How to block a website on popular browsers and devices

Anton P. | December 23, 2022

You can block a website that offers little value or threatens you with deceptive or malicious content. The exact technique for blocking websites depends on your device, browser, and preference. 

However, blocking specific websites can also relate to parental controls or attempts to limit screen time. Thus, figure out how to block a site on your devices and clean up your browsing. 

Blocking a website you no longer want to visit

Users can block a website for various reasons, including eliminating distractions or curbing bad habits like doomscrolling. Furthermore, multiple options exist for restricting access to particular domains. 

The reason for blocking determines the methods most suitable to you: 

  • Block a website that shares explicit content or suspicious downloads. 
  • Restrict access to websites unsuitable for children. 
  • Prevent people from looking up particular Google queries. 
  • Block lists or groups of websites that act as unnecessary distractions. 

All these motivations for blocking sites are common. Sometimes, you can take advantage of browser settings and content filtering. However, more flexible solutions could only be available via third-party browser extensions. 

Instructions for how to block a site on Google Chrome 

Google Chrome already offers protection against websites, downloads, and extensions known to be dangerous. SafeBrowsing on Chrome works in two modes: 

  • Enhanced protection is a more involved guardian against unsafe sites, extensions, and downloads. It also informs users of potential password breaches. The downside of this option is that it sends browsing data to Google. 
  • Standard protection is a more general option, blocking sites Google knows to be threatening. 

Parental controls to block a website on Chrome 

Google Family Link is a parental control tool allowing adults to oversee how their children browse. You can enable it to block a site by following these steps: 

  1. Download Google Family Link to your Android phone from the Google Play Store. 
  2. Enter your children’s account. 
  3. Navigate to Settings and open Filters on Google Chrome
  4. Open Manage Sites and Blocked
  5. Tap on Add an exception
  6. Add a site you want to block. 
  7. Save your choices. 
  8. You can also check whether the site got blocked on the account. 

Block a website on Chrome using extensions 

Browsers like Google Chrome do not have highly flexible options to block a website. Instead of built-in features, browsers rely on extensions to add this functionality. 

An extension you choose might offer various insights and security features besides blocking websites:

  • Usage reports on how you use your device. That includes information on websites you spend the most time browsing. 
  • Scheduling times when you want to block a website. You might wish to avoid social media or streaming platforms and stay focused on work. 
  • These extensions can also block websites involved in distributing adult content
  • It might even be possible to redirect certain URL requests to different websites. For instance, instead of Facebook, they might end up on a page discussing procrastination. 
  • You can also block websites based on particular words in their domains
  • A password protection for the lists of blocked websites can also be available. 

However, since these extensions deal with your browsing data, you need to review its privacy policy. 

Set up parental controls on Windows 11

  1. Open Settings on Microsoft Windows. 
  2. Click on Accounts and open Family & other users
  3. Click on the Create one for a child option. 
  4. After creating an account, open it via the Microsoft Account section. 
  5. Under blocked sites, click add the websites you want to block. 
  6. Double-check whether the block works on browsers like Google Chrome. 

Block a website on iPhone or macOS 

Blocking websites on iPhone and iPad happens via the Screen Time setting: 

  1. Open Settings and tap on Screen Time
  2. Enter and toggle Content & Privacy Restrictions
  3. Tap on Content Restrictions
  4. Open Web Content
  5. Pick Limit Adult Websites
  6. Tap on Add a Website right under NEVER ALLOW
  7. You can add websites that you wish to block. 

Mac devices also have Screen Time, letting you manage your browsing habits. 

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on Screen Time. 
  3. Pick Content & Privacy from the left side menu. 
  4. Click Turn on at the top of the window. 
  5. Navigate to the Limit Adult Websites option. 
  6. Click Customize and add links to websites you wish to block under Restricted. 
  7. Click OK

Block websites using hosts file on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Editing the hosts files lets you modify DNS and make it redirect certain URLs to different sites. DNS (Domain Name System) converts links (that you type into address bars) into their IP addresses. 

By adding entries to the hosts file, you get to relate specific URLs to different IP addresses. 

Here is how you should block websites via hosts file on computer operating systems: 

  1. You need to use an administrator account to make changes to the hosts file. 
  2. You can find the hosts file in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc on Windows.
  3. On Mac, you can find hosts files by launching the Terminal and typing in sudo nano /private/etc/hosts.
  4. On Linux, open Terminal and type in the following command: sudo nano /etc/hosts.
  5. Windows, Mac, and Linux will ask for your password before you proceed. 
  6. A hosts file is a text editor file that you can easily modify. 
  7. You can block a website by directing the URL request to your localhost IP address. For many computers, it is 127.0. 0.1.
  8. Save the changes. 

Block websites at the router level

Sometimes, you want to block websites for all devices connecting to your network. You can do this via router settings.

  1. Access the router’s admin page by typing its IP address in a browser’s address bar.
  2. Log into your router after providing the necessary credentials. 
  3. Find options for website blocking, like Access Restrictions or Access Control
  4. Type in the websites you want to block. 
  5. Save changes and restart your router to apply the changes. 

Note that instructions might vary depending on your router manufacturer. 

Block websites and stay safe online

Users have multiple options for blocking offensive, dangerous, or distracting websites. Also, since you are the one blocking websites, you can easily regain access to blocked sites. 

However, you should follow some rules and recommendations when blocking websites or making changes to integral device files: 

  • Extensions you choose to add to Chrome or Firefox must be reliable. Add-ons or extensions can secretly log data and sell it. 
  • Windows, macOS, and Linux offer built-in options for blocking sites. However, double-check the process to ensure that everything works as intended. 
  • MacOS and iOS offer the Screen Time feature: a seamless way to block websites. 
  • Do not forget to enable safe browsing for the browsers you use. You can uplift this security by installing Atlas VPN. Our SafeBrowse feature blocks suspicious sites and scripts.
Browse safely & anonymously with a VPN

Browse safely & anonymously with a VPN

Encrypt your internet traffic and defend against online snooping, hackers, governments, or ISPs.
Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

Tags:

browserSafeBrowsehosts file

© 2023 Atlas VPN. All rights reserved.