Every day, plenty of inappropriate, lewd and disturbing content gets uploaded over the Internet. There are many websites that are disturbing even for mature adults, aside from teens and children.
To browse safely in such an environment, blocking a website is perhaps the most important skill you should be in the know of.
Parents, teenagers, adults, and even network administrators for offices & enterprises – everyone should know how to block a website on their computers. Even governments in Australia, Nepal, and other countries are blocking websites to restrict people from viewing illegal, adulterated, shady, and “NSFW” content.
Why Should You Block a Website?
Depending on your web browsing needs, you may consider blocking a few websites on your Windows computer. There are many factors that play a role in pushing you to block a website.
To start off, your social role comes first into play. You would block certain websites to restrict content that mocks your rights, norms, and beliefs. Everyone is living in some of the other community-driven a common grounds of faith and religion. And, you won’t be pleased to come across some derogatory stuff online.
The next and foremost reason for blocking a website would be restricting access to pornography (porn ban). As a parent, you don’t want your sons or your daughters to stumble upon lustful ads that lure them to porn websites, way before they get introduced to sex education in their school.
In the same view, you would want to block porn websites in a work or educational environment to ensure no one gets carried away.
Some websites endorse illegal activities, which gives us one more reason to block them. If you can’t put up with gambling, then you might as well block some betting websites and online casinos.
Other reasons why people block websites include –
- Risks of malware attacks
- Privacy Breach
- Needless adware installations
- Unwanted pop-ups
- Support to anti-piracy (ban on torrent websites)
- Moral values
These reasons are good enough to justify why blocking a website is something that you should be familiar with.
Now, let’s learn the various ways to block a website on Windows.
How to Block a Website on Windows (2018 Guide)
On Windows computers, you can access a website by using a web browser. This browser app can be a default, like Internet Explorer or Edge, or newly-installed software such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Naturally, your first move to block a website on Windows has to do with you tweaking the settings on your web browser.
1. Block Website in Google Chrome
Let’s start off with the most popular web browser – Google Chrome. The developers have kindly introduced several extensions over the years. These tools help you block websites while browsing on Chrome.
You can choose from the list of extensions and add them to your Chrome browser. Then, you simply feed in the URLs in the extensions, keep them enabled, and those websites shall remain blocked for good.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for blocking websites on Chrome.
- Open Google Chrome
- Go to Chrome Store and select a free website blocker extension
- Click on ‘Add to Chrome’ button next to the extension
- Now, click on ‘Add extension’ in the pop-up
- Once the extension is installed, click on the Chrome menu (three vertical dots on top-right corner)
- Go to ‘More tools’ from the menu
- Click on ‘Extensions’
- Select the website blocker extension
- In the Block Site Options page, enter the URL of the website you want to block
- Click on the ‘Add page’ button
Now, close Chrome and reopen it. Then, enter the same URL to see if the extension works. You’ll surely get blocked to access that website unless the extension has been disabled.
Keep adding URLs to the extension to block more websites on Google Chrome.
2. Block a Website in Edge/Internet Explorer
In Windows computers, Internet Explorer is the default web browser. For Windows 10, the browser has been renamed as Edge.
To block a website on Internet Explorer, you’ll use the Family Safety feature of the browser.
- Open the Internet Explorer and click on File menu
- Go to Tools (press the Alt key if you don’t see Tools option)
- Click on Internet Options
- Click on the ‘Content’ tab
- Here, you’ll Enable the Content Advisor Heading
- In the Advisor window, go to the Approved Sites tab
- Enter the URL(s) in the field under “Allow this website”
- Now, click on ‘Never’ to add the URL in the list disapproved websites below
- Click on Apply, and on OK to save the changes
Restart the Internet Explorer and try accessing the blocked URLs.
On the same lines, you can choose to unblock a website. Follow the same steps, and select the URL from the list of disapproved websites. Then, click on ‘Remove’ to unblock it. That’s how you know if a Windows user has unblocked a disapproved website intentionally.
Blocking websites in Edge is a different ballgame altogether. You’ll have to edit the host files to block websites on Edge (discussed later in this article). You can also get extensions on Edge to block websites, similar to what you did on Google Chrome.
3. Block Websites in Firefox
Just like Google Chrome, you need to get an add-on to block websites on Firefox.
- Open the Tools menu on the Firefox browser (press the Alt key to view Tools option)
- Click on Add-ons
- Go to Add-ons Manager page and type ‘blocksite’ in the search bar
- Select the first search result – BlockSite
- Install this add-on
- Restart the browser after installation
- Go to Tools > Add-ons >Add-on Manager page
- Click on the Extensions tab
- Select BlockSite and click on Options
- Hit the Add button in the BlockSite Preferences window
- Enter the URL and click on OK
Now, resume to your browsing and Firefox and you won’t be able to access the added URL hereafter.
Related Reading: 12+ Ways to Speed Up Firefox Quantum Browser 2018
4. Set Parental Controls with Microsoft’s Family Safety
There’s a growing need to monitor a child’s computer usage. Microsoft is very well aware of this and has developed the Family Safety feature. It allows complete parental control to Windows user accounts.
With the Family Safety feature, your Windows user accounts are safer in the hands of children. Thanks to Microsoft, a parent’s permission can safely control a child from viewing or restricting websites.
To block websites with Family Safety,
- Click on the Start menu and open the Settings window (click on the gear icon)
- Go to Accounts section and click on ‘Family & Other People’
- Here, login to your current user account (feed in the username and password)
- Click on Manage Family Settings Online
- Then, go to Web Browsing (left pane)
- Enable the toggle for – Block Inappropriate Websites
- Read and select the type of websites (SafeSearch is still active)
- Close the window and restart your PC
Now, for the current Microsoft user account, access to all inappropriate websites gets blocked. You’ll have to disable the above feature to unblock the websites manually.
You can also use the Family Safety feature to block inapt websites on other Microsoft devices such as the Xbox and Lumia phones.
5. Edit Host Files
To block websites thoroughly, you can make some changes in the host files. This way, you can also restrict Edge from accessing certain URLs.
To edit host files on Windows 10/8/7,
- Open the File Explorer window
- Go to the address – C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\
- Double-click on a text file that says “hosts” or “imhost”
- It opens in the Notepad app
- You’ll see a text line –127. 0.0.1 localhost
- Add the following lines below it –
- 127.0.0.1 www.url.com
- Here, instead of typing “url”, you’ll type the website’s name (for e.g. www.google.com)
- Click on the File menu in the Notepad app
- Click on Save and close the file
Now, open Edge or any other web browser on Windows and try accessing the blocked website. Any luck?
6. Modify Router Settings
Wi-Fi routers with advanced settings can also block websites on Windows. You can tweak the settings to block web pages and URLs.
Your router has several levels of filtering out websites. Open your web browser and type http://192.168.1.1 in the address bar. Hit the Enter key and you’ll be redirected to your router’s settings page.
Here, you can browse through the features to block websites. Some routers have URL filters that can block web pages. You can also get Parental Control features on your Wi-Fi router.
Advanced routers have a built-in firewall to secure the Internet connection. You can tune up the firewall settings on your router to block malicious websites, ads, and pop-ups.
So, let us know how you went about blocking websites on your Windows PC. Leave your comments below.