The internet is a playground for procrastination. Whether we’re doomscrolling social media, binging YouTube or online shopping – being productive has never been so hard.
But where human willpower fails – thank god for nifty tools.
Blocking distracting websites is a GREAT strategy when we want to focus on a task and get more work done.
The easiest way to block a site is via your Google Chrome browser. It’s an extension called BlockSite and it takes seconds to set up.
I’ll be showing you:
You can also follow these steps to set up some parental controls or configure shared computers.
How to block websites on Google Chrome on desktop
The easiest way to block websites on Chrome is to install a simple free extension called BlockSite.
It takes under a minute to set up and you’ll be able to block certain websites, set up productive ‘Focus Mode’ sessions, and lots more.
How to install BlockSite
- Google “blocksite extension” and look for “BlockSite – Stay Focused & Control Your Time”. Or just click here: BlockSite.
- You should see the following:
- Click the blue box in the top right that reads “Add to Chrome”.
- In the popup box, hit “Add extension”.
- You’ll then be offered a 7-day trial of BlockSite’s paid plans. If you want to stick to free BlockSite – just click the grey “Skip” button at the top right.
- To pin BlockSite to your toolbar, just click the grey puzzle icon next to your toolbar. Click the pin next to BlockSite. You should now see an orange shield icon with a cancel symbol in it.
You’re now all set to start blocking sites! There are 2 ways to block websites:
- Block a list of websites
Click BlockSite and hit the gear icon on the top of the popup window. When the Settings page opens, click “Block Sites” on the left side menu. Click on the bar and type in the URL of any websites you want to block.
- Blocking sites from the site itself
Go to the website you wish to block and click the red BlockSite shield. Click “Block this site” in the popup window.
As well as adding URLs, you can also block sites based on certain words in the URLs. This is under their “Block by Words” tab.
How to block a site in Chrome temporarily using Focus Mode
You can also configure BlockSite so that certain websites are blocked temporarily. This is great if you want to only block distractions while you are working.
- Click the BlockSite icon. Select the “Focus Mode” tab.
- Click “Get Started” or “Go To Options”. You should then see something like this:
- Set your work and break intervals. The default timer setting is based on the Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes of work followed by a 5 minute break.
- Under “Blocked Sites” at the page bottom, enter the URLs of the sites you want to block.
- Click “Start Focus Session” to launch the session.
- The timer begins! You can pause or reset it at any time. Happy working.
Alternatively – you can set it so that you can ONLY access certain sites during Focus Mode. The rest of the internet will be blocked.
To activate this – type in the URLs that you want to allow yourself access to (e.g.: your email, LinkedIn). Then, tick the checkbox in front of ‘Whitelist mode’.
How to take a site off your blocked list
No longer want a certain site to be blocked? Easy.
- Go to Settings > Block Sites tab.
- Find the site you want to unblock and click the red circle with a line through it.
- It’s now unblocked!
How to block websites on Google Chrome on mobile
Find yourself constantly browsing on your phone? It’s easy to also block websites on mobile devices.
Blocking sites on Android
There are many third-party apps you can get on Android. We’d recommend BlockSite again:
- Look it up on the Google Play Store and install it.
- You’ll need to edit accessibility settings to give the app access (follow the app step-by-step instructions).
- Ready to block your first site? Click the plus sign.
- Search for a keyword or domain name and choose the website or app you want to block.
- Click Done. It’s now blocked.
Blocking sites on iOS
Unfortunately, BlockSite isn’t available as an app on iPhone. However, there are lots of other great site-blocking apps like Freedom and Cold Turkey (below).
Bonus tools to block distractions and get more done
Here are some other handy tools to block distracting sites on desktop and mobile software:
1. LeechBlock NG (Chrome & Firefox)
LeechBlock NG is a free and simple browser tool that can block a list of sites. Not as comprehensive as BlockSite, but has some cool customisation tools – e.g. you can group sites into categories.
2. Cold Turkey (Windows & macOS)
True to the name, Cold Turkey block certain sites, the entire internet or the entire internet except for certain websites. You can even block certain Google searches! It also displays stats on how many times you attempted to access a blocked site.
3. Freedom (Windows, macOS, Android and iOS)
Full suite of distraction-blocking tools. Block sites, the entire net, apps, and can even sync across platforms. Freedom even has ambient noise soundtracks. Costs $7 a month but you can try a 7-day trial.
Conclusion: Free your attention by blocking sites
Breaking old browsing habits is tough. Sometimes the easiest way is just to block certain websites on Chrome.
If you’re looking for other ways to block a website on Chrome (including how to block a website without using a browser extension) – Kinsta has written up a handy guide here.
Removing distractions should help you get more work out of your working hours.