Of the millions of websites on the internet, it’s reasonable to expect that you might want to block a few. Whether you want to strip out time-wasting sites that sap your productivity or just don’t want to see dangerous or explicit content by accident, blocking websites is a powerful tool.
Thankfully, you have several ways to block websites on Chrome. Let’s talk about them.
Supervised Profiles No Longer Work
Chrome’s profile system allows you to sign in as multiple users all on one Windows account. Prior to January 2018, you could create a supervised profile which had website restrictions — great for locking down a child’s account.
However, Google removed this functionality in Chrome with no official replacement. It recommends using the Family Link feature instead, but this is only available for Android. Thus, it’s not much use now. You’ll need to use one of the below two choices to block websites instead.
Option 1: Use Chrome Extensions
There’s a Chrome extension for almost everything, and blocking websites is no exception. Here are some of the best for keeping you away from certain sites.
This is the best all-around extension for website blocking. It’s straightforward while still giving you controls for customizing how you block.
After installing the extension, you’ll notice a new Block this site entry in your right-click menu. Choose it, and Block Site will immediately prevent access to that entire website. If you’d rather, you can also do right-click on a link to block a specific page.
If you try to visit a blocked site, you’ll see a message preventing you from doing so. To configure how the extension works, click its icon in Chrome’s upper-right corner and choose Options.
On the Site List tab, you can enter a website to block without visiting it. To the right of each site, you’ll see three icons:
- The arrow icon allows you to redirect that site to somewhere else.
- Use the clock icon to only block the site on certain days of the week or times.
- Click the trash can to remove the site from your blocklist.
To heavily restrict the web, flip the Block/Allow switch above your list. This will block all websites except for those you specify below.
Visit the Adult Control tab, and you can block all websites that contain explicit content. No filter is perfect, of course, but this will easily weed out the biggest offenders. Below, you can enter words that the extension will block if it finds them in a URL.
Finally, in the Settings tab, you can specify times that the extension will block sites. You can also set a single page that all blocked sites redirect to.
Critically, this page is also where you can set a password required to access blocked sites. You can choose to password-protect both site options and access to blocked sites. We recommend adding a password here if you’re blocking websites for children. If you’re using it for yourself, it takes willpower to avoid turning off.
Download: Block Site: Website Blocker for Chrome
If you need more options than Block Site offers, check out the StayFocusd Chrome extension. This tool gives you more controls over accessing blocked sites and might work better for your use case.
After installing it, you can add any site to your blocklist by clicking the extension’s icon while visiting that site. Click Block this entire site to do just that. Once you’ve added some sites you want to block, it’s worth opening the Settings from the extensions menu to configure its behavior.
On the left sidebar of this menu, you’ll see several tabs:
- Max Time Allowed: Set a time limit for how long you’re allowed to browse blocked sites per day. This is one pool of minutes for all blocked sites together. Once your time runs out, you can’t change this number.
- Active Days: Choose which days the extension’s rules will take effect.
- Active Hours: Select the daily time range you want StayFocusd to block sites.
- Daily Reset Time: Choose the time when a new “day” of allotted time begins.
- Blocked Sites: Add sites you want to block here. StayFocusd offers a list of site suggestions if you need ideas. It also notes you can block the Chrome extensions page to keep yourself from disabling it. However, we don’t recommend locking yourself out of that page.
- Allowed Sites: Add sites that are always allowed here.
- The Nuclear Option: If you’re serious about blocking, this lets you block sites for a certain number of hours independent of your other options. This may come in handy when you need to force yourself to be productive, but take care as there’s no way to cancel this once you activate it.
- Require Challenge: Enabling this option forces you to type a long paragraph of text to change any settings. It’s no easy task: you have to type the entire text without making a single mistake or even hitting the Backspace or Delete keys. And copy-pasting won’t work! This makes sure you’re serious about making changes to your settings.
- Customize: Change a few settings, including warnings when you’re about to run out of time on blocked sites.
- Import/Export Settings: Lets you easily move your settings between computers.
Overall, StayFocusd is a great choice if you need some encouragement sticking to your goals. Others may dislike the idea of your computer holding you hostage with the ridiculous typing challenge and inability to change settings, so you’ll have to give it a try to find out.
Google’s Personal Blocklist
This alternative extension doesn’t completely block websites. Instead, it allows you to filter domains out of your Google search results. This is useful because chances are that you visit websites much of the time through googling. If you hate a particular site and never want to see it in search, this solves your issue.
After you install the extension, you’ll notice a new Block [website].com link under Google search results. Click it to add that entire domain to your blocklist, and you’ll never see it in Google results again.
To remove a site from your list, click the extension’s icon in the upper-right corner of your browser and choose Unblock. You can also import or export your blocklist here to transfer it to another PC.
While you can still visit sites you block directly, this at least keeps them out of view on Google.
Download: Personal Blocklist
Option 2: Block Websites on Your Computer or Network
Unfortunately, a problem with all blocking extensions is that you can remove them in seconds. Chrome provides no way to “lock” an extension, probably to prevent abuse from hijackers. Thus, a savvy child could easily remove an extension to access blocked sites and thus they aren’t great for blocking websites for your children. Plus, a smart kid could just as easily use or install another browser to render the Chrome blockage useless.
To block websites on your entire network, you can use the settings on your router. These will let you limit internet access to certain times and block specific sites. Without the password to your router, your child won’t be able to get around these unless they use mobile data on a phone. You can also use a custom DNS to achieve a similar effect.
Blocking With the Hosts File
For another option, you can also block sites on your entire computer. This method utilizes the hosts file, a text document on your PC that helps it translate website names into IP addresses. You can easily block sites by adding a few lines to this file.
To access it on any modern version of Windows, open a Notepad window as an administrator. To do this, type notepad into the Start Menu, then right-click it and choose Run as administrator.
Select File > Open and browse to the following location:
In the bottom-right corner of the Open dialogue, you’ll see a dropdown box above the Open button that says Text Documents (*.txt). Click this and change it to All Files (*.*).
Open the file called hosts and you’ll see a simple text document. At the bottom of the document, enter a new line and use this format with the website you want to block:
Add an additional line for each site you want to block using the same format. When you’re done, choose File > Save and reboot your PC. You’ll then no longer be able to access any sites that you’ve entered in this file.
We recommend testing this method after applying. You may need to add additional entries, including www. before a website name.
Ready to Block Websites on Chrome?
Despite Google removing the convenient supervised profile option, you still have several ways to block websites in Chrome. For personal blocking, an extension should suffice. But to keep your kids safe, we recommend blocking websites at the router level. Some combination of these tools will let you shut off access to any sites you wish.
If you want to do this on your phone too, check out how to block websites on Android.