Oct 08, 2021
Leonardus N. & Domantas G.
How to Block a Website on Google Chrome
With Google Chrome, you can access almost any website. However, you might face a situation where it’s best to block a website instead.
Whether you want to minimize distractions or enable parental control to protect your kids from unwanted content, we have got you covered.
In this article, we’ll share four methods on how to block a website on Google Chrome. Furthermore, we’ll explain why you would need to block websites in the first place.
1. Editing the hosts File
One way to block a website on Windows is by accessing and editing the hosts file.
As long as you are the administrator, you can edit the hosts file to block certain websites.
Before starting, make a copy of your hosts file so that you have a backup in case of an error.
Once you have the copy, follow the steps below:
- Find your hosts file by accessing C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
- Open the file with Notepad, Nano, or any other text editor.
- On the bottom of the file under the last #, add in new lines and type in your localhost IP address 127.0.0.1 with the website’s domain you want to block.
- Head to File -> Save or press CTRL+S to save. However, refrain from saving it as a .txt file as it won’t work.
- Open Chrome and type the domain name you blocked to see if it works.
- Whenever you want to block a website, repeat the process and add new lines.
If your computer restricts you from making the change, you might need to change the file permissions to block sites.
To change the file permissions of your hosts file in Windows, follow these steps:
- Right-click on your hosts file.
- A drop-down menu will appear. From there, click Properties -> Security.
- Click Edit with the shield icon to change file permissions.
- In the pop-up window that appears, tick the Full Control box under Allow.
- Click Apply, and you should have access to edit the hosts file.
If you have macOS, blocking websites on Chrome through the hosts file has a similar process.
For more information, follow the steps below:
- Open Utilities -> Terminal.
- In the Terminal command, type sudo nano/etc/hosts. Your hosts file will open up in a nano box.
- Enter the administrator password to open your hosts file. It should consist of several lines similar to the one on Windows.
- At the bottom of the last line, type in the localhost IP address 127.0.0.1, and after pressing Tab for space, type the domain name of the site you want to block.
- Repeat the process if you want to add more sites.
- To save, press CTRL + O.
- Exit the hosts file by pressing CTRL + X.
- To prevent any clashes, clear your cache by typing sudo dscacheutil -flushcache and press Enter once you’re done.
- Open a browser to test the result.
Blocking websites through your hosts file will also block the websites on other web browsers and apps. Thus, you don’t have to block them one by one on your computer manually.
2. Using a Chrome Extension
The second method is blocking a website by using a browser extension. This method is suitable for both Windows and Mac users.
We recommend using BlockSite – one of the most popular website blocking extensions with over three million downloads.
To download BlockSite and add it to your Chrome browser, follow these steps:
- Access the Chrome web store on your Google Chrome browser.
- Type “blocksite extension” in the search bar and press enter.
- Click on the result with the BlockSite red shield icon and hit Add to Chrome.
- When the pop-up window appears, click Add extension to download.
Once the download is complete, BlockSite will be added to your list of extensions.
To begin blocking multiple websites with the extension, follow these steps:
- Access the BlockSite settings by clicking on the Extensions (puzzle piece icon) -> BlockSite -> More Actions -> BlockSite: Block Websites & Stay Focused.
- Type in the website you want to block in the bar labeled Block Sites and press Enter.
- If you want to prevent access to the websites on your block list even in the incognito mode, search the gear icon for Settings -> Enable in Incognito Mode.
- The website you entered should be blocked in both the standard and incognito modes. Now, whenever users try to access it through your browser, they will see web pages from BlockSite like in the example below:
Another way to block sites is by pinning the BlockSite extension on your Chrome toolbar, visiting the website you want to block, and clicking the “red shield” icon on the top right corner of your screen. Click Block this site on the pop-up window that appears.
If you don’t want to block websites on your computer completely, BlockSite provides a password protection option. This will prompt BlockSite to ask for a password whenever users access any sites from your block list.
To do this on your BlockSite extension, follow the instructions below:
- Access the Password Protection feature by clicking on the padlock icon.
- Check the Password Protection Preferences you want for BlockSite.
