How to Block FaceBook on a Mac
FaceBook is one of the most frequently blocked websites on the Internet, with many schools, businesses, home users and even governments choosing to block it for various reasons - sometimes for censorship purposes, as China does, but more commonly for safety and productivity purposes. Fortunately there are many ways to block FaceBook from being accessed on your Mac, whether it be yourself, your children or your employees that you're trying to keep off it. All of the methods listed in this article are free and carry little risk of screwing up your computer, so read on to find out how to yank that annoying site once and for all!
Method One: Use the Parental Controls built into Mac OSX
The easiest and most simple way to block FaceBook on your Mac is to utilize the parental controls that are built into OSX. Requiring the administrator's password to edit, you can be sure that FaceBook will be blocked in all browsers if you choose to use this method. The only disadvantage is that you cannot apply it to the administrator's account - only other, non-admin accounts. This means that you probably won't want to block FaceBook this way if it's you or your employees you want to get off it, unless you're fine with banishing yourself/them to a non-admin account. If you've got a kid you want to stop from pissing away time on FaceBook however, this method should work great (especially if the Mac is a family computer and each person has a different account). So to setup your Mac's parental controls to block FaceBook, follow the the steps below (p.s: make sure you're logged into the admin account when you're dong this!)
1. Open up the system preferences, and click on the "Parental Controls" panel.
2. Click the lock button and type in the admin password.
3. Click on an account from the left-hand list and a bunch of options should come up on the right-hand side of the window. If you've never used parental controls before, you may need to click the 'enable' button before the options will come up.
4. Up the top of the window there should be several tabs. Click on the "web" tab.
5. Alright, now select the "Try to limit access to adult websites automatically" option under "Website Restrictions". You have to select this option to be able to block FaceBook, which unfortunately means you'll cut off most porn sites too - fine if it's your kid, but not so fine if it's you @_@.
6. Hit the "Customize" button, and another window will pop up with two boxes. In the bottom box (labelled "never allow these websites") use the + button to enter the following URLs:
The window should now look something like this:
The reason why you have to enter all four of those URLs when you only want to block facebook.com is that Internet filters mostly treat the http and https versions of websites as completely different sites, as they do with URLs that have/don't have www before them. Many a school IT department has blocked just one of those four, only for a smartass 12 year-old to come along and circumvent the block by using any of the other three -_-
Method Two: Stop FaceBook from showing up in Google Search results
Since pretty much everyone (especially kids) knows the URL "facebook.com", stopping the social networking site from showing up in Google's search results shouldn't hinder most from accessing it. On top of that, you have to be using Chrome for this to work (well, it *can* be done on Firefox, but it's more complex. Click here if you want a tutorial)... but nevertheless, it is a good addition to other blocