5 Ways to Block Websites on Mac with or without Parent Controls

2020-03-04 22:40:02 / Posted by Rosa Reyes to Utility Follow @ Rosa

To be distracted is human. There are always things that prevent us from focusing on work or study. Sometimes we just can’t stop ourselves from reading Facebook feed, refreshing Instagram and watching YouTube videos. In these cases, blocking websites on your mac becomes quite important.

Blocking distracting websites can help us become more focused and productive. Also, blocking inappropriate websites can help parents keep children safer online. This article will show you 5 ways on how to block websites on Mac, with or without Parental Controls on macOS, including the latest macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Easiest Way to Block Websites on Mac in Safari or Chrome

If you want to block websites on Mac without Parental Controls, the easiest and best way is to use a dedicated website blocker for Mac, let’s say, Cisdem AppCrypt.

Cisdem AppCrypt comes with an easy-to-use interface and useful features, allowing users to lock apps or block websites on a preferred schedule, no matter you want to block distractions permanently or for a period of time. In addition, it provides high-level security to protect your privacy and secure your blocking plans.

How to Block Websites on Mac in Safari or Chrome?

Cisdem AppCrypt offers 2 solutions to block websites in Safari or Chrome on Mac, i.e. blocking permanently or temporarily. 

Method 1. How to Block Websites on Mac in Safari or Chrome Permanently?

  1. Login into the Administrator account or others on your mac you want to block websites for;
  2. Download and install AppCrypt on your Mac. When you first launch the app, you will be asked to set a password;set a password to block websites on Mac
  3. Click WebBlock in the upper right part of the main window.main windowThe Preferences window will show up. Under the WebBlock tab, you can block one or multiple websites by adding them to the blacklist. If you need to block all sites except a few, you can add use the Whitelist feature.add websites to block
  4. Then find the Cisdem AppCrypt icon here and click “Enable WebBlock”; enable webblock

Now let’s open Safari or Chrome and visit youtube.com, you will find YouTube website is blocked as following. Of course, you can follow these steps to block any inappropriate or adult websites as needed.

websites are blocked


Method 2. How to Block Websites on Mac in Safari or Chrome Temporarily?

  1. Login into the Administrator account or others on your mac you want to block websites for;
  2. Download and install Cisdem AppCrypt to your mac, and set a password if you are a first-time user;
    Free download
  3. Run the program, go to WebBlock and bring up the Preferences interface;
  4. Add the inappropriate or other specific websites to the blacklist;
  5. Then go to Schedule, choose the time and day you want to unblock the website.
    For example, if you want to open a specific website all the morning for each Wednesday to Friday, you can set the unblock schedule as following, and your added websites will be blocked temporarily for the time excluded from the unblock time schedule.unblock schedule
  6. Finally, find the Cisdem AppCrypt icon and click “Enable WebBlock”;enable webblock


Extended: How to Unblock Websites on Mac in Safari or Chrome?

To unblock a website, you can remove it from the blacklist. Select the domain and click the minus icon. Alternatively, you can click the AppCrypt icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select Disable WebBlock.

enable or disable WebBlock

To disable WebBlock, you need to enter the correct password. If someone enters a wrong password when attempting to unblock websites or to access locked apps, the app will keep record of the failed attempt.

record of failed attempts

Tip: In Preferences, you can create a keyboard shortcut to enable/disable WebBlock.


Block Websites on macOS 10.15 Catalina: Screen Time

With the growing popularity of Screen Time that comes with iOS since 2018, now macOS also brings this brilliant productivity-booster tool to mac users who have upgraded to macOS 10.15 Catalina.

If you want to block inappropriate or adult websites in Safari on your Catalina, Screen Time can tackle this. However if you want to block websites on mac in Chrome, Screen Time is helpless, you may need to try Cisdem AppCrypt.

How to Block Websites on macOS Catalina in Safari?

  • Step 1. Go to Apple icon>System Preferences> Screen Time;
  • Step 2. Then go to Content&Privacy;screentime block websites01
  • Step 3. Go to Web Content>Limit Adult Websites;screentime block websites 02
  • Step 4. Then click on Customize, then click “+” to add Restricted or Allowed URLs for websites blocking in Safari;screentime block websites 03


How to Block a Website on Mac with Parental Controls

You can use Parental Controls in Mac OS X to help prevent user accounts from accessing to some Internet websites regardless of which Internet browser is used. This part describes how to block websites using Parental Controls step by step.

