How To Block Websites on Mac

How to Block Websites on Your Mac

In today’s digital age, it’s essential to have control over the online content that reaches your eyes. Whether you’re a parent looking to restrict access for minors or an individual seeking a distraction-free work environment, blocking websites can be an effective way to maintain productivity and focus. In this article, we’ll explore how to block websites on your Mac using various methods.

Method 1: Using macOS’s Built-in Website Blocker – Site Settings

One of the most straightforward ways to block websites is by utilizing Apple’s built-in tool called Sites. This feature allows you to restrict access to specific websites or sets of sites across all apps and browsers:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on “Network” and select your network connection (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, etc.) from the left sidebar menu.
  3. Click on “Advanced…” then “TCP/IP” tab.

If prompted by macOS for authentication credentials, provide them to access Network Settings.

  1. In the DNS section, click “+” under the top-right corner to create a current site setting:
  • Set up Site as a static value (e.g., www.example.com).
  • Click on the “-” icon at the bottom right and select “Block Sites”.
  1. Save your changes by clicking “Apply” then “OK”.

Now, whenever you try to access that website using any browser or app on your Mac, an error message will appear: “The site is blocked.” This setting also prevents Safari’s automatic filling of URLs with suggested sites from being prompted.

Method 2: Employing Browser Extensions – Freedom and SelfControl

While the first method involves configuring network settings, we can achieve similar results using browser extensoins that provide more granular control. Two popular options are Freedom and SelfControl:

  1. Freedom: This free extension lets you schedule time blocks or sessions for specific sites.
  2. SelfControl: This open-source, donation-supported tool enables you to set custom rules and times for blocking sites.

Configure these extensions according to your needs by setting block periods, exceptions, or allowing access to specific websites during designated times.

Method 3: Utilizing a Third-Party Tool – Website Blocker

For greater flexibility and customization options, consider using a third-party tool specifically designed for website blocking. One such option is the freeware “Website Blocker” by MacsFan:

  1. Download Website Blocker from the official site or via the App Store: https://github.com/MacsFan/Website-Blocker
  2. Follow installation instructions and launch Website Blocker.
  3. Configure block settings, including specific website domains (e.g., social media), categories (entertainment or news) or schedules to control your access.

Method 4: Using a Firewall Application – Little Snitch

Little Snitch is another powerful tool that goes beyond just blocking websites. This paid application monitors and controls outgoing network traffic from your Mac, including web browsing:

  1. Download the trial version of Little Snitch from their official site or purchase a license.
  2. Set up and configure the app to suit your needs: define rules for specific applications (e.g., browser), protocols (HTTP/HTTPS) or IP addresses.

These four methods allow you to effectively block websites on your Mac, depending on your goals, preferences, and requirements:

  • Site settings for comprehensive control
  • Browser extensions like Freedom and SelfControl for schedule-based blocking
  • Website Blocker for a standalone tool with customization options
  • Little Snitch as an all-purpose network traffic monitoring and control solution

By mastering these methods, you’ll have the power to maintain your online focus while restricting access to specific websites or categories on your Mac.