As smartphones are getting more popular, people are getting easy access to the internet. You can search for any information on any topic through the internet. However, not all content on the web is appropriate for certain users. If you are a parent, you might want to prohibit your children from accessing adult or pornographic contents on the web. Or maybe, you would like to block Facebook, YouTube, and other social websites on your Android device to make sure all those potential distractions aren’t hindering your productivity on work or study.
So, there are many reasons why you might want to block specific websites on your smartphone. However, unlike iOS, Android OS doesn’t provide any kind of options in the Settings to blacklist websites. But, you can do it on your Android device, using some free tools available.
There are different methods related to blocking websites on Android. You can favor blocking websites just on specific browsers, your entire operating system, or so on your network. This guide will show you 9 simple ways to block websites on Android.
Block Adult or Inappropriate Websites on Android
Method 1: Enable Google’s Safe Search
Google is the most used search engine on the web. It comes with a feature called “Safe Search”, that helps users get rid of explicit contents on the search results. When the ‘Safe Search’ filter is on, Google will only show appropriate results by filtering any adult websites, images, and videos. Though, this option works only on Google’s native search. So, your kids can use other search engines to access those contents, or simply disable this setting anytime they want.
To enable Google’s Safe Search on any browser, follow these steps,
- Open Google’s Search Preference page (google.com/preferences) on your browser.
- Under the ‘SafeSearch Filters’ heading, select the radio button beside ‘Filter explicit results’.
- Scroll down and click ‘Save’.
Note: This is not a system-wide setting. So, you have to enable it on each browser on the device.
Additionally, you can turn on Parental controls on the Play Store app. To do so, open the Play Store app, tap Menu > ‘Settings’ > ‘Parental Controls’, turn it on by setting a pin.
Method 2: Block Specific Websites – Editing Host files
In this method, we’ll block specific websites on an Android device by editing the host files. Remember, your Android device needs to be rooted, else this will not work.
ES File Explorer is a free file manager app that lets you edit the host files of your phone. Follow the steps below,
- Open ES File Explorer and touch the menu button on the upper left. Tap on ‘Local’ > ‘Device’ > ‘system’ > ‘etc’ > ‘hosts’.
- Now you need to edit the ‘hosts’ file in a text editor. Tap ‘Text’ > ‘ES Note Editor’.
- Tap the ‘Edit’ button (pencil) in the top bar. In a new line, type “127.0.0.1 www.SiteName.com” ( where www.SiteName.com is the domain name of the site you’re blocking). For example, to block Facebook, you’ll have to type 127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com. Do the same for every website you need to block.
- Reboot your Android device.
The web sites you added to the ‘hosts’ file should now be blocked completely in your Android device, regardless of which browser or app you use.
Method 3: Use OpenDNS to Block Adult Websites
One of the most effective ways to automatically block adult or inappropriate websites on Android is using OpenDNS. Whenever your device connects to the internet, it makes use of your internet provider’s DNS. However, if you replace your internet provider’s DNS with the OpenDNS’s, your entire web traffic will pass through their filtered servers, blocking all adult contents. Here’s how you can set OpenDNS as your default DNS server.
- Open your phone Settings > tap ‘Wi-Fi’.
- Long press the network you’re connected to > tap ‘Modify Network’ > check the box for ‘Show advanced options’. For some devices, simply tap the network and it’ll open the network settings page.
- Switch the IP settings from ‘DHCP’ to ‘Static’.
- Now add the following values to the entries for DNS 1 and DNS 2.
DNS 1: 126.96.36.199
DNS 2: 188.8.131.52
- Save your Settings.
That’s it. You’ve updated your Android device’s DNS servers.
Method 4: Use a Website Blocker – BlockSite
If you wish your family members to stay away from harmful web sites, then BlockSite is an incredible application to utilize. BlockSite is among the highest rated website blocker apps available in Play Store. This app not only makes it easy to add unwanted websites to a blacklist, but it also blocks apps that you want to avoid during work time. Here are some great features this free app provides,
- Block individual web pages or URLs.
- Automatic blocking of adult sites.
- Block websites and apps on a schedule.
- Sync your blocklist on your computer and other devices.
- Password protection feature to stop disabling your blocked websites and apps.
