Are you looking for a URL blocker? Here’s a list of the 6 best URL blockers to block unwanted websites on desktop and mobile. There are several common scenarios where you may need to block URLs. By blocking distracting websites for studying or working, one can become more focused and productive. Many people, especially parents, have the need to block access to inappropriate URLs and websites. A URL blocker with timer can block websites at certain times, which can help limit screen time.
There are three common types of URL blockers.
Supported OS: macOS 10.10 or later, including Catalina
If you are a Mac user, you can use Cisdem AppCrypt, the best URL blocker for Mac, to easily block URLs.
Step 1. Download and install AppCrypt. When you open this URL blocker for Mac for the first time, it will require you to set a password. Set a password, read the warning and submit your password.
Step 2. Click AppCrypt icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen and choose Open Main Window.
In the main window, click WebBlock, which will open the Preferences window.
Step 3. Now you are under the WebBlock tab. Blocklist is enabled by default. To block a URL, you just need to add it to the Blocklist. Click the plus icon in the corner, enter a URL and hit the Return key.
To unblock a URL, select it in the Blocklist and click the minus icon .
When you try to visit a blocked URL, the page won’t open. Instead, it will show you the following image, telling you that the access is blocked.
If you want to use this Mac URL blocker for self-control and productivity, you can ask a family member or someone else that you trust to set the password for you. Without knowing the password, you won’t be able to unblock a website or quit the blocker.
You can switch to the Allowlist mode if needed. With this mode, this URL blocker will block all websites except the few on the Allowlist.
It can also block websites at certain times. In the Preferences window, choose Schedule. There, you will find a list of the blocked websites (and locked apps if any). Select the website of your choosing, click Settings in the corner. Click the plus icon to create a schedule. It allows you to easily select times of day and day of week. You can create multiple schedules. Once you finish creating, click OK. If you select the checkbox next to Apply to All, the schedule(s) will be applied to all your blocked websites.
To temporarily disable the blocking URL feature, click AppCrypt icon in the top menu bar and click Disable WebBlock, which will require password. Likewise, you can effortlessly enable it again.
Here’s how to quit this URL blocker for Mac. Provide the correct password to access the main window. Click the icon above Menu in the top right corner and select Exit.
Supported OS: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
Looking for free URL blocker software for Windows? This one can be a good choice. With it, Windows users can easily block access to specific URLS on web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
Step 1. Download and install URL Blocker. Open it.
Step 2. Click Add in the bottom right corner of the interface. Enter a URL. Click Add again. You can add URLs one by one.
Step 3. When you finish adding, click Apply in the top right corner.
The URLs that you have blocked will immediately become inaccessible.
Here's how to unblock URLs. In this URL blocker for Windows 10, select the checkbox before a URL and click Delete.
There is no option for you to create a password. As a result, this tool may not be effective enough if you want to block URLs for productivity at work. You can effortlessly unblock a distracting website or just quit the blocker itself. There isn’t any restriction. But it can be useful in some scenarios. For example, you can install this free website blocker on a family computer to prevent kids from visiting inappropriate URLs. It’s likely that kids can’t figure out how to get rid of the blocking.
Supported OS: macOS 10.15 or later
Available on macOS Catalina or later, Screen Time can be used as a URL blocker for Mac.
Step 1. Open Screen Time. You can find it in System Preferences or by using Spotlight.
Step 2. Navigate to the bottom left corner of Screen Time main window. Click Options.
Step 3. Click Turn On to enable Screen Time. Enable Use Screen Time Passcode and set a 4-digit passcode.
Step 4. On the left sidebar, select Content & Privacy. Click Turn On to turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions.
Step 5. Click the Content tab. Select Limit Adult Websites. Subsequently, the Customize button will show up. Click the button.
Step 6. Now go to the Restricted section. Click the plus icon there. Enter the URL that you want to block in the URL box. Click OK.
Step 7. Click OK and quit Screen Time.
Supported browser: Google Chrome, Firefox
If you prefer to install a free URL blocker extension on your web browser, then you can consider BlockSite.
Is BlockSite safe? Based on my experience, it’s safe to install and use. It’s also easily uninstallable. You can remove it from your browser at any time.
Step 1. Go to the Chrome Web Store. Enter "blocksite" in the Search Extensions box. Hit the Enter key. You should find this URL blocker extension in the results. The extension is offered by https://blocksite.co/.
Step 2. Add it to your Chrome. Once the installation is finished, the extension's icon will appear in the Chrome toolbar.
Step 3. There are two ways to add an unwanted website to this URL blocker. Here I will take facebook.com as example.
Now facebook.com is blocked. The steps are similar on Firefox.
After the extension is installed on your Chrome, you can still bypass the blocking by opening an incognito window where the extension doesn’t work. To prevent this, right-click the extension, choose Manage Extensions and enable Allow in incognito.
Click the URL blocker extension in the toolbar and choose Edit block list. Now you have access to all the settings and options and can easily edit your block list. Below are the things you can do.
Note that it's easy to remove this URL blocker extension from a browser if even you have added password protection.
Supported OS: iOS 12 or later
Screen Time is also available on iOS 12 or later. So if your iPhone or iPad is running on iOS 12 or iOS 13, then you can use Screen Time as URL blocker.
Step 1. On your iPhone, open Settings. Tap Screen Time.
Step 2. Tap Turn On Screen Time to enable it. You will be presented with some details about Screen Time. Tap Continue to continue.
Step 3. Confirm whether it's your iPhone or your kid's iPhone.
Step 4. Select Use Screen Time Passcode. A new screen will appear letting you set a passcode.
Step 5. Tap Content & Privacy Restriction. Enter the passcode.
Step 6. Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions and select Content Restrictions > Web Content > Limit Adult Websites.
Step 7. Now you will find two options: Always Allow and Never Allow. To use the URL blocker to block access to a specific URL, tap Add Website under Never Allow.
Step 8. Enter the URL that you'd like to block, say, https://www.youtube.com/. Tap Done. Likewise, you can continue to add more URLs.
Supported OS: Android 4.1 and up
How to block websites on Chrome mobile on Android? When it comes to URL blocker for Android, one can consider BlockSite. It’s from the same developer as the extension mentioned above.
Step 1. Download and install this free URL blocker for Android. You can get it from the Google Play Store.
Step 2. In the app, enable BlockSites first. Tap Block List at the bottom of the screen. Tap the plus icon.
Step 3. By default you are under the Website tab. There, you can add one or more URLs to block. Once a website or URL is blocked, it will appear in the Block List screen where you can easily delete or edit it.
By tapping the alarm clock icon in the top right corner, you can create a schedule, which allows you to block URLs for a period of time. There, you can set the Start/End time and select the days of the week. Note that the schedule will be applied to all the blocked websites and apps (if any). If you want to block a website permanently, you can enable the Always block this site option for that particular website.
Hopefully, you can find the best URL blocker that suits you from this list. By using a URL blocker, you can easily block access to URLs and websites contain distracting or inappropriate content. You can use it to get rid of distractions such as social media while working or studying. Parents can also use URL blocking software for parental control purpose.
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.