How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

The internet is a vast place. With billions of websites, and more being added constantly, it exposes you to a wide range of content. This includes explicit material, inappropriate jokes, and abusive videos. As a parent, you want to protect your child from accessing certain websites, especially before they can understand what is appropriate and what is not.

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

Today, we will explore how to block all websites except approved ones on Windows 10 PCs. This is useful for kids using a computer for school projects or entertainment.

To achieve this, we will utilize the proxy settings of Internet Explorer. Rest assured, we won’t require you to use Internet Explorer as your default browser.

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

The advantage of Internet Explorer is that enabling its proxy server enables it system-wide, including Windows apps and browsers. This makes it a highly effective way to block all websites on Windows 10. A proxy server serves as the gateway between your computer and the internet. Here’s how to do it.

1. Through Internet Explorer’s Proxy Server

Step 1: Open Internet Explorer. If this is your first time using IE, it may take a few seconds to start. Once launched, click on the cog-shaped icon in the upper-right corner and select Internet options.

Step 2: In the Internet options menu window, go to the Connections tab and click LAN Settings.

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Step 3: Check the ‘Use a proxy server settings’ option to enable the textbox for Address and Port number. Enter the address 127.0.0.1 and leave the Port number as 80.

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

Once done, click OK. Now, all websites except those on your whitelist will be blocked on your Windows 10 PC, regardless of the browser you use.

You’ll see either an ‘Internet not available’ or ‘The Proxy server isn’t responding’ message when attempting to access blocked sites.

Use this method as a last resort when you’ve tried all other options. It may become annoying in the long run for other users on a shared home computer.

Limitations of This Method

One potential setback of this method is that it doesn’t work for dial-up connections or when using VPNs. Additionally, it is easy to disable, although this may only be a concern if your child is familiar with Internet Explorer.

There are a few other alternatives available, but they do not block all websites. Instead, you would need to specify which sites to block. This approach may become burdensome if you have a long list to manage.

2. Alternative Method: Tweaking Host Files

Host files override Domain Names and redirect traffic from your computer to a specific IP address. However, editing these files can be risky and may cause some apps or websites to not load in Windows 10. To modify these files, you need to grant the appropriate permission. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to the path C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc on your Windows 10 PC and right-click on the Hosts file.

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Step 2: Select Properties, go to the Users tab, and click on Edit. Choose the Users option and make necessary changes.

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

Step 3: Select Users again and check the Modify box. Hit Apply and OK.

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

Step 4: Open the Hosts file with Notepad. Add a new line after localhost. Type the following address, followed by a space and the website URL you want to block: 127.0.0.1 [website URL].

How to Block All Websites Except Approved Ones on Windows 10

If it’s Facebook, it would be something like, “127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com” without the quotes. For multiple websites, enter a new line and then add the address. Save the file.

Now, go back to your browser and try to connect to the blocked sites. You will see the ‘Site can’t be reached’ message. This method ensures that a non-Admin user cannot make changes.

Another method to explore is Microsoft Family, which allows you to block inappropriate websites for a child’s profile. This method is similar to the second one mentioned above, but Family offers a better UI and more options.

You can specify the age and display age-appropriate games and apps. Additionally, you can set screen time limits. Family requires a Microsoft account for sign-in.

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