- Create an account by entering your email address and password. Click Save.
- Verify your account.
- Now, when someone accesses a blocked website, they will be prompted to give the password.
Additionally, BlockSite provides these features for Chrome:
- Focus Mode – block sites temporarily by setting a timer. You can also set intervals between focus modes to browse without any restrictions whenever you want to take a break.
- Block by Words – once activated in the Settings page, insert a word or phrase that will automatically be blocked if BlockSite detects it in the domain name or URL.
- Categories – block many sites of the same type such as adult, social, news, sports, and gambling.
BlockSite is a freemium extension. With the free plan, you can block six websites and only one category. However, if you want to block an unlimited number of websites and their categories, we recommend upgrading to a premium account.
3. On iOS and Android
BlockSite is also available as an app to block websites or apps on your mobile devices. It can be convenient since you are already familiar with the interface in the Chrome extension.
To block websites on your Android phone, follow the guide below:
- Access the Google Play Store from your mobile device and search for the BlockSite app. Click Install.
- Allow the BlockSite app in your device’s settings and open it.
- Find the green plus icon to block sites or apps.
- Enter the domain name or the full URL of the website you want to block. If it is an app, type in the app’s name to add it to your block list.
- Tap the checkmark on the app to confirm.
- Open your browser or app to see the result.
To block a site or an app with BlockSite using an iOS phone, follow the same steps above except go to the Apple App Store instead. You will find a BlockSite app for iOS ready to install.
4. Using Built-In Parental Controls
Blocking a website can be done by using built-in parental controls on many devices. It is a great feature, especially if you want to manage the content your children can access.
If you want to block websites on Windows 10, follow these steps:
- In the Windows menu, find Settings -> Accounts to set up a child account.
- Click on the Family & other users -> Add a family member -> Create one for a child.
- Access your Microsoft account page.
- Head to your child’s account and click Overview -> Content filters.
- In the Blocked sites bar, enter the URL or the domain name of the site you want to block.
- Once done, click the plus icon to add it to your block list. Repeat the process to add more sites.
- Check the result by switching to your child’s account and see if the site is blocked.
For Mac or Windows users, you can also use parental controls on Google Chrome to monitor your child’s activities and hide an unsafe site.
One way to do so is by activating SafeSearch on your computer’s Google account by accessing preferences. Tick the Turn on SafeSearch box and scroll down to the bottom of the web page to click Save.
Once activated, any explicit content should be hidden from your child.
The second way is by using the Google Family Link app for both Android and iOS phones.
Some features might not work when using the Google Family Link app on an iOS mobile device.
To block a site using Google Family Link, follow the instructions below:
- Download the app on Google Play Store and set up an account for your family.
- Access your child’s account.
- Go to Manage Settings -> Filters on Google Chrome -> Manage sites -> Blocked.
- Tap the Add an exception icon.
- Type in the website or the domain that you want to block.
- Save and see if the site is blocked.
Why Would You Need to Block Websites?
There are a few reasons why you might need to block a website:
- Content Filtering – if you are a parent, you might need to block certain websites to prevent your kids from accessing them. Also, this can keep the children focused on kid-friendly websites.
- Malicious sites – computer viruses are harmful to your device and can even break through the antivirus program. So if you know a website that is spreading computer malware, block it right away.
- Work Mode – blocking websites can help increase productivity. With fewer distractions on their phone or computer, people can focus more on their work.
While many websites are helpful, you may come across a situation where blocking a website might be a good idea.
In this article, we have discussed the four methods to do so:
- Manually editing the hosts file. This is one way to block a website manually.
- Using a Chrome extension. Do this by downloading the BlockSite extension for Chrome.
- If you’re using iOS and Android. Download the BlockSite app for Android and iOS.
- Using built-in parental controls. Set up parental controls in Windows 10 through your Microsoft account, activate SafeSearch, or use Google Family Link.
There are many reasons to block a website, such as protecting your children from harmful content, avoiding malicious sites, or simply wanting to focus more on your work.
Try out any method and browse safely. Don’t hesitate to leave feedback if you have some comments or questions.