Google Chrome logo with a red background.

Do you find yourself accessing Facebook, Twitter, or other distracting websites when you really should be doing something else instead? Block that website in Google Chrome. Other solutions will let you block websites for children at home or employees, too.

How to Quickly Block a Website for Yourself

Blocking websites with the Block Site Chrome browser textension.

We recommend Block Site for Chrome for quickly blocking websites. Install it, and you can use the extension’s simple options to define a list of blocked sites. You can even set up a redirection, so you’re automatically pointed at a website you should be using (perhaps your workplace’s website) when you visit a blocked site. Or, enable it on a schedule so you can look at Facebook all you want—as long as it’s outside of the hours you should define.

This isn’t foolproof. In fact, it’s the opposite. You can quickly edit Block Site’s permissions to unblock websites. And, while you can define password protection, anyone using your computer could open any other web browser to get around the block. It’s a way to keep yourself on track and add some additional friction before you access a website—that’s all. It’s not a way to control access to websites for children at home or employees in an organization

If you don’t want an extension like Block Site to run on every website you visit, you can use Google Chrome’s extensions permissions to restrict its access. For example, if you just want to block Facebook, you could restrict Block SIte to only run on facebook.com.

RELATED: How to Control a Chrome Extension's Permissions

Experienced geeks may be used to blocking websites using their system’s hosts file, which lets you define a custom list of domains and the IP addresses associated with them. Note that Google Chrome ignores your system’s hosts file. This prevents malware from redirecting websites like Facebook to malicious locations, but it also prevents you from blocking websites like Facebook in the same way. That’s why the extension is so useful.

How to Block Websites With Parental Controls

Blocking websites on an Asus router with the URL Filter List feature.

The Block Site extension works fine—for yourself. But you can’t effectively use it to block access to websites for your children.

Many Wi-Fi routers have built-in website-blocking features, and that will work much better than this Chrome extension. If your router has such a feature, you can tell your router to block a website, and no one on your Wi-Fi network will be able to access it. People could still use VPN or proxies to get around the blacklist, of course—nothing is foolproof.

You might also want to examine parental control software that runs on your computer itself. In addition to third-party parental control software, your operating system contains some useful tools.

For example, the Family features in Windows 10 will let you block websites for a child account. On a Mac, the Screen Time feature added in macOS Catalina will let you restrict access to sites. On a Chromebook, you can use Family Link to control which websites a child’s account can visit.

How to Block a Website in an Organization

Organizations using Chrome Enterprise can use Chrome’s URLBlacklist feature to block individual websites. This feature is intended for IT professionals managing an organization’s devices and won’t help you manage Chrome at home. Consult Google’s website-blocking documentation for more information.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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