Block Internet Access for Specific Apps on Android

how to block internet access to an app

In some countries, the cost of mobile data can be quite expensive. The cost becomes exponential when using data roaming in other countries. For casual Android users, it can be a disaster as some apps are constantly on the internet even when not being used. They are then charged a premium without them being aware. Hence, it’s important to know how to block internet access for specific apps in Android so they can’t consume mobile data. This time let’s discuss How to Block an App from Accessing the Internet on Android.

To remain marketable, apps must constantly call home and update themselves as well as constantly send notifications to entice users to purchase more or update more. Such is true for online store apps such as Amazon and for games. Messaging apps are also constantly on the lookout for new messages. Android itself automatically updates itself and apps if users are not careful. It therefore becomes necessary for users to know how to block internet access to an app or a set of apps.

In many countries such as the Philippines and Singapore, mobile data is charged at a premium. Apps consuming mobile data is a problem for highly connected Android users who are always on the go and are not always connected to Wi-Fi, as well as for users who do not own special unlimited data plans. It’s fine if the users are aware of the usage especially if the apps are used for work. Many unfortunate users are forced to pay large bills just because they’re not aware of the data consumed by apps in the background.

Another reason for wanting to know how to block internet access for specific apps in Android is to avoid unwanted distractions during work or study. One notification from a messaging app can pique a user’s curiosity and leads the user down to a rabbit hole of 10-minute phone usage. You may also want to know how to block internet access to an app to curb certain addictions that steal your precious work or study time, without uninstalling the otherwise useful apps such as Whatsapp, Messenger, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.

But not everything has to be blocked, messaging apps and email for instance are important. So, we need to know how to block internet access for specific apps in Android. There are several methods on how to do this, all of which are easy to perform.

Method 1: Block App from Internet via Phone Settings

This feature is often found on earlier Android versions such as Android 10 or earlier.

 Go to Settings and select Apps Management. You’ll see a list of apps on your phone. Choose the app you want to block internet access to.

 Select Data Usage and then Network Permissions. From there, you can select how your app connects to the internet. By default, they connect on both Wi-Fi and Mobile Data. Choose to disable both Mobile Data and WiFi to block the app from the internet. When you open the app again, it will ask for permission to connect to the network.

block app from internet android

Method 2: Block Internet via Third-party App

If you have a newer phone that uses Android 11 or if the manufacturer nerfed the App Permissions settings like Nokia did on some phones, or if don’t see Data Usage options on your phone settings, then the manufacturer probably doesn’t allow you to block specific apps from accessing the internet – apps they bundle for instance. Then blocking internet access for specific apps becomes tricky or complicated. So, a third-party app may be the best approach to block internet access to an app. Here are the steps.

 You will have to install a third-party firewall app. In this instance, we’ll use Netguard – no-root Firewall by developer Marcel Bokhorst. The app is completely free for its basic functions but has in-app purchases for other functions you might like. It’s the best app we chose to block an app from the internet on Android phones without rooting them.

 Upon opening, Netguard is disabled by default. Turn on the toggle switch at the top of the app screen. It will ask permission to create a VPN connection to filter internet traffic for selected apps. Grant the permission.

block internet access to an app

However, Netguard will take a toll on your phone’s battery by asking to disable battery optimization for the app. Also, when Netguard is enabled when powering down, it will automatically be enabled upon power-up. Go to the Battery optimization screen and look for Netguard. Click on the Power Saver setting and allow Netguard to run in the background.

block internet access android app

Go back to Netguard. Cycle through the apps listed to allow or disallow them to access Wi-Fi or mobile data. When disabled, the icon colors change from green to orange with a slash. You may choose to disable one or both internet access methods.

restrict internet access to an app

Whatever the reason for blocking specific apps from the internet, we hope you found this tutorial on How to Block an App from Accessing the Internet on Android useful.