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Block on Windows: zero cost, no additional software

I've been asked how to prevent access to on Windows systems without having to purchase or install blocking software. Well, there's a free and simple way to do this.

Here's a quick trick to block on a Windows system. Basically, you are editing a text file on your computer, adding an entry to it. This file is known as the 'hosts' file, and it allows you to block sites using a very simple but effective method.

The file is located in these locations, depending on your configuration:

Win 98/ME = C:\WINDOWS

You can edit the HOSTS file with the following command:

notepad %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

A simple way to do this is to use the "Run" command in the Start menu:

In the box that pops up, enter:

notepad %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Add the following line to the bottom of your hosts file, on separate lines:

After you make this change, save the HOSTS file (hit ctrl-s keys, or File->Save in the notepad menu.) You should reboot (or shut down and restart) your computer in order to ensure these changes take effect. Now, then, when you visit (or using Internet Explorer or any other web browser, you should see an error message indicating that the web site is not available. The drawback to this technique is that you have to configure your computer to prevent your kids from altering the HOSTS file. In XP Home, this is not a simple task due to the limited administration tools in XP Home. In XP Pro, you need to ensure that your kids are not using the Administrator's account and that their accounts are set up as a normal user.

Additional materials:

I think you can also use an

I think you can also use an ad blocking software or javascript blocking software to filter out anything from myspace, or something in the browsers section of permitted websites.


But - why install yet another software package? Even if it's free, you have to install and maintain the new software.

And - adding to the browser's blocked sites list: can you prevent other users' tweaking the browser settings, thus negating the effectiveness of this method? Depends on the browser.

This method is *free* and fairly effective - not perfect, but it does the job. So it's just another tool in the arsenal...

Please see our forum for additional resources. is flattering you seems to contain a verbatim copy of this page content, even links to your images. I'd say that this goes beyond "fair use".

Youre stuff is good, no doubt about it. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you should consider yourself flattered!

Blocking myspace?

I followed the instructions to block my space and I'm still able to access it. I pasted what my host file now looks like. Is there something else that I need to do to make it work. I really need it blocked.

[host file content deleted - moved to our forum]

How do I block MySpace using AOL's browser?

Well, I just discovered something. I'm on AOL and hardly ever open up Internet Explorer. Just on a whim I opened it up and typed in it did not come I now know that editing the hosts file works in internet explorers browser but not with aol's browser. Now, the big question is.... How do I block myspace using aol browser? That is all the kids use.

AOL... sigh

Not much I can say about AOL. I refuse to allow it on any of my systems.

According to this page: AOL indeed does not use the HOSTS file.. as AOL uses its own networking system (that's one major reason I shun AOL.)

It should be possible to configure your AOL installation to respect the HOSTS file. I can't help you, though.

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