Are there certain websites that keep popping up in your Google search results that you just can’t stand the sight of any more? Maybe it’s a news site that you don’t particularly trust, or you’ve found that Quora just doesn’t provide reliable enough answers to your questions. Whatever your reasons, there are various ways to block sites on Chrome, and we’ve gathered our favorites for you here.
1. Cold Turkey Blocker
The one method in this list that actually comes with its own desktop application (for Windows 10 and macOS), Cold Turkey Blocker is a website blocker that lets you really get granular with your website blocking. It works across Chrome, Firefox and the new Microsoft Edge.
The free version lets you add an unlimited amount of websites to your blocklist, specify how long you want to block a given site, and also monitor the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites. The default list of sites to block is called “Distractions” and contains a long list of social networks, movie-streaming sites and other known distractions.
Perhaps one of the best features here is the ability to lock your blocks, letting you set certain times between which you won’t be able to override the blocks to access sites or even uninstall Cold Turkey. This website blocker doesn’t mess around! The paid version lets you make your block-lists password-protected, schedule blocking, and more.
UBlacklist is a simple-to-use extension that lets you block websites from appearing in your Google search results (which, let’s face it, is pretty much the window onto the Internet for most of us). Once you’ve installed the extension, there are a few ways you can block websites.
Firstly, if a site you want to block appears in your search results, you’ll see the option “Block this site” next to its URL. Click this and the site won’t appear in your search results next time.
You can then manage your blocked sites by right-clicking the uBlacklist icon in your Chrome extension area and clicking “Options.” Here you can remove sites from your blocklist, add sites manually, sync your list to Google Drive to use on other devices, and import your blocklist from Personal Blocklist.
Speaking of which, whatever happened to Personal Blocklist?
3. Use the Hosts File
Whether you’re on Windows, Mac or Linux, you can use the Hosts file to block specific websites. It may sound a bit techy, but it’s really not that bad and may appeal to those who like the idea of blocking websites without having to mess around with third-party software (and it blocks the sites on all browsers). If you’re not into this method, scroll down for other ways to block unwanted websites.
Here’s how to use the hosts file to block sites on each major platform.
Edit Hosts File in Windows
1. Go to “C:WindowsSystem32Driversetc” and open the “hosts” file using Notepad. (I prefer Notepad++ myself.)
2. Scroll to the bottom, then under all the hash symbols (you can delete everything marked with the hash symbol if you like so you have a clean sheet), type “127.0.0.1” followed by “localhost”.
3. On the next line, type “127.0.0.1” followed by the address of the site you want to block, then repeat this step for every other site you want to block.
Edit Hosts File in Linux and Mac
The process is exactly the same as for Windows, except you need to navigate to the “/etc” directory to open the hosts file (with superuser permission). Other than that, the second and third points for Windows apply.
4. Block Site
The best thing about Block Site is the authentication option. Once you have configured your list of blocked websites, you can add a password to the Settings page so your children won’t be able to access it and undo it.
After installing the extension, open extension settings and add the websites you want to block. Also, check the “Enable Authentication” box and specify the password to block access to the settings.
StayFocusd is one of the best website-blocker extensions for Google Chrome, and it’s true to its name by helping you stay focused. We tend to waste a lot of time at work on Facebook and other time-wasting websites, and this extension limits the amount of time you spend on these websites (and any others of your choice).
You can specify the days StayFocusd will restrict your browsing activity along with the time you can spend per day on time-wasting websites. Apart from that, you can create a list of blocked/allowed websites as well. Another handy feature is The Nuclear Option. Enabling this feature will restrict access to any blocked website even if you have not crossed the time limit. You can specify the number of hours you want to have access blocked.
This article was first published in May 2013 and was updated in July 2020.
Image credit: african american woman using laptop with google browser near cup of coffee by DepositPhotos