How to Block Websites on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Hello there 👋, are you tired of getting distracted by certain websites on your Mac? Do you want to limit your internet usage and increase your productivity? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to show you how to block websites on your Mac using simple steps.

Blocking websites can be helpful in several situations, from staying focused while working on a project to protecting your children from inappropriate content. Fortunately, Mac offers different ways to block websites, and you can choose the one that suits your needs the best. So, let’s dive in and learn how to block websites on your Mac. 🔒

How to block websites on Mac

Why You Might Want to Block Websites on Mac

There are various reasons why you might want to block websites on your Mac. One of the most common reasons is productivity. It’s easy to get sidetracked by social media sites, news sites, and other non-work-related websites, which can lead to decreased productivity and procrastination. By blocking these distracting websites, you can improve your focus and productivity.

Another reason why you might want to block websites on your Mac is to protect your children from accessing inappropriate content. The internet is full of content that is not suitable for children, and it’s important to take measures to ensure that they can only access child-friendly websites. By blocking inappropriate websites, you can provide a safe online environment for your kids.

Blocking websites on your Mac can also help reduce your internet usage and data consumption. Streaming video and audio content consumes a lot of data, and blocking these sites can help you save on your internet bill. Additionally, by blocking certain websites, you can protect your Mac from malware and viruses that can be acquired from suspicious websites.

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Use Parental Controls to Block Websites

As a responsible parent or guardian, it is essential to protect your children from harmful content on the internet. One of the ways to do that is by utilizing the Parental Controls feature on your Mac. This feature enables you to set restrictions on your child’s access to specific websites, ensuring that they only use the internet for educational and appropriate purposes.

The Parental Controls feature is available in the System Preferences section of your Mac. All you need to do is select the user account that you wish to set restrictions on and click on the Parental Controls icon. From there, you can choose to restrict access to certain websites by adding them to the “Never Allow” list.

To add a website to the “Never Allow” list, click on the “+” button located at the bottom left of the Parental Controls window, and enter the website’s URL. You can also use the “Customize” option to block access to websites containing specific keywords or phrases. This feature can come in handy if you want to prevent your child from accessing sites that contain nudity, violence, or profanity.

Additionally, Parental Controls allows you to set time limits for your child’s computer usage. This feature lets you choose specific hours of the day when your child can access the internet or the computer. You can also set a maximum number of hours per day that your child can use the computer, which can be helpful if you want to encourage them to focus on other activities such as reading or sports.

It’s worth noting that Parental Controls only works when your child is using their own user account on the Mac. If your child is using a shared account with you, they might still be able to access blocked websites or override time limits. Therefore, it’s best to create a separate user account for your child and set up Parental Controls on that account.

In conclusion, setting up Parental Controls on your Mac is an effective way to block access to specific websites and limit your child’s computer usage. By using this feature, you can protect your child from harmful content on the internet and encourage them to use the computer for productive activities.

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Manually Block Websites on Your Mac

If you want to block certain websites on your Mac without using parental controls, you can do so by editing your Mac’s hosts file. The hosts file is a basic text file that can be edited using any text editor, including TextEdit, which is included with your Mac. Here’s how to block websites on your Mac manually:

Step 1: Locate the Hosts File

The hosts file is located in the /etc/ directory of your Mac. To locate it, go to the Finder and select “Go” from the menu bar. Then select “Go to Folder…” and enter “/etc/” in the box. Press “Go” and you will be taken to the /etc/ directory where you will find the hosts file.

Step 2: Open the Hosts File

Once you have found the hosts file, open it using any text editor, such as TextEdit, which is included with your Mac. To open the hosts file in TextEdit, simply double-click the file and it will open in a new window.

Step 3: Block Websites

To block a website, simply add a new line to the hosts file with the following format: [website]

Replace “[website]” with the URL of the website you want to block. For example, to block Facebook, you would enter:

You can block as many websites as you want by adding a new line for each website.

Step 4: Save and Close the Hosts File

Once you have added the websites you want to block to the hosts file, save the file and close it. If you are using TextEdit, make sure to select “Format” from the menu bar and choose “Make Plain Text” before saving your changes. If you do not choose “Make Plain Text,” TextEdit may insert additional formatting that could cause the hosts file to not work properly.

By manually adding websites to the hosts file, you can block access to any website you want on your Mac. This is a great solution if you want to restrict access to certain websites without using parental controls. Just remember, if you ever want to unblock a website, you will need to remove it from the hosts file.

Use Third-Party Apps to Block Websites

If you’re struggling to avoid certain websites on your Mac, you might consider using a third-party app to block them. These apps can be a godsend for individuals who have trouble self-regulating their online activity. Here are just a few apps worth checking out:

1. SelfControl

SelfControl is a free open-source app that lets you block access to specific websites or mail servers for a set period of time. The app is highly customizable, allowing you to create “whitelists” of sites that you’re always allowed to access. SelfControl is particularly useful for those who need to block distractions while they work or study. Once you’ve set your preferences, the app will block the selected websites no matter what you do, even if you restart your computer.

2. Focus

Focus is a premium app that lets you block certain websites or apps during specific times of the day. This can be particularly useful for those who want to limit their social media use during work hours or block certain news sites during bedtime. Unlike SelfControl, Focus has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and customize. You can even set up different blocking schedules for different days of the week.

3. Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey is another premium app that allows you to block distracting websites or apps for a certain period of time. The app is highly customizable, offering multiple levels of blocking, including a “lockdown” mode that blocks everything except the most essential applications. Additionally, Cold Turkey offers a “Pomodoro” mode that lets you work for a set amount of time before giving you a break.

4. Freedom

Freedom is a premium app that provides a bit more flexibility when it comes to blocking specific sites. In addition to blocking specific URLs, Freedom also allows you to block entire categories of websites (such as social media or news sites) or even search results. The app also offers a variety of scheduling options, allowing you to set specific times during the day or week when you want to block certain sites.


Overall, using a third-party app to block websites can be a smart way to curb your online addiction. While there are plenty of free and premium options available, each app offers its own unique set of features and benefits. So, take some time to research which app aligns best with your personal goals and preferences, and give it a try. You may just find that it’s exactly what you needed to boost your productivity and mental well-being.

If you want to take control of your internet browsing habit, blocking certain websites on your Mac can be a great solution.

Say goodbye to distracting websites on your Mac!

Now that you know how to block websites on your Mac, you can work more efficiently and stay focused on your tasks. Whether it’s social media sites or other distractions, you can easily block them from tempting you during work hours. Thanks for reading, and visit us again for more helpful tips and tricks to improve your Mac experience!

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