You may find some websites inappropriate or their content not useful for consumption as you use the web. Also, you may not want your children to visit certain websites.
Almost all the browsers have settings to block or restrict some websites except for Microsoft Edge. If you are a Microsoft Edge user and searching for a way to block or restrict some websites, below are some solutions for you.
Blocking Websites on Edge using an extension
Installing an extension to block a website is a simple process. Click on the three-dots button on the toolbar on Edge browser.
It opens a menu, from which you have to click on ‘Extensions.’
From the Extension page, you can see installed extensions on your browser as well as a link to install new extensions for Microsoft Edge. Click on the ‘Get extensions from Microsoft Edge’ button.
It will take you to the Microsoft Add-ons page. Search for ‘Block Website’ on the page using the search box or cut all the above processes use this link to directly open the extension’s page. Click on the ‘Get’ button on the extension page.
It will open a pop-up asking you to reconfirm. Click on the ‘Add Extension’ button.
The extension will install in your Edge browser. You can test the functioning of the extension by blocking a site using it.
To block websites using the extension, first open a website you want to block. After opening the website, click on the ‘Block Site’ icon on the toolbar. You will see website details and the option to block. Click on the ‘Block Current Site’ button to block the site.
It will add the website to blocked list and the page refreshes to show that site is blocked.
You can also add website addresses to the list. Click on the ‘Block Site’ icon on the toolbar. It opens the extension window. Click on the button with gear icons to open the settings page of the extension.
On the settings page, you will see options to block websites by their name or block websites by words. Just enter the website name or word selecting the option above and press enter. They will be blocked forever until the extension is deleted or you lift the block.
Even though this extension blocks the websites you want to block, anyone using your PC might lift the block, use the website, and re-block it. Unfortunately, it does not have any password protection to avoid such happenings.
Blocking Websites with Hosts File
In this method, you add the address of the website you wish to block to the hosts file. You may wonder what the ‘hosts’ file is! In simple words, the hosts file is an operating system file that maps hostnames to IP addresses. It plays an important role in easing our internet access.
To block a website using the hosts file, click on the Start button (Windows icon) and search for Notepad. In the results, right-click on the ‘Notepad’ and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the options.
It shows you a warning related to user accounts control. Click on ‘Yes’ to open Notepad.
In Notepad, click on the ‘File’ option in the menu bar and select ‘Open’ to select and open a file on your system OR you can use the Ctrl+O shortcut as well. A File explorer window will open.
Copy and paste the below address in the address bar which takes you to the location of the hosts file on Windows.
In the folder, you cannot see any file. Because, when you try to open files through notepad, it only shows .txt files in the explorer. To see all the files in the folder, you have to change file format from text documents to all files. You can change it by clicking on the drop-down menu in the bottom right of the explorer, as seen in the image.
Now you can see all the files in the folder. Select the ‘hosts’ file and click open.
After opening the hosts file, type
127.0.0.1 followed by the website address you want to block in the file and save it using
Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut.
For example, if you need to block youtube.com, you can do it so by entering the following line in hosts file.
Now, if you enter the website address you chose to block in Microsoft Edge and try to open, you will see ‘hmmm…can’t reach this page’ error.
You may have to clear your browser cache if the site is still loading. Likewise, if you’re using a VPN, then this method may not work as intended. But in that case, you can configure your VPN service to manage and block websites. It’ll do that better in most cases.