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Not everything on the internet is suitable for children. There are unlimited websites that risk children’s safety and health. Are you a parent wishing to protect your child on their Android phone or tablet? Then keep on reading to learn how to block websites on Android devices. In this article, we’ve covered five simple steps to block inappropriate websites on Android. 

 

5 Ways to Block Websites on Android Devices

You can block websites on Android devices using the following: 

  • Web Browsers 
  • Web Blocker Apps 
  • Security Apps 
  • Android Host File 
  • Parental Control Apps such as Safes 

In the following, we’ll explain each method in detail. 

 

Block Websites on Android Using Web Browsers

It is possible to block inappropriate websites on Android using the very browsers your child uses to surf the internet without needing to install a third-party app. While with some browsers, you need to modify the built-in settings, with others, you need to install add-ons or extensions. 

Here, we’ve selected three popular web browsers: Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge. Unfortunately, despite Google Chrome being the most popular among Android users since it’s available by default on all Android devices, you can’t block adult websites on Google Chrome Android without using a third-party app.  

 

How to Block Websites in Mozilla Firefox on Android

You can use Firefox add-ons to block websites. A free and efficient add-on you can use is BlockSite. Below we’ll explain how to install and use it. 

  

  1. Open the Firefox app on your child’s phone 
  2. Go to the Firefox Add-ons website: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/android/ 
  3. Look up “BlockSite” using the add-ons search box 
  4. Tap “Add to Firefox” 
  5. After installation, tap “Add-ons” from the Firefox menu. 
  6. Tap BlockSite 
  7. Add URLs (website addresses) for websites you wish to block 

Mozilla Firefox on Android Screenshot

How to Block Websites in Opera on Android

You can again use BlockSite as an add-on on the Opera browser to block a specific website on Android. To do so, follow the steps below: 

  

  1. Open Opera on your child’s Android device 
  2. Go to Opera Addons website: https://addons.opera.com/en/ 
  3. Look up “BlockSite” using the add-ons search box 
  4. Add “BlockSite” to Opera 
  5. After installation, tap “Addons” from the Opera menu 
  6. Add URLs (website addresses) for websites you wish to block 

 

How to Block Websites in Edge on Android 

Microsoft Edge enables parents to add child accounts to manage what websites their children can use. After setting up a child account for your kid, use the steps below to block a website on their Android phone or tablet: 

  

  1. Setting up a child account 
  2. Using your phone or computer, login into your Microsoft account 
  3. Select Family > Add a family member link > Child 
  4. Type your child’s email address 
  5. Click “Send invite” 
  6. Confirm the invitation sent to your child’s mailbox 
  7. Blocking websites 
  8. Login into your Microsoft account 
  9. Choose Family > Your family > Content restrictions > Web browsing 
  10. Select “always blocked” 
  11. Add URLs (website addresses) for websites you wish to block 
  12. Setting up Microsoft Edge on your child’s device 
  13. Install Microsoft Edge browser from Google Play or other app distribution platforms 
  14. Open Microsoft Edge 
  15. Tap the three-dotted button 
  16. Select “Sign-in” 
  17. Log into your child’s account using their email address and password 

Block Websites in Edge on Android screenshot

Block Websites on Android with Web Blocker Apps

Web blocker apps are specifically designed to block websites on phones and tablets. The advantage of using them is that they block websites on your child’s device no matter what browser they use to surf the internet. Using web blockers, you don’t need to install add-ons and extensions on each and every browser your child uses. Moreover, you can let your child surf the internet with the popular Chrome browser since web blockers work well with Chrome. 

There are various web blocker apps on Google Play, but we recommend BlockSite. If you remember from the previous paragraphs, BlockSite is also a web browser extension. Below we’ll explain how to run BlockSite on your child’s Android phone or tablet. 

 

How to Block Websites on Android with BlockSite App

  1. Download and install BlockSite from Google Play or any other app distribution platform 
  2. Open BlockSite after installation. 
  3. If the app asks for “Accessibility” permission, tap “Agree” to give permission
  4. In the dashboard of the app, tap the green + sign 
  5. In the panel that appears, you have a search bar. Enter the URL (address) of the website you want to block, like “facebook.com” 
  6. The name of the website will appear in the search results. Tap it so that a green check mark appears 

 

Repeat this process for every URL you want to block. You can alternatively use BlockSite’s categories to block all the websites flagged as inappropriate. 

 

Block Websites on Android with Security Apps 

Mobile security apps, including firewalls and antiviruses, are primarily used to detect malware and stop hackers from accessing data on phones and tablets. However, some of them, like Mobile Security, also have website-blocking features. Below we’ll explain how to use Mobile Security on your child’s phone to block websites. 

