How to block access to a website

If you are concerned about someone in the family or workplace using a certain website, there are a few different methods of restricting access. Although it is possible to block access on a specific browser, many computers these days have more than one browser available to a user.

Another option is to edit a file within windows known as the hosts file. Using this method makes it possible to restrict access to a particular website regardless of what browser someone is using.

Step 1

Move the mouse to either the top or bottom right corner of the screen and the Charms menu will slide into place.

From this menu click on Search.

Select Search from Charms menu

Step 2

Make sure that Apps is selected and type Notepad.

On the left side of the screen, the Notepad should appear.

Search for notepad

Step 3

Do not double click on Notepad, instead click on it once to select it and a row of options will appear along the bottom of the screen.

From this row of options click on “Run as administrator”.

Select Run As Administrator from bottom row of options

Step 4

A small ‘User Account Control’ window may appear asking if you want to process – click “Yes”.

You will be taken to the desktop environment with a blank notepad file open.

Confirm UAC warning

Step 5

From the row of options along the top of the notepad file, click on File and from the drop-down list that appears click on Open.

A window will open with a column of options on the left. From these options we are looking for the C drive. In some cases it may be labelled as Local Disk. In other cases it may have the name of the computer’s manufacturer.

Open - Select C drive

Step 6

When you have located the C driveclick it once to highlight it and a number of folders will be listed on the right.

Scroll down the folders listed and double-click on the ‘Windows’ folder.

Select Windows folder

Step 7

You will then be displayed with all of the folders within the windows directory.

Scroll down again and this time double-click on the ‘System32’ folder.

Select System32 folder

Step 8

Within this folder, scroll through the available folders and double-click on ‘Drivers’.

Select Drivers folder

Step 9

This time you are looking for the ‘etc’ folder. Double-click on the ‘etc’ folder to open it and at first it may look like you have opened a blank folder.

Select etc folder

Step 10

Towards the bottom right corner of this window is an the item labelled Text Documents (*txt).Click on the arrow next to it and from the options listed click on ‘All files’.

Select All files from dropdown menu

Step 11

More files should now be listed – it is the ‘hosts’ file we are interested in.

Click on this file once to highlight it and then click Open.

Open the hosts file

Step 12

A notepad file should now open which is names ‘hosts’.

If you want to block access to a particular website, at the bottom of this file write the number:, press space-bar once and the enter the www address of the site you want to block.

For example if you wish to block Facebook type the following:

Notice that we DO NOT need to include a # symbol at the start of the line like the other lines in the file have.

Block access the facebook

Step 13

At the top click File and then Save. Bring up your Internet browser to test the website.

If the details were entered correctly you should not be able to access that particular website.

If you wish to do the same with any other websites, simply access the hosts file again in the same way and add the other website address at the bottom of the file.

If you change your mind at any point, access the hosts file again, delete the line with the blocked website address and Save the hosts file again.

Unable to access website

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