Home / Handy Tips / Blocking Websites on Your Mac

Are you easily distracted by the siren call of social media, news websites, or online games when you should be focusing on work or study? You’re not alone. The digital age has brought us unprecedented access to information and entertainment, but it’s also made it easier than ever to get sidetracked.

If you find yourself struggling to stay focused, fear not! Your Mac offers several ways to block distracting websites and reclaim your productivity. In this guide, we’ll explore various methods to help you stay on track and make the most of your time by learning how to block a website on Mac.

Understanding the Need for Website Blocking

Before we dive into the specifics of how to block websites on your Mac, let’s take a moment to understand why you might want to do so in the first place. Distractions abound in the digital realm, and while the internet is a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment, it can also be a black hole that sucks away your time and attention. Whether you’re a student trying to study for exams, a freelancer meeting deadlines, or an employee with tasks to complete, minimizing distractions is essential for maximizing productivity.

Method 1: Using Built-in Parental Controls

Did you know that your Mac comes with built-in parental controls that can help you block access to specific websites? While these controls are primarily designed for parents to manage their children’s online activities, they can also be useful for adults looking to curb their own internet habits.

To set up website restrictions using parental controls:

  1. Go to System Preferences on your Mac.
  2. Click on Screen Time and then select the Content & Privacy tab.
  3. Click on Content in the sidebar, then choose Limit Adult Websites.
  4. Click the Customize button and add the websites you want to block to the list.

Once you’ve configured these settings, attempts to access the blocked websites will result in a message indicating that the site is restricted. This method is straightforward and effective, making it a great option for those who prefer to use built-in features.

Method 2: Installing Browser Extensions

If you’re looking for more flexibility and control over website blocking, browser extensions are the way to go. There are several extensions available for popular web browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox that allow you to block specific websites with ease.

One such extension is StayFocusd for Chrome, which lets you set a daily time limit for browsing certain sites or block them altogether during specified hours. Similarly, Focus for Safari offers customizable website blocking and scheduling features to help you stay focused on your tasks.

To install a browser extension for website blocking:

  1. Open your web browser and go to the extensions or add-ons store.
  2. Search for the desired extension (e.g., StayFocusd, Focus).
  3. Click on Add to [Browser] or Install to add the extension to your browser.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the installation process.

Once installed, you can configure the extension settings to block specific websites or set time limits for browsing. Browser extensions are a versatile solution for blocking distractions and can be tailored to suit your individual needs and preferences.

Method 3: Editing Hosts File

For those comfortable with a bit of technical tinkering, editing the hosts file on your Mac is another effective way to block websites. The hosts file is a plain text file that maps hostnames to IP addresses and can be used to override DNS settings.

To block websites using the hosts file:

  1. Open the Terminal application on your Mac.
  2. Type the command `sudo nano /etc/hosts` and press Enter.
  3. Enter your administrator password when prompted.
  4. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the bottom of the hosts file.
  5. Add a new line for each website you want to block, followed by the IP address `` (localhost).
  6. Press Ctrl + O to save the changes, then press Enter.
  7. Press Ctrl + X to exit the nano text editor.

For example, to block Facebook, add the following line to the hosts file:       www.facebook.com

Keep in mind that editing the hosts file requires administrative privileges and can affect system behavior if done incorrectly. Exercise caution and double-check your changes before saving the file.

Method 4: Using Third-Party Software

If you prefer a more comprehensive solution with additional features like app blocking and usage tracking, third-party software may be the way to go. There are several applications available for Mac that offer advanced website blocking capabilities along with other productivity-enhancing features.

One popular option is Cold Turkey, which allows you to block websites, applications, and even entire internet access for specified periods. Freedom is another great choice, offering customizable website and app blocking across multiple devices.

To use third-party software for website blocking:

  1. Download and install the desired application from the developer’s website.
  2. Launch the application and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your blocking preferences.
  3. Customize the list of blocked websites and schedule blocking sessions according to your needs.

Third-party software often comes with a free trial period or a limited feature set in the free version, so you can try them out before committing to a purchase. Explore different options to find the one that best fits your requirements and budget.


In a world filled with distractions, staying focused on your goals can be a challenge. Fortunately, your Mac offers several methods for blocking websites and minimizing distractions to help you make the most of your time.

Whether you prefer built-in features, browser extensions, manual configuration, or third-party software, there’s a solution out there to suit your needs.

Experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you, and don’t be afraid to mix and match techniques for maximum effectiveness.

With the right tools and strategies in place, you can regain control of your online habits and boost your productivity like never before. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to block out the distractions and focus on what truly matters.

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