How to block distracting websites banner

Do you find it difficult to escape the internet? Use these free applications and simple techniques to prevent yourself from getting distracted.

Table Of Contents

  1. Blacklist Sites With Applications |  Use these applications to block distracting websites for X number of hours.
  2. Blacklist Sites With Browser Apps |  Install these browser extensions to temporarily block access to specified website in that browser.
  3. Use A Work Only Browser |  Use a second browser with permanent blocks on blacklisted websites for work, and use the unrestricted browser for casual use.
  4. Use A Work Only User Profile |  Create a second user profile in your computer operating system just for work.
  5. BONUS: Use Airplane Mode |  Temporarily turn off access to the internet (including notifications, updates, messages, email) on your smartphone.
  6. Download This Article
  7. Comments

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1. Blacklist Sites With Applications

If you want to block access to specific websites from your computer for a set number of hours, then install one of the programs below.

  • Windows
  • Mac

Cold Turkey Application

Step 1: Install Cold Turkey
Download and install the application here
Step 2: Blacklist Websites
Open the application and click Edit Blacklist and add the websites you wish to block

Self Control Application

Step 1: Install Self Control
Download and install the application here
Step 2: Blacklist Websites
Open the application and click Edit Blacklist and add the websites you wish to block
Step 3: Set the Timer
Choose how long you would like the blacklist to stay in effect
Step 4: Start
Self Control will completely block off all access to these websites from all browsers and cannot be reversed until the timer runs out. Even if you restart.

2. Blacklist Sites With Browser Apps

If you want to block certain websites in your browser, but have the option to remove the blocks, then install one of these. However, this option is not as strict as applications in option 1, because the blocks can be removed by turning the browser app off.

  • Chrome
  • IE 10 & 11
  • IE 7 to 9
  • Firefox
  • Safari

Block Site Extension

Step 1: Install Block site
Click here and add to Chrome
Step 2: Enable
Click Window > Extensions > Block site > Enable/Disable
Step 3 (Optional): Add a Redirect Site
You can add the URL of a site you would like to be redirected to when you visit a blocked site in the Default redirect page field under the list of blocked sites
Step 4: Create a Blacklist
Click Window > Extensions > Block site > Options
Type in the website addresses you wish to block
Step 5: Add Websites
Enter the URLs of the websites you wish to block

Restrict Sites

Step 1: Security
Click Tools > Internet Options > Security tab
Step 2: Block Sites
Click Trusted Sites and enter the URL of the site you'd like to block, then click Never > Okay

Content Advisor

Step 1: Activate Content Advisor
Click Tools > Internet Options > Content > Settings (under Content Advisor)
Step 2: Create Unapproved Sites List
a) In the Content Advisor pop-up click Approved Sites
b) In the Allow This Website text box, enter the websites you want to block.
c) Click Never.
d) Repeat for all websites you wish to block.
e) Click Okay.
Step 3 (Optional): Modify the Ratings Slider
By default, the ratings slider in Content Advisor > Ratings is set to None. You may prefer to have it set to Unrestricted.
Step 4: Enable/Disable Content Advisor
Click Tools > Internet Options > Content > Enable/Disable

BlockSite Firefox Add-on

Step 1: Install BlockSite
Click here and add to Firefox
Install and restart Firefox
Step 2: Enable/Disable BlockSite
Click Tools > Add-ons > Enable/Disable BlockSite
Step 3: Create a Blacklist
Click Add and enter the URL of the websites you want to restrict when you’re studying

Mindful Browsing Safari Extension

Step 1: Install
Download and install the application from here
Step 2: Enable
Click Safari > Preferences > Mindful Browsing > Enable Mindful Browsing
Step 3: Settings
Specify the time of day the extension will be in effect and other settings.
Step 4: Block Sites
A new icon (see below) will appear next to the URL bar at the top of the Safari browser. Click this icon when you are on a site you would like to block.
Image here

3. Use A Work Only Browser

If you find yourself having to constantly block websites when you start working/studying and unblocking them when you’re done, then it makes sense to use separate browsers for each situation. For example, you could use Chrome for regular daily use and Firefox for “study mode” or “work mode.” This can easily be done by adding all the website restrictions on one browser, while leaving the other unrestricted.

For example, you could apply website restrictions to Chrome, which you use exclusively for work. However, when you’re not working, you use Firefox, which has no restrictions applied.

4. Use A Work Only User Profile

If you want to create a restricted work or study environment that not only blocks websites, but distracting programs as well, this can be done by creating a second user profile on your computer with the desired restrictions. You would then log into the new “restricted” account when you want to study or work.

  • Windows
  • Mac

Windows Live Family Safety

Step 1: Install
Windows Live Family Safety is included in the Windows Essentials package. Download it here and install.
Step 2: Sign in
a) Click the Windows button
b) Search for Windows Live Family Safety
c) Open the application
d) Sign in
e) Click the Family Safety link that appears
Step 3: Block Websites
a) Select the account you want to configure
b) Select Web Filtering on the left menu
c) Allow or Block List

Parental Controls

Step 1: Open Parental Controls
a) Click the Apple icon on the top left of your screen
b) Click System Preferences
b) Select Parental Controls
Step 2: Enable Parental Controls
a) Select the account and click Enable Parental Controls
b) Select the Content tab (Web in OSX Lion) 
c) Click Customize
Step 3: Block Websites
a) Click the + icon and enter the URL of the site you would like to block
b) Click Okay

5. Airplane Mode

Though not a way to block specific websites, you can easily block all notifications and internet access on any device by putting it into airplane mode. On iOS and Android, just swipe into your notifications view and click the airplane mode button. On a PC, click on your internet connection and turn off wi-fi (and disconnect the internet cable). In this way, you eliminate all notifications and prevent yourself from using the internet entirely.

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