- Limit chances of downloading malware or visiting an unsecured site
- Limit access to productivity-draining sites
- Monitor children’s access to web pages
- Block pornography or other content
What happens when a website is blocked?
For a web page or site to be blocked, the URL must be blocked through an HTTP request. URL blocking often occurs at the computer or router level (though internet service providers will sometimes block customers’ content). If a URL filter sees that the URL in an HTTP request matches a URL that’s stored in a database to block, it will deny the request to connect to the web page.
URL blocking is not always effective at blocking all web pages on a blocked website. If the page URL differs in structure or domain, the URL filter doesn’t always catch the blocked site.
For example, you may have set a URL filter that blocks www.NotSafeForWorkThings.com. But if that site contains links that point to docs.NotSafeForWorkThings.html, you should use an additional URL filter if you want to ensure that no one accesses those web pages. Not all filters perfectly block sites, and they can also block sites that weren’t intended to be blocked.
How to block websites on Chrome: enterprises
If an organization has a Google account, network administrators can control web page access. Organizations often choose to block websites that have unprofessional or pornographic content, have the potential to distract employees (such as social media sites or entertainment), or contain malware, adware, or any other unsafe links.
If you are a Google administrator for your organization, navigate to the Admin console home page in your Google account. Select Devices and choose Chrome.
Select Users & Browsers.
Select the appropriate organizational unit (your company). If you’re setting restrictions for a smaller group in the organization, select or create a child organizational unit under the larger one.
Under URL Blocking, enter URLs that are not permitted.
To create exceptions to Blocked URLs, you can create an allowlist. This list will override any web pages in the Blocked list; for example, if Twitter is included in your blocked URLs but you’ve listed it in Allow, users in your organization will be able to access Twitter.
Deploy all changes to your organization. You may need to reload or restart Chrome before changes are active.
Google allows blocking a total of 1,000 URLs.
If you’re an administrator, you can block websites by operating system or computer as well.
WindowsOpen Windows Explorer (version 7) or File Explorer (versions 8.1 and 10). Type gpedit.msc into the address bar and search it. Note that this feature only works on Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows, and only network admins can use it.
This takes you to the Microsoft Windows Group Policy Editor. Select Policies.
Select Administrative Templates > Google > Google Chrome.
Enable the policy Block access to a list of URLs.
Enter the URLs you want to block.
Enable Allows access to list of URLs if you want to create an allowlist. Add URLs that you want allowed.
Deploy this change to users.
MacIf you are an administrator, navigate to the Chrome policy configuration profile, or .plist file. Add all URLs you wish to block to the URLBlocklist key. For any you want to allow, add to the URLAllowlist key.
LinuxNavigate to Chrome Settings and select the managed policies folder. Use the JSON file editor to create or edit the file for URLs. Add URLs to the block and access categories. Deploy the update to your users.
How to block websites on Chrome: personal users
The easiest way to block a website on a Windows computer is to use the Chrome extension BlockSite.
Open Chrome and search the Chrome Web Store. Within the store, search BlockSite.
There are other site-blocking applications available, but BlockSite is the most popular as of summer 2021.
Click BlockSite and select Add to Chrome.
Once you have downloaded BlockSite, click its logo in the top right corner of the browser, to the left of the three vertical Chrome dots.
Accept the terms and conditions.
Once BlockSite is installed and a web page loads, type any URL that you want to block into the bar that reads “Enter a web address.”
Once you have entered a URL and finalized your choice by clicking the check mark, that site will no longer load properly on your browser, and you’ll receive a message that you have blocked that site.
You can also navigate to a site you want to block, and when the extension is active in your browser, a popup will appear and ask you if you want to block the site. You can block it directly from there. This is helpful if you come across a site that looks suspicious, isn’t secure, or has a lot of ads.
The same process applies to Mac computers as well.
On a Mac, if you don’t want to block sites using a third-party extension, there is a method of blocking them through your computer settings. Note that this will block sites on Safari and other browsers, too, not just Chrome.
Navigate to System Preferences and select Screen Time. Choose Content & Privacy, turn it on if it’s toggled off, and choose the Content tab. Select Allowed websites only and the Customize tab underneath. When the box for websites pops up, click the + sign and add all URLs you wish to block.
How to block websites on Chrome: mobile
Blocking websites on Android mobile phones is a quick process using BlockSite. Download BlockSite from the Google Play store.
In your Android’s settings, navigate to the BlockSite app and give BlockSite permission to block websites by clicking Enable.
Leave Settings and go to the app on your phone’s main screen. Select the + icon on the screen and begin typing URLs you want to block into the bar.
Select the green check mark that pops up once you’ve entered a URL.
If you use an iPhone, download BlockSite from the App Store and follow the same process. When you go to Settings and select BlockSite, choose “Allow this app to make changes” or any similar option that will permit the app to block websites.
Note that this process will block websites for all browsers on your mobile device, not just Chrome.