You can access just about any website on Safari, but there are times when you’d want to block some websites for one reason or another. Maybe you share your Mac with your family, or your kids use it for school and entertainment. Maybe you just prefer not to access certain websites. Whatever the reason, Mac allows you to block websites from launching on Safari.
There are several ways to block websites on Safari on your Mac, the obvious being third-party website blocker apps. But you can also block websites using Mac’s Screen Time feature, and in Safari through your router. Not sure how that works? We’ve got you covered. This article will show you all the ways to block websites on Safari on your Mac.
Before we start
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Let’s have a look at all the ways you can block websites on Safari on your Mac.
In this article you will find the following:
How to block websites on Safari on Mac
You might already know how to block undesirable websites on Google Chrome, but did you know you can also do the same on Safari? You can block unwanted sites on Safari on your Mac in four ways.
How to block websites in Safari on a Mac using Screen Time
Apple’s Screen Time helps you manage and track usage on apps and websites on your Mac. In addition to scheduling downtime and setting limits, it allows you to block unwanted websites on your Mac.
The first way to do this is by choosing the websites you want to access on Safari:
- Open System Preferences on your Mac, then click on Screen Time
- Click on Content & Privacy on the left of the screen
- In the top-right corner, click Turn On Content & Privacy Restrictions
- Now click on Allowed Websites Only, followed by Customize… to choose a list of websites you want to access through Safari on your Mac. This will block any website not listed from opening. Your Mac will let you know each time it blocks those websites in the background
The second method is to block particular websites.
- Open System Preferences, then click on Screen Time
- Click on App Limits on the side bar on the left of the screen
- Click Turn On App Limits in the top-right corner
- Now click on the plus icon in the bottom-left corner of the App Limits box
- Scroll down to Websites and click on the arrow on the left to see a list of possible websites to block. You can also add more websites to the list by clicking on the green plus icon and paste or type the URL of the website in the text box. If you want to block that website completely, leave the Time field as is at 0h 0m. Alternatively, you can choose the amount of time you want to spend on the website each day using the arrows next to Every Day. You can also set a custom time by clicking on Custom, followed by Edit. Now choose your daily time limit by checking the boxes
That’s it, you will now only be able to browse the websites you prefer.
How to block websites in Safari on a Mac with Terminal
Terminal is Mac’s interface that allows you to block websites without parental controls. It works by blocking websites from opening on the local IP address. As this is a more technical method, only attempt it if you’re comfortable with using command-line prompts.
Launch Finder on your Mac:
- Click on Applicatons, then double-click on the Utilities folder
- Double-click on Terminal to launch it
- Start by backing up the host file. This is an important step, in case anything goes wrong. To back up the host file, type “sudo /bin/cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts-original” on a new line and press the Return key
- Enter your Mac’s admin password when prompted, then press the Return key again.
- Type “sudo nano /etc/hosts”, followed by the Return key
- Using the down arrow key on your Mac, go to a new line and add the URL of the website you want to block, with the local IP address “127.0.0.1” before it, separated by a space. Be sure to add all the versions of the website on a new line, For example, “127.0.0.1 onlyfans.com” and “127.0.0.1 www.onlyfans.com”. Do this for every website you want to block
- When you’re done, press Control-O. Now press the Return key. Your blocked websites are now saved
- To exit Terminal, press Control-X
If you’re uncomfortable with using this method, there are more ways to block websites on Safari.
Related reading: How to use Terminal command line on your Mac
How to block websites in Safari on a Mac through router
Another way to block websites on your Mac is through your router’s settings:
1. Find your IP address on your router; it’s usually at the bottom. Alternatively, you can go to your Mac’s System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi > Advanced… > TCP/IP. Your IP address will be shown next to Router
2. Type the address of the website you want to block in Safari
3. Now type your router’s admin name and password upon request
4. On the Settings page, find the options to block websites, and add each website you want to block
You’re all set. Just remember to do this again if you get a new router in the future.
How to block websites in Safari on a Mac using third-party website blocker apps
Up until now, we’ve showed you multiple ways to block websites on a device level. The final way to block websites on your Mac is with the help of third-party apps. Here are three apps we recommend:
As the name suggests, 1Focus helps you stay focused on any work or task you’re busy with by eliminating distractions, like websites. This is one of the more popular focus apps. Blocking websites on 1Focus is easy.
1Focus allows you to block websites on the free version, but you can do more with in-app purchases. The free version lasts for 14 days, after which you’ll have to pay around $2/month or $10/year, unless you cancel your trial before the trial period is up.
Session allows you to work in 25-minute sessions. What makes it unique is that it has a wellness element to it — the app prompts you to breathe before you start a new session and take a break when you’re done. You can block websites to limit distractions while you work or study. The app is free, but to use the Website Blocker feature, you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro version.
If you’re impressed with the free version of the app and are willing to upgrade, you’re looking at paying around $4/month.
This focus app helps you limit distractions across all your devices simultaneously, unlike other website blockers which are device-specific. Like other apps, Freedom allows you to create a list of blocked websites. Checking the optional Locked Mode box locks in your sessions by not allowing you to edit your blocklists while you work.
Freedom offers you six free sessions. When you’ve used them up, you’ll have to pay $7/month to continue using the app.
Block unwanted websites easily on your Mac
Mac offers multiple ways to block websites in Safari. Most of these are built-in solutions, but you can also block websites through apps found on the App Store and online. Choose the method that is most suitable to you from the options laid out in this article.
*You can download the app for free and try its functionality yourself before making a purchase.