Sometimes we feel like my child should never get a chance a look at these websites! It happens with adult websites or any other nasty contents. Rather than allowing our children to browse, with a fear, it is good to block and unblock websites on a Mac. Yes, it is possible to white list the websites that your child can browse and it is also possible to black list those adult websites! In this article, let us learn how to block and unblock websites on a Mac. Read here to know How to download Netflix Movies on Mac.

We can do it in any of the three ways below and they are simpler ones:

  • Using Parental Control
  • Using Terminal App
  • Using a Third Party App – SelfControl

Using Parental Control:

With this option, you can create a new user account for your child with restricted access permissions. Anyhow, the administrator account can still view all the websites without any restrictions. Therefore, it is important that you child logs in with this new account to block and unblock websites on a Mac. You can also change the accessibility settings of an existing account as well.


Click the apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and then click the System Preferences. t You can see a list of options and select the Parental Controls with an icon in bright yellow. In few Mac OSXs, it may be different and in such cases, you can find it with the name.


Once you open the Parental Controls, you have two options. Either you can create a new account or you can convert the current account to a parental controls account. Let us now try creating a new account and click Continue.


In this step, you need to enter the account details such as Full name, Account name, Password, and a Password Hint. Once done, click Continue. Here the account name is automatically filled based on the full name you gave. Anyhow, you can edit it to your choice.


You can see some six tabs on the top of the next screen and the first one – Apps is highlighted. There are enable button and you can select from the list such as “Allow use of camera”, “Allow joining game center multiplayer games”, “Limit applications on this Mac”. You can also find an option “Limit email to allowed contacts” and besides that, you can specify the contacts as well. It ensures that your child sends emails to only recipients that you know. Also, this step prohibits from a child from being using unnecessary apps as well. Read here to know The Best Macs to buy in 2017.


This step actually helps you block and unblock websites on a Mac with Web parental controls option.  Here you can see Browser Restriction options such as “Allow unrestricted access to websites”, “Try to limit access to adult websites” and “Allow access to only these websites”. The first one places no restrictions on the web page that your child sees and it is not of interest here. The second one is what we need and just select it. Then click the Customize button. Before you make a choice just make sure that the padlock icon at the bottom left corner is open. Otherwise, you need to specify the administrator password to get the access permission.


Here you can customize the black listed websites by specifying under “Always allow these websites” or “Never allow these websites”.

The first one includes the websites that your child can browse without any restriction and the latter never opens the specified websites. Even if they try opening it, the following error message will be displayed on the screen.


This step allows you to specify the white listed websites under “Allow access to only these websites” of the web parental controls. Just enter a list of websites only which your child can browse. You can add a website by clicking the ‘+’ symbol at its bottom. The ‘-symbol helps you to delete an entered website from the list. Also, you can notice the padlock symbol at the bottom left corner, which is open. It means that you are editing the data to block and unblock websites on a Mac.


We are almost done and just click the padlock symbol to lock it. It saves the changes.


This step just tells you how to unblock all the websites on a user account. Probably, it is not of lesser use while we create user accounts for our children but sometimes we need it as well to give access permissions. Under the Web tab, just select the option “Allow unrestricted access to websites” and you are done!  Read here to know How to Fix iOS Issues that are Mostly common.

Using Terminal App

This is comparatively easier but you need to type rather than selecting, in order to block and unblock websites on a Mac. Read here to know Mac vs. PC


Open the App – Terminal.


 Type the below text on the command line and press Enter.  You need to enter the admin password to open the host file.


Now you specify the list of websites to be blocked in the below format.

IP + Space + Website address

For example,

You can go to the previous line or to the next line using the up and down arrow keys respectively.


Once the list is complete, just press Ctrl + O to save the list of websites. The Return button helps you to go back and verify what you typed.  If everything looks fine, you can exit by pressing Ctrl + X.  This looks really simple to block and unblock websites on a Mac, right?


Now you can flush the cache to refresh the database of the host. You can type the as below to flush the cache.


If you try accessing the above-mentioned websites, then you would get the following error message as they are blocked.

We are dealt with how to block and unblock websites on a Mac using the terminal as well as parental control. Now let us move on to the third one i.e. with a third party App.

Using a Third Party App – SelfControl

SelfControl is an Open Source App and you can use it freely. It is a wonderful tool to block and unblock websites on a Mac. It also helps to you block or unblock for a certain amount of time as well! You can also restrict the access permissions to web mail using the SelfControl. This app is extremely useful when you are on an important task and you would like to avoid any distractions from the social media or so. Many people use so and they set a time limit, say 5 hours. Once the time exceeds the limit, they restriction expires. Let us now learn how to block and unblock websites on a Mac. Read here to know The 50 best Mac Tips, Tricks, and Timesavers.


Download the SelfControl App here and Open it. It looks like the image below.


You can see a list of available functions, on the welcome screen of SelfControl. It has only three steps – Edit the Blacklist, Move the Slider to select the time limit, click start! That’s it, you can block and unblock websites on a Mac just like that! Click Continue on the welcome screen to proceed further.


Once you proceed, click Edit Blacklist that appears on the bottom right side of the screen. You are asked to set the time limit as well here.


In this step, you can specify the websites that you wish to block for the specified time. Click the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ button on the bottom left side of the screen to add or delete websites respectively. You can also select the Whitelist radio button to specify the websites that need to be allowed. Just look at the options “Blacklist” and “Whitelist” at the bottom right side of the screen. In the below picture the website additions, the added websites, and the close button are numbered as 1, 2, & 3 respectively.  Once the websites are specified, the next step is to set the time limit for which it remains blocked.

Conclusion-How to Block and Unblock Websites on a Mac

It is really easier to block and unblock websites on a Mac and we have three different possibilities to do that. Just try them and you will soon notice its usefulness. So from now, you can restrict your children from watching inappropriate contents! Also, you can prepare your own list of websites, only those your children can see. You may include scientific, adventurous, or some other interesting websites that, in turn, would help your children gain knowledge. So browsing or the Internet can also be handled smartly by applying few restrictions to your Mac.


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Jerold Forney is technology admirer and a computer specialist who is always curious for new technological advancements in the IT industry. With his extensive experience and apprehension of IT industry and technology, He writes after concrete research and analysis with the intention to aid the reader the content full of factual information. Being so ambitious to facilitate the readers, he intermittently tries his hand on the tech-gadgets and services popping frequently in the industry to reduce any ambiguity in his mind related to the project he works, that a huge sign of dedication to his work.


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