 

How to Block Websites on Android with Mobile Security

To block websites with the Mobile Security app, you need to create an account for your child on Trend Micro, the production company of Mobile Security. Follow the steps below: 

  1. Download and install Mobile Security from Google Play or any other app distribution platform on your child’s Android device 
  2. Open Mobile Security. In the dashboard, tap Parental Controls. 
  3. Create a Trend Micro account for your child 
  4. Tap Website Filter 
  5. Toggle the switch to turn on the Website filter 
  6. Tap Allow Now 
  7. Give permissions to Mobile Security 
  8. Choose your child’s age for the parental control settings 
  9. Tap Blocked List 
  10. Tap Add 
  11. Enter the URL (website address) for the website you want to block 
  12. Tap Save 

Block Websites on Android with Mobile Security Screenshot

 

Block Websites on Android Using Host File 

Host file is a plain-text file in the Android operating system that maps hostnames and IP addresses. Modifying this file can block inappropriate websites on your child’s phone or tablet. However, you should be careful since the host file is crucial for your child’s phone to operate. 

 

How to Edit Host Files to Block Websites on Android

There are two methods for editing the host file: On a computer or on your child’s phone or tablet. Below we’ll explain both. 

  

On a Windows Computer

  1. Download SDK Platform-Tools from the Platform-tools website 
  2. Install the Android Debug Bridge command-line tool on your computer to control your child’s phone or tablet via USB 
  3. Connect your child’s device to your computer via the USB port 
  4. Open cmd prompt and enter “adb devices” 
  5. Then type “adb pull /system/etc/hosts C:\hosts” (You can replace C with the drive you wish to copy the host file to) 
  6. Go to the drive you saved the host file 
  7. Open the host file with Notepad 
  8. Add the IP “127.0.0.1” and the website URL you want to block. E.g. To block www.facebook.com, type 127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com 
  9. Save the host file 
  10. Now use cmd prompt again to type “adb push C:\hosts /system/etc/” to return the host file to your child’s device with Android Debug Bridge. (Replace C with the drive where you saved the host file to) 

Host File to Block Websites on Android Screenshot 1

Host File to Block Websites on Android Screenshot 2

 

On an Android Device 

  1. If you don’t already have a file manager on your child’s device, download and install a file manager app like ES File Explorer File Manager from Google Play or any other app distribution platform on your child’s Android phone or tablet 
  2. After installation, open ES File Explorer 
  3. Tap the / button 
  4. Look up the host file 
  5. Tap the host file and then Open as > Text > ES Note Editor > Edit 
  6. Add the IP “127.0.0.1” and the website URL you want to block. E.g. To block www.facebook.com, type 127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com 
  7. Save and restart the phone for the settings to apply 

 

Block Websites on Android Devices with Parental Control Apps 

All the methods described so far have limitations. For example, by blocking websites using a web browser such as Firefox, your child can still access inappropriate websites via a different browser. In addition, although web blocker apps block websites on all browsers, your child can still freely surf the internet on another device. Similarly, security apps block websites on the same device installed. Finally, modifying the host file is a difficult task which may harm the device if done wrongly. 

As an alternative, we suggest parental control apps such as Safes which work on all phones, tablets, and computers running on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. Using Safes, you can monitor and control your child’s access to the internet remotely. That means after installing Safes Kids, a Safes companion app, on your child’s devices, you don’t need to touch them again to apply restrictions. 

 

How to Block Websites on Android Devices Using Safes 

To block websites on your child’s Android phone using Safes: 

  1. You first need to create an account on Safes. You can do so using the Safes web panel or downloading the Safes app on your phone 
  2. Then, you should create a profile for your child and add their devices 
  3. To add your child’s device, you must download and install Safes Kids, the companion app, on your child’s device 
  4. After that, you need to pair your child’s device with yours using a pairing code or a QR code given to you 

Safes Dashboard Screenshot

Now using your own account (again via the web panel or the Safes app), you can manage your child’s website access. To do so: 

  1. Click “Web Filter” from the main menu 
  2. Here, you have a list of categories of inappropriate websites. Each category contains thousands of inappropriate websites. By activating each category, protect your child from accessing harmful websites 
  3. Or, you can add more websites to block (or make exceptions in the blocked categories) by entering their URLs (website addresses) 

Safes Web Filter Screenshot

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I block websites on Android Chrome without installing any app? 

If your child uses browsers such as Firefox and Opera, you can block their access to certain websites by installing add-ons. You can use your Microsoft account to restrict their access if they use Edge browser. However, these methods do not apply to Chrome, the most popular Android browser. In that case, you need to use alternatives which require installing a third-party app. But if you insist on not installing an app, you can try modifying the host file on your child’s Android phone, which is complicated and technical.

Sina G.

Sina G.

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