How to Block / Unblock Websites or Specific URLs on Windows Locally
Sometimes it becomes necessary to block certain websites or any web address on our PC. There can be several reasons behind this action but the most important ones are Parental Control and System Security risks.
In general it is easy to use Parental Control settings from Administrator account on another User account on Windows. You can find this option in Control panel named Parental Controls, using it you can perform tasks like web filtering and Activity monitoring. The only problem you will have with it is when you do not have separate User accounts but only one as primary administrative account.
Another reason for blocking certain links is when you do not want applications to auto update ( specially when you fear loosing activation). So here we will be going through two methods to block websites on Windows PC.
1) Editing Windows Hosts File
Windows Hosts File consists of mapping between the host name and its IP address. For instance say www.google.com is the host name and the IP address is suppose 126.96.36.199. Specifying the IP address will mean that you want that particular IP to be looked up when you type that website name/ Host name. Replacing the real IP with a garbage IP will automatically restrict the website from opening.
To eliminate any further confusion and other security issues we replace the actual IP with windows Local Host (127.0.0.1). Now that we know what the hosts file consists, lets see how to edit it and block websites. For Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 & 8 the Hosts file path is C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\Hosts.
Open the Hosts File with notepad and add desired website address with 127.0.0.1 as IP as shown in the image ans save the file. This will restrict the website from being opened. To unblock it, just delete the entry and save file.
This method is simple, but you may not like doing this manually and also find it a bit of boring task navigating to the core. So here is a freeware application that can offer you a lot of comfort.[alert-success] If someone tries to open the blocked pages, there will be no additional blocked warning messages. It will be a normal error in connecting message. Hence no one will be suspecting you.[/alert-success]
2) Using Free 3rd Party Applications
Using Website Blocker is easy. It has a single Window interface with all the essential things required. You just need to add the web address and click on the option to block or unblock it. It is a portable application, so you can carry it with you wherever you like. While testing the get blocked Website list did not work for me.
If the main download link do not work, Visit their home page. You have to scroll down a lot to find the application.[alert-note] How To Access Blocked Websites [/alert-note]
Block Bad is a portable website blocker with a much better interface. Whatever website you add gets listed directly. Later you can select the website from the list and remove it to unblock the website. Additionally you can also report harmful websites to be added to the application’s database.
Easy Website Blocker
Easy Website Blocker is a portable freeware application with simple interface. All you need to do is add the website and save the changes you made. You can unblock selective blocked websites or unblock them all at once. You do not need to change the default Windows Installation folder until you face any problem.[alert-note] Download Torrents when ISP Port Blocks P2P [/alert-note]
The Web Blocker
The Web Blocker is not a portable application, to use it you have to install it. It has loads of features compared to all the other applications in this list. Apart from just blocking websites on your account, you can easily monitor any other accounts too. Options like content filtering will block all websites in categories like Social Networking, adult material, games, proxy servers. The best thing of The Web Blocker is that it is password protected, hence no one can have access to the settings you are applying.
If you need to stop applications from auto updating, you will have to enter the update server address for that application in Hosts file or using the above applications.
I hope this guide helps you out to block or unblock any website on windows easily. Let me know if you face any problem while following the procedure by commenting below.