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i'm looking for desktop software to block websites across web browsers and web browser profiles.

I tried https://freedom.to/ and it works across web browsers and in all chrome web browser profiles, but it doesn't have a simple on/off toggle option for turning blocking on and off.

So it does the difficult thing of blocking websites across web browsers and profiles, but then the simple thing of a toggle button, it doesn't have!! It has a web interface and lets you create "sessions", where you set up what websites it should block, and what days of the week.. and then it lets you delete a "session", but then limits how many sessions you can delete, you have to contact them to get it reset. It's a very strange design. And it's ok for blocking a website for a set time period, but it's not good/efficient for simply blocking and unblocking.. e.g. I can click "recurring", then click 7 boxes, one for each day of the week. And set that up, and then it's awkward to cancel it because deleting the session uses up credits for how many you can delete. And that's the case even on their premium membership package. So, very strange there.

Another program I tried is Cold Turkey , but it's a web browser extension, so only works on a per web browser profile basis. So i'd have to install it in each web browser profile and then each profile would dhave its own toggle switch so i'd have to toggle it on/off in each profile so that's not good.

I'm using Windows 7

In the past I would use a web proxy, in the past I tried privoxy, but it slowed my browsing a bit because every request had to go through it.. and I don't really want to have to change my web browser settings to have everything go through the proxy. I'd prefer some software that runs outside of the web browser and where special configuration of web browser isn't required. Like with that "freedom" program but with a sane design that gives the simple option of toggling blocking!

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  • I don't know if K-9 Web Protection can do specific profiles or not, but you might check to see. 2 days ago

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You could install the free StevenBlack hosts file on your computer. It plays tricks with your computer's DNS resolution, and makes it resolve ~100000 hosts like my.spamsite.com to the unresolvable address 0.0.0.0.

The owner of this repo coordinates a team of enthusiasts who try to keep up-to-date with the global spam-, advertising-, tracking-, gamble- and porn industry.

The team of volunteers classifies bad hosts and the collected works are in that hosts file.

Tagline of the repo:

Consolidating and extending hosts files from several well-curated sources. Optionally pick extensions for porn, social media, and other categories.

For details, read the extensive README documentation.

You need to put the file into C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\ . As far as I remember.

Tools to manage the hosts file would then be guumaster/hostctl -

Your dev tool to manage /etc/hosts like a pro!

or pigmonkey/hostsctl

Control your /etc/hosts file easily, block ads, soical networks, etc...

More tools on the StevenBlack site

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  • This is often an excellent solution but it's easy to "turn off" the protection.
    – Alejandro
    Apr 29 at 18:47
  • @Alejandro it's not that convenient to edit the hosts file, eg opening an administrative command prompt or opening notepad administratively then opening the hosts file, it's not as quick as working with a program designed to block websites
    – barlop
    Apr 30 at 1:42
  • I don't think this is a good solution. I want to block selected websites, the only relevant part of your answer is the idea of using the hosts file,.. (which isn't edited really quickly for the reasons mentioned).. eg typically having to type in a password each time to open the file because you need admin priv to edit it.
    – barlop
    Apr 30 at 1:55
  • and by the way, regarding the bulk of your answer, besides that it's nto relevant.. sometimes these things that replace the hosts file with some big thing that blocks lots of stuff, can potentially stop some websites from loading, though this list and current browsers miht not have that problem, that problem can occur, I have run into it in the past.
    – barlop
    Apr 30 at 1:56
  • also, I find that the hosts file is not very responsive when blocking a website e.g. it takes two minutes for chrome to pick it up superuser.com/questions/1718728/…
    – barlop
    Apr 30 at 5:39

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