Classwize Rules FAQ

This article is intended for Teachers.

This topic answers common questions about Rules and provides troubleshooting advice for common problems.

About Classwize Rules

How do Classwize Rules work?

  • Classwize Rules are a temporary overrides of your school’s day-to-day content filtering policies.
  • You can use Allow Rules to let students in your class access websites that would otherwise be blocked by your school’s content filtering policies.
  • You can use Block Rules to stop students from accessing resources during your class that may be disruptive or off-topic.
  • You can use Block Rules to stop students from opening certain applications on their Windows devices during class.

Do Classwize Rules work across all of my classes?

No. If you set a rule for one of your classes, it will be saved for that class only and applied each time the class runs. The rule will not apply to any other classes you have.

For example, your school’s filter may normally block students from accessing YouTube. If you wanted students in your first class of the day to access YouTube to support their learning, you could create an "Allow YouTube" rule in that class. The students in this class will be able to access YouTube until the class ends or you delete the rule, whichever happens first. None of your other classes would be able to access YouTube unless you also created an Allow rule for them.

Do Block Rules block both desktop and browser versions of apps?

Yes, a Block rule will block access to both web and Windows desktop versions of an app. Here’s how it works:

Rules for Signatures

Rules for Signatures will apply to both the web and, on Windows devices, desktop versions. For example, adding a Blocked Rule for the Spotify signature will block both the Spotify desktop app for Windows and the Spotify Web Player. 

See How Classwize Rules Work for more information about Themes and Signatures. 

Rules for desktop applications (Windows only)

You can add Block Rules for some Windows applications that don’t have a web component, such as Paint, Solitaire, Notepad, Adobe Reader, VLC Media Player or Firefox. See the list of compatible Windows applications on this page.

Can I add rules for URLs?

You cannot block or allow individual pages on a website or signature. When adding a rule for a URL, it automatically applies to the entire domain. The same principle applies to YouTube videos. If a Classwize rule blocks YouTube, you cannot add a rule to allow an individual YouTube video. See: Adding, Editing and Removing Classwize Rules.

How quickly do Classwize Rules take effect?

New Rules will start working immediately. However, what happens on your students’ side will differ depending on which version of Linewize Connect is installed on their device.

For Chrome

  • If a student is currently on a page you want to block, turning on a Block rule will immediately kick the student off that page. The tab will close, and the student will get a message on their screen telling them you closed a tab.
  • If they attempt to open a site with a Block rule, they will be blocked from opening the page, and the “Content Blocked” notification will appear on their browser immediately. To access the blocked site, the student can select See why it’s blocked and ask you for a Bypass Code (Chrome only).

For Windows, macOS, or devices without Connect installed

  • The student can still access the blocked website until they go to another page or reload the one they are currently viewing. This is due to caching, which allows browsers to save temporary files for quicker loading the next time the user opens a web page.
    Streaming videos will not close immediately, but buffering or loading will stop eventually as the new rule takes effect.

For desktop apps (Connect for Windows only)

Rules for desktop apps will take effect depending on when you created them.

Rules created for apps while… Will take effect…
The class is in session Immediately
The class is NOT in session 60 seconds from the start of class.
The student’s device is in Sleep Mode or hibernation 60 seconds from waking up the device.
The app is currently running on the student’s Windows device 60 seconds

Before the rules take effect at the start of the class, while the app is open on the student’s device or when they wake up their device from hibernation, they will receive a prompt that tells them the app will close in 60 seconds.

Can I create rules even if the class isn’t in session?

Yes! Setting up base rules for a class before it starts is good practice. However, remember that the rules you make for a class only apply to that class and only take effect while the class is active.

Rule Validation

Does Classwize test if my rule is valid?

Yes, Classwize always checks to ensure your rules will work as expected and prevents you from creating rules that won’t work.

How will I know if the rule I’m creating is invalid?

Classwize will tell you if your rule is invalid when you add it. If the rule you’re adding is a duplicate or conflicts with a locked rule set by the school, a message will appear in the Add new rule dialog. You can then choose to edit the existing Classwize rule or speak to your school’s IT support to discuss changing the Locked rule. See Rules Validation Overview for more information on how Classwize validates new rules.

I want to add a rule for a site, but it conflicts with a Locked policy in School Manager. What should I do?

Contact your school’s IT support staff to discuss unlocking the filtering policy. Find out more about Locked policies here.

Can I check if a rule I created works before my class starts?

Yes! You can create rules and check if they work before your class starts. Any rules that you create will still be validated.

What happens to my existing Allowed rule if my school Locked Blocks a corresponding policy in School Manager?

The Allowed rule in Classwize will no longer work. However, the rule will remain in your Rules list until you try to edit it. Students who try to access the resource will be blocked. If the change happens while your class is in session, their connection will be blocked after a few seconds or when they attempt to navigate to another tab or open a new link within the site.

Do rules created in School Manager affect both web and desktop versions of applications?

Rules created in School Manager only affect the web versions of applications and not their desktop versions. For example, a Locked-Blocked rule in School Manager for Outlook will only block access to, not the Microsoft Outlook application installed in the student’s Windows device.

To block both web and desktop versions of Outlook, add a Blocked rule in Classwize.

Rules Troubleshooting

Classwize won’t let me add a new rule.

Classwize checks new rules to ensure they don’t duplicate existing rules or conflict with Locked Policies set by your school in School Manager.

  • Duplicated rule: The Add new rule dialog will prompt you to edit the existing rule instead. Select Yes, Edit to update the rule.

Fig. 1: An invalid rule prompt appears for a duplicate rule.

  • Conflicting rule: If the rule you’re adding conflicts with a Locked Policy, you will receive a prompt that you can’t create the new rule.

Fig 2: An invalid rule prompt appears for a Locked rule.

I made an Allow Rule, but the site is not working properly or looks wrong.

This can happen when you’ve made a rule allowing a specific domain, subdomain, or page, and it needs to get data from blocked sites. Try to create the rule at the signature level instead. Creating a Rule on the Signature will ensure the site and all other sites it needs to work on will be unblocked.

For example, if you allow the domain while videos from are blocked, the site will not show the embedded videos. However, if you allow the “Power Schools Learning” signature instead, the videos from Vimeo would appear because the signature includes everything Power Schools Learning needs to work, including embedded videos. Allowed sites or pages can still load on students’ browsers, but embedded content, such as videos from blocked sites, will appear as Blocked frames within allowed sites.

I’ve made an Allow Rule for a YouTube video, but students are restricted from viewing the video.

If you've encountered restrictions on students viewing a YouTube video despite adding a rule, it's likely due to your school’s YouTube SafeSearch settings. Contact your school’s IT support staff to discuss adjusting these settings and ensure that students can access the content as intended.

I’ve made a Block Rule, but my students can still access the site.

You may have an Allow rule that applies to only some students. If you create a rule to Block YouTube for the whole class and then create a second rule that allows it for some students from the same class, these students will still be able to access YouTube.

Fig 3. A Blocked rule for the Arts and Entertainment Theme applies to the whole class except Adrian Fischer and Danielle Bernard.




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