Available in macOS and iOS, Apple’s Safari is one of the most popular web browsers, offering a great way for Apple users to browse websites. Websites can be entertaining, or informational, or distracting (when you want to get work done), or harmful (if they deliver inappropriate content). This article will show you how to block websites on Safari easily on desktop and mobile.
Blocking access to certain websites on Safari can help reduce distractions or keep children away from bad content online.
The best way to block access to websites on a Mac is to use Cisdem AppCrypt, the best websites blocker and app locker for macOS. It’s very useful and easy to use. Below are the steps to blocking websites.
1. Download the Safari website blocker app. Install it.
2. When you first open the app, set a password.
3. From the menu bar at the top of your screen, click its icon and choose Open Main Window. Enter the password.
4. In the main window, click Web Block.
5. Enter a website such as youtube.com and click the Add button. Continue adding more unwanted websites to block. Or, you can block websites by category such as Video Sites.
Now the websites are blocked and not available on Safari, Google Chrome and Opera etc. on your Mac. When you try to open a blocked website, it won’t open, and you will see the message shown below.
How to unblock websites on Safari?
Click the padlock icon in the top menu bar. Choose Open Main Window and then enter the password. Under the Web Block tab, select the website(s) that you want to unblock and press the Delete key. Now the websites are unblocked and can be opened by Safari and other browsers.
Or, if you only want to temporarily unblock websites, just choose Disable Web Block and then enter the password. You can enable the blocking at any time.
Tip 1: Block all websites except one on Safari
Sometimes, you may want to block access to all websites except a few. For this purpose, you can turn on the Block all websites option and then add the allowed websites to the Always Allow list in Exceptions. For example, you can allow only child-friendly websites to make Safari child-safe.
Tip 2: Block a website on Safari for a period of time
Sometimes, you may want to block a website on Safari for a period of time to improve your productivity. In this case, this Safari website blocker app also helps. It enables you to block a certain website on Safari and other browsers during certain hours (such as work hours) of every day or of certain days (such as school days) of the week. Click the website from your block list. Click the clock icon that appears. Then set the time you want to block access to this site.
There are also third-party solutions to block websites on Safari on iPhone without Screen Time. Liberate is a Safari website blocker application developed by Jordan Carney. It enables users to block sites in Safari and set an end date. You can’t access the sites during the date and time you set.
1. Download and install this tool from App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Launch it. Edit the blacklist.
3. Click the plus icon on the upper right corner. Add sites to block.
4. Click Start Blocking on the bottom.
5. Set an end date and time for the blocking. Click on Go.
Then the blocking will take effect immediately. You won’t be able to access the sites in Safari until before the date you set. You will be notified when the time is up.
The Terminal app is a terminal emulator coming with macOS. It provides a command line interface to access the operating system. With Terminal, you can edit the hosts file, an operating system file. By editing the hosts file, you can block individual websites on Safari (and other browsers).
This method can be complex. If you are not familiar or confident with the command line, then ignore it.
Note: The blocking can be bypassed by using a VPN.
1. Open Terminal from Launchpad or the Finder.
2. Enter the command “sudo nano /etc/hosts” and then press the Return key.
3. Enter your admin password when you are asked for it. Press the Return key.
4. Use the Down Arrow key to go down to find space for the content you are going to add.
5. To block a specific website such as Twitter, enter “127.0.0.1” and then enter “twitter.com”. On a new line, enter “127.0.0.1” and then “www.twitter.com”. You can continue blocking more.
6. Perform the keyboard shortcut Control-O and then press the Return key, which is to add the changes to the hosts file.
Now the websites should be blocked. Try to open a blocked site on Safari, and you will see the “Safari Can’t Open the Page” message.
How to unblock websites?
If you block specific websites on Safari by editing the hosts file, you can unblock them by editing the file again. You can remove the lines that you add to the file. Or, you can type the number sign # in front of each line.
If your main area of work or study is your home, and your devices are always connected to Wi-Fi, you can block websites on Safari through your router. This method also helps parents filter inappropriate websites on the Internet for kids. (Just make sure your child can only use Wi-Fi and not a data connection.)
1. Open a web browser. Enter your router’s IP address.
On Mac computer, you can find your router’s IP address through: System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi. Click the Wi-Fi you are connected to. Click TCP/IP. Then you can see your router’s IP address.
On iPhone, go to Settings > Wi-Fi. Click on the Wi-Fi you are connected to. Then you’ll find your router’s IP address.
2. Sign in with the username and password.
3. Most routers have a web filtering function. Look for the section like “web filter”, “site blocker”, or “parental controls”, etc.
4. Add the URLs that you want to block on Safari to the block list.
5. Save your settings.
A browser extension is a small tool that can be added to a web browser. There are a variety of extensions. Some of them can help users block sites. Most browsers support extensions. Unlike browsers such as Google, Safari does not have a dedicated extensions store. You need to download Safari extensions from the App Store. There is a well-known website blocking extension available for Safari. It’s called “about:blank”.
Note: As with any browser extension, there is a problem. One can effortlessly bypass the blocking by uninstalling the extension.
