How To Block Websites on a Chromebook
From blocking distracting gaming websites to hiding adult-oriented content, there are a number of reasons you might want to learn how to block websites on a Chromebook.
If you are a Chromebook user, know that this computer uses the Chrome browser. If you already know how to navigate Chrome to block websites, you are set.
If you are new to the Chromebook family, though, or lack the tech knowledge to even translate the last sentence, this guide is for you!
How Do I Block Websites on Chromebook?
There are a few different ways you can go about blocking websites on a Chromebook. The best option depends on your specific needs, such as what you want to block and how thorough you want to be.
Take a look at these options below to determine which is the best for your needs.
Block Websites Using Safe Search
Since Google removed Chrome’s Supervised User accounts a couple of years ago, the only built-in way you can control what websites you can view from your Chromebook is to use Safe Search, which restricts access to adult material through web searches but does not offer the ability to block specific websites by URL.
It may be enough for your needs, though, as search engines are how many curious minds find adult content they are not prepared to see.
Here’s how to get going with Safe Search:
- Open Chrome and go to google.com.
- Select Settings in the bottom right and then Search Settings.
- Check the box next to Turn on SafeSearch.
- Then click on Lock SafeSearch.
This process will work on web searches using Google by filtering Google web search results for adult or explicit content.
Block Websites Using Chrome Apps
Another very useful way to block websites in a Chromebook is to use a Chrome extension designed for the task. There are currently a few Chrome extensions that help block websites or to exercise parental control.
To find a blocker that is perfect for your needs, first visit the Google Play Store. Search for web blocker, and check out the reviews and ratings on all of the options provided. You can also search app options on Google to learn more about the functionality of each app before you download it.
TinyFilter is a free Chrome add-on that offers a good level of parental control and website blocking. This add-on is simple to use and works well, as long as you take the time to set it up properly first. It uses a blacklist system and requires you to add words you want to restrict into the blacklist. The more words you add, the better the filtering.
TinyFilter can be disabled rather easily, which is a bonus if you accidentally add words to your filter that might pop up in a future research assignment, but can also be a bad thing if the wrong hands somehow get a hold of your Chromebook and make a few extra clicks.
Block Site is another free Chrome extension that offers parental control over what websites are accessed. This extension also works to prevent procrastination if your requirements are less about control and more about productivity. Controls can be password protected and you can add specific URLs to a comprehensive block list for vigorous filtering.
What makes Block Site really stand out is its ability to sync with your phone. That means you can not just reach for your phone for that Facebook fix while your controls are set!
The JustBlock Security add-on is our final suggestion to block websites on a Chromebook. It also enables parental controls within Chrome and allows you to both blacklist and whitelist URLs as you see fit. This app takes some configuring as it can be quite strict with scripts and ads, but as a result, you will have the most personalized and efficient blocking for your needs once you have completed setup.
Users can implement the whitelist to keep things running smoothly and configure ad blocking to enable most websites to work.
Like the other browser extensions here, the more time you spend setting it up, the better it will work for you. Once configured, any of these apps can help you achieve the perfect levels of productivity and protection.
Set up a Separate Child’s Account
Google uses the Family Link app to offer parental controls over children. You will need to set up a Google account for your child and get the Family Link app for this to work.
On the Chromebook you’d like to restrict, you will need to create a separate profile for the user in question. Once done, you can follow the instructions below. Keep in mind, you can download the app to your phone for better control over their online activity.
- Visit the Google Family Link website to check for device compatibility and to get the app for your phone.
- Create an account using the ‘+’ sign in the Family Link app and follow the wizard to link your child’s account to your own
While it was initially intended for locking down phone content, Family Link does a good job of securing your Chromebook for younger users. Once set up, the child can log into the Chromebook using their own account and any websites you want to restrict will be enforced.
Although these parental controls give you the option to restrict mature content, you can actually set the controls to only allow certain websites which is perfect for anyone using the Chromebook for schoolwork.
There other options for parental controls on a Chromebook including Mobocip but they are not free. Depending on the level of lockdown you need, you may wish to explore a paid app option. Mobocip, for example, offers extensive monitoring and locking functions for things like streaming video, social media content, and more.
If you found this article useful, you might enjoy The Best Chromebooks under $300 – May 2019.
Do you know of any other ways to block websites on a Chromebook? Please tell us about them below in the comments!