Content Blockers
  3. Enable Refrain

blocked website view

Other Options

For additional ways to lock down your devices, look into iOS’s Screen Time feature, as it offers many system level controls that go beyond what apps like Refrain can do.