1. On your Mac, open Safari.
2. Go to the top menu bar. Choose Safari > Safari Extensions, which will open the App Store app.
3. Sort the listed Safari extensions by Name. Choose the website blocker extension for Safari called about:blank. Install it.
4. When the installation is complete. Quit Safari and open it again. Now you should find the extension icon next to the address bar.
5. To block a website on Safari, open the website, click the extension icon and then click the plus icon (+) in the window that pops up.
Now the website is blocked. If you reload it, you will receive the “The URL was blocked by a content blocker” message. The blocking applies to both Safari’s normal and private browsing modes.
Safari in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 support web extensions. Before blocking websites on Safari on iPhone or iPad using web blocker extensions, you may need to upgrade your device. To add a Safari website blocker extension to iPhone:
1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Scroll down to find Safari.
3. Tap on Extensions > More Extensions. Then it will take you to the App Store with all apps that supports Safari extensions.
4. Choose a web blocker extension you want to use. Like one sec-a screen time control extensions that allows you to block websites on Safari. Download it.
5. Then you have to enable the Safari extension. Go back to Settings > Safari > Extensions.
6. Find the website blocker extension you just downloaded. Enable it.
Now you can add sites to block on Safari.
Apple’s Screen Time is a set of tools to help with productivity and parental controls. If your Mac is running macOS Catalina or macOS Big Sur or later, then you can use Screen Time to restrict website access on Safari.
1. In the top left corner of your Mac’s screen, click the Apple icon. Choose System Preferences.
2. Choose Screen Time.
3. In the Screen Time window, click Options in the bottom left corner.
4. Click Turn On to enable Screen Time on your computer.
5. Click Content & Privacy in the sidebar. Click Turn On to turn on the restrictions.
6. Under the Content tab, choose Limit Adult Websites.
7. Click the Customize button that appears.
8. Go to the Restricted section. Click the plus icon (+) and add a specific website that you want to block on Safari for Mac. Add other unwanted websites. Click OK.
9. Click Options. Enable Use Screen Time Passcode. Set a passcode.
Note: This method makes use of the "Limit Adult Websites" tool in Screen Time. In addition to the websites you add, it automatically blocks many adult websites on Safari, which is useful. But sometimes it may go too far and make some normal websites inaccessible, which can cause inconvenience.
Tip 1: Screen Time allows you to block all websites except approved ones. Just choose "Allowed Websites Only" under the Content tab and then add the sites you approve.
Tip 2: If you want to set time limit for certain websites on Safari on Mac, go to the "App Limits" section. Click "Add Limit". Scroll down to the end to find "Websites". Then click the dropdown arrow and enter the URL you want to set time limits on Safari. In the "Time" section, set the amount of time that you allow to spend on the site. Click on "Done".
Applies to: iOS 12 or later; iPadOS
Screen Time is also available on iPhone and iPad. Therefore, there is a built-in way to restrict websites on the mobile version of Safari.
1. Open Settings. Tap Screen Time.
2. Tap Turn On Screen Time.
3. Tap Use Screen Time Passcode. Set a passcode.
4. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. Turn it on.
5. Tap Content Restrictions and then tap Web Content.
6. Tap Limit Adult Websites.
7. In the Never Allow section, tap Add Website.
8. Enter the website that you want to restrict in the URL field and tap done.
|Web blocker app||
1. More flexible. Cisdem AppCrypt let you block websites on Safari by URLs, category, or keywords.
2. Help you limit the time you spend on distractions.
3. Offer many advanced options for you to choose from.
4. The blocking also applies to other browsers like Chrome.
5. Easier to use.
6. Hard to bypass.
|1. Need to install third-party application.|
1. Free to use.
2. It allows you to add an unlimited number of websites to block.
1. Only applies to macOS.
2. Difficult to set up.
3. You need to enter the URLs you want to block one by one.
1. The blocking applies to all devices that connected to the network.
2. Let you block inappropriate content on Safari easily.
1. The blocking relies on Wi-Fi connection.
2. Not all routers have built-in web filters.
|Web blocker extension||
1. It only block websites on Safari and does not affect other browsers on your device.
2. Let you block specific websites or webpages on Safari.
1. The steps to install extensions on Safari are more difficult than on other browsers.
2. The blocking can be easily bypassed by removing the extension.
1. Built-in Apple devices.
2. Let you block websites permanently or set time limits.
3. Block most adult websites on Safari with 1-click.
1. Less customizable.
2. You can ignore the limit and be allowed to add sites to the allowed list easily.
3. It doesn’t work on other browsers like Chrome.
Limiting access to certain websites is a great way to improve productivity, put parental controls, reduce screen time and help keep kids safe online. This article shows you how to block websites on Safari on Mac and iPhone in different ways, with or without Screen Time. I hope it is helpful.
Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.
I prefer using screen time. It's free to use. Focus also seems easy to use. thanks.
Have been using AppCrypt the past month to block sites and it is extremely easy to use and helpful! Love its simple UI!
Very helpful! Thank you!