Websites are great, aren’t they? Except, that is, when they’re so great that we find ourselves clicking on them involuntarily when we’re supposed to be working, or when they rank too high for many of our search terms but then force us to sign up to them when we click through, or… well, many reasons, really.
If those issues sound familiar, you may want to find out how to block websites on the world’s most popular browser, Chrome. Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of some excellent extensions as well as a method that doesn’t require an extension at all.
1. Create a Supervised User Profile
Our first option doesn’t require any extensions. If you have a child in the house and want to control what sites they can visit (or if you want to set blocks for yourself), you can create a supervised user profile which lets you monitor what sites that user visits, blocks apps and extensions, switch on SafeSearch and, crucially, lets you block websites.
To switch this feature on in Chrome, click the three-dotted menu icon at the top-right and go to Settings, then under “People” click “Manage other people.”
In the new window, click “Add Person,” then on the next screen create a name for the user, tick the “Supervise this person” box, then click “Save.”
Next, go to chrome.com/manage, select the supervised user from the pane on the left, then next to “Permissions” click “Manage.”
Here you can control which websites this user can and can’t visit.
Finally, to switch to this user, go to your Chrome Settings again, click “Manage other people” and click “Supervised user.”
2. Personal Blocklist
The simplest option if you want to outright block sites from your Google Search results, Personal Blocklist is an extension generously provided by Google itself.
Once you’ve installed it, you’ll see an option below each of your Google Search results to “Block” the domain of that search result. Click it and that site will no longer appear in your search results. If a blocked site appears in your results, you’ll see a notification at the bottom of the search page telling you that certain sites aren’t appearing because you blocked them, and you can choose the option to “show” them here (though why would you?!?).
To manage your blocked sites, just click the Personal Blocklist extension icon in your Chrome toolbar, and you can see all your sites there.
3. 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 the 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-blocking extensions for Google Chrome. 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 block access.
5. Nanny for Google Chrome
Nanny is a venerable old extension that packs a number of options such as creating a whitelist of websites, specifying the amount of time you can spend on any website, managing lockdowns and more.
In its Options page you will find a “Blocked URLs” tab where you can add the URLs of websites you want to block. You can also specify the time you want the websites to remain blocked. You can even specify the days you want to block the specific websites and the max amount of time you can spend on each blocked website every day. Click Save when you are done.
Using one or two of these apps (StayFocusd and Personal Blocklist are my personal faves), you’ll have much more control over which websites are permitted on your browser. It’s amazing how easy it is to get caught up in a web of procrastination and time-wasting websites if you’re not careful, and these extensions will help you get rid of those unhelpful habits.
This article was first published in May 2013 and was updated in October 2017.