  • Step 1. Go to Apple icon>System Preferences>Parental Controls.
  • Step 2. Click the lock to make changes and enter your password;block websites mac parental controls01
  • Step 3. Select the user account on the left side of the window that you would like to enable parental controls.
  • Step 4. Go to Web>Try to limit access to adult websites;block websites mac parental control02
  • Step 5. Then click Customize to add blocked websites, you can add allowed or prohibited websites. And click OK to enable websites blocking on mac.block websites mac parental control03

Parental Controls cannot be enabled for administrator accounts (admin accounts will not appear in the window). Check Accounts preferences in System Preferences to see which account(s) have what level of access (Admin, Managed, and so forth). How to block websites on a Mac administrator account? If you have such a need, you can use the first method.


How to Block Websites on Mac Terminal (Edit Host)

Still, there are more options to block websites on mac without Parent Controls, like Terminal.

Using Terminal to blocking website on Mac is free for Mac users without buying any application. The process is relatively quick, and requires altering your Mac’s hosts file to redirect a specified domain name. This process will prevent users from seeing content you deem block-worthy across all browsers but that can be reversed should you want to grant access to the sites in the future. Follow below steps to block a website whether you use Safari or other Internet browsers.

Steps to Block Websites on Mac with Terminal

  • Step 1. Go to Finder, find the app Terminal and run it;
  • Step 2. Paste “sudo nano /etc/hosts” to Terminal as following; block websites mac host 01
  • Step 3. Press “Enter”, when Password appears, input your mac password and press Enter again;block websites mac host 02
  • Step 4. Now the host file is ready for editing, go to the end of the host file, copy and paste “” in a new line, input the website name you want to block on mac, for example, YouTube.com.block websites mac host 03
  • Step 5. Once you have added all blocked website URL, press Control+O to save the host file and press Control+X to exit;

Note: You can also unlock these websites by repeating the steps above but removing the information entered in step 4. This method on how to block a website on Mac can be tedious.


How to Block Websites on Mac with Browser Extensions

Some Internet browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox allow you to download extensions for your browser in which you can manage websites. Go to your Internet search engine and enter keyword phrases such as "Chrome add-ons" or "Firefox extensions" to locate websites that feature add-ons for your particular browser. Then download the extensions and add them to your browsers. Here I will set BlockSite and tinyFilter extension as the example to block websites on mac without installing any software.

How to Block Websites on Mac with BlockSite?

  • Step 1. Add BlockSite extension to your Mac. And right click the icon to choose Option.
  • Step 2. Add pages to the list of blocked sites, such as google.com Prevent Access to Websites Using Internet Browser Extensions Step 2
  • Step 3. When you open google, you will find the website is blocked by BlockSite extention.blocksite

Pro Tip: To block websites on Mac for a period of time, click Schedule in the upper right corner of the main screen. You can set the start time and the end time. Add one or multiple intervals if needed. You can also select days of the week. Click Set Schedule to save your settings.


How to Block Websites on Mac with tinyFilter?

tinyFilter is another choice if you prefer to block websites on your Mac without using parental controls or installing any software. As the name suggests, it’s designed to be a internet content filter. By default, it blocks adult sites and related keywords which are removable.

  • Step 1. Download TinyFilter and add it to your browser. And you will find its icon on your browser toolbar.
  • Step 2. Add the websites you want to block to its Content Filter.
    Click the icon on the toolbar and then click options. On the option page, you can find the Content Filter section where you input the website URL you want to block and click the add button.use tinyfilter to block websites on mac
  • Step 3. Don’t forget to click the Save button to save your settings.
    You can enable the password protection function and set a password. The Advanced Settings allows you to customize the Warning Message and redirect blocked web pages.


macOS offers a built-in solution to block access to websites. If you want to block websites on Safari and other browsers on Mac without Parental Controls, the other 4 methods are worth trying. The most efficient way is to use a Mac website blocker. It’s easy to use and applicable to all browsers. Other methods are not equally effective. For example, if you use a browser extension, the blocked website will become accessible once you have the extension removed.

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4 Comments Leave a Reply

  • Darren

    I loved your post!!! exactly what I wanted. This will be useful to help my son get rid of the addiction from Internet. My son can't inadvertently click on any of these sites now.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • William

    Hello, thank you for posting this, it's been really helpful so far! I was just wondering, does anyone know of a way to block specific google searches and not google entirely?

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Susan

    There is no way to block specific google searches I think.

    5 years ago REPLY
  • Gina

    With these methods recommended in this article, I can block any websites I want to be blocked, and the app recommended to lock apps is really wonderful

    5 years ago REPLY