To block any website on your Android device, follow the steps below,
- First Download & Install BlockSite app on your Android device.
- Go to Settings and give it accessibility permission for proper working.
- Now, to add any website, simply tap on the (+) icon on the bottom-right corner.
- On the next screen, enter the full URL of the site in the empty field.
- Tap on ‘✔’ on the top-right to save it. You can also tap the Clock icon to set up when you can access it and when not.
There is another option to block all the adult sites at once. You just need to tap the ‘Adult Block’ button at the bottom of the screen.
Once done, you can try to visit those websites on any browser, and you will not be able to access it.
Method 5: Using a Firewall – NoRoot Firewall
Firewalls provide security to your device by blocking data using a set of rules. It works as a wall between your device and the web. When you are searching for a firewall app for Android, choose NoRoot Firewall. It’s the most trusted firewall, and you can make use of it without rooting your device.
The application filters web sites depending on the IP address or domain name. To block websites using NoRoot Firewall, follow the steps below.
- Download & Install NoRoot Firewall application on the Play Store.
- Open the app, and navigate to the ‘Global Filters’ tab. Then, tap on the option ‘New Pre-Filter’.
- Enter the domain name (with HTTP or HTTPS) in the address field. And, in the port field, select ‘*’ from the drop-down menu.
- Check the boxes next to the WiFi and mobile data icon. Then, tap ‘Ok’ to save the changes.
- Finally, return to the home tab and tap on the ‘Start’ button.
That’s it. Starting from now forward, you cannot get access to the website using any web browser or app installed on your device.
Method 6: Use an Anti-virus – Trend Micro
Most people use some kind of an anti-virus app to safeguard their Android against viruses and malware. Why not use the same app to block unwanted sites? Mobile Security by Trend Micro is one of the top-rated antivirus apps that include website blocking feature. It has a rating of 4.7/5, with 1 million+ downloads in the Play Store.
- Download the application on your Android phone and launch it.
- On the homepage, select ‘Parental Controls’ > ‘website filter’ > ‘Blocked List’.
- Create an account. Once you’ve set up an account, parental controls will be active, and you’ll be able to block websites.
- On the next page, tap the ‘Add’ button, then add name and address of the website you’re willing to block, and touch ‘Save’.
The website has now been blocked. When you try to access it on any browser, it’ll show that Trend Micro has blocked it.
Note: The app is subscription based. There is a free 7-day trial to try the app. After that, to use features like ‘Blocked List’, you have to get the premium version of the application.
Method 7: Kaspersky Parental control
Kaspersky Parental Control app lets you control your child’s access on the apps & games, websites and other mature contents.
Step 1: To use, install the app on your device > accept all the required permissions > create an account > choose to use Parent’s mode > set a pin > set up your child’s profile.
Step 2: Install the same app on your child’s device > sign in your account > run it in Kid’s mode.
Step 3: On your device, tap the gear icon next to the ‘Internet’ panel. Under ‘Exclusions’ heading, add websites and choose ‘Forbidden’.
Method 8: Using a browser plugin
If you use Firefox as your default Android browser, then this is probably the easiest method to block websites. Firefox allows users to add plugins to its Android browser. You just need to add a plugin to get your job done.
- Open Firefox, and go to Menu on the top right > ‘Add-ons’ > ‘Browse Firefox’s Extensions’ > search for ‘Simple Blocker‘ > ‘Add to Firefox’.
- Once installed, head over to ‘Add-ons’ > ‘Simple Blocker’.
- In the ‘Filter List’ field, add website names or URLs you’re planning to block, separated by newline.
Method 9: Use a dedicated browser
SPIN Safe Browser is a great alternative to traditional Android browsers, especially for a child. The browser is integrated with an internet filter that automatically filters out all of your browser activities and blocks inappropriate contents. It requires nothing to configure, simply install it from Play Store, make it your default browser, and start using it.
In this post, we’ve mentioned the easiest and most effective ways to block websites on an Android device. Of course, you can find other apps and tools that not listed here, also let you block certain websites.
In my opinion, if you want to block specific websites across all your browsers and apps, then using a dedicated website blocker, like BlockSite, is the way to go. Otherwise, you can choose any method from the above which is the most suitable according to your needs.
If you have any doubts or issues about something on this list, feel free to leave a comment below.