Sometimes, you may want to block certain websites on your computer for various reasons. For example, you may want to prevent your kids from accessing inappropriate or harmful content, or you may want to avoid distractions and improve your productivity. Whatever the reason, blocking websites on your computer is not very difficult, and you can do it in different ways.
In this article, we will show you how to block websites on your computer using three methods: editing the hosts file, using a browser extension, or using a third-party software. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you can choose the one that suits your needs and preferences. Here are the steps:
Method 1: Editing the Hosts File
The hosts file is a system file that maps hostnames to IP addresses. By editing this file, you can redirect any website to a different IP address, such as 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1, which are reserved for localhost or your own computer. This way, you can block any website from loading on any browser on your computer.
To edit the hosts file, you need to have administrator privileges and access to a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit. The steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system, but the basic principle is the same. Here are the steps for Windows and Mac:
- Open the Start menu and type “notepad” in the search box. Right-click on Notepad and select “Run as administrator”. Click “Yes” when prompted.
- Click “File” and then “Open”. Navigate to the following folder: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
- Change the file type from “Text Documents (.txt)” to “All Files (.*)”. Select the “hosts” file and click “Open”.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the file and add a new line for each website you want to block. The format is: 0.0.0.0 www.example.com
- Save the file and close Notepad.
- Restart your browser or flush your DNS cache by opening a command prompt and typing “ipconfig /flushdns”.
- Open Finder and go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
- Type “sudo nano /etc/hosts” and press Enter. Enter your administrator password when prompted.
- Use the arrow keys to scroll down to the bottom of the file and add a new line for each website you want to block. The format is: 0.0.0.0 www.example.com
- Press Ctrl+O to save the file and Ctrl+X to exit nano.
- Flush your DNS cache by typing “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” and pressing Enter.
Method 2: Using a Browser Extension
If you don’t want to mess with system files or you only want to block websites on a specific browser, you can use a browser extension that allows you to block websites easily and quickly. There are many browser extensions available for different browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.
One of the most popular and widely used browser extensions for blocking websites is Block Site. It is available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. It lets you block websites by adding them to a blacklist, set a password to protect your settings, schedule blocking times, sync your settings across devices, and more.
To use Block Site, you need to install it on your browser and then follow these steps:
- Click on the Block Site icon in your browser toolbar.
- Click on “Edit block sites list”.
- Enter the URL of the website you want to block in the text box and click “+”. You can also use wildcards (*) to block multiple websites with similar patterns.
- Repeat step 3 for each website you want to block.
- Click on “Save” when you are done.
Method 3: Using a Third-Party Software
If you want more control and flexibility over blocking websites on your computer, you can use a third-party software that offers more features and options than editing the hosts file or using a browser extension. There are many software available for blocking websites, such as Cold Turkey, Freedom, FocusMe, etc.
One of the most popular and widely used software for blocking websites is Cold Turkey. It is available for Windows and Mac computers. It lets you block websites by creating custom block lists, set timers or schedules for blocking sessions, lock your settings with a password, track your statistics, and more.
To use Cold Turkey, you need to download it from its official website and install it on your computer. Then, you need to follow these steps:
- Open Cold Turkey and click on “Block Lists”.
- Click on “Add Block List” and give it a name.
- Enter the URLs of the websites you want to block in the text box and click “Add”. You can also use wildcards (*) to block multiple websites with similar patterns.
- Click on “Save” when you are done.
- Click on “Timer” and select the block list you created.
- Set the duration and start time for your blocking session and click “Start”.
Blocking websites on your computer can be useful for various reasons, such as preventing access to inappropriate or harmful content, avoiding distractions and improving productivity, or protecting your privacy and security. You can block websites on your computer using three methods: editing the hosts file, using a browser extension, or using a third-party software.
We have shown you how to block websites on your computer using these three methods, and we have also recommended some of the best tools and software for each method. You can choose the method that suits your needs and preferences, and follow the steps we have provided.
We hope this article helped you learn how to block websites on your computer. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the respective developers or support teams of the tools or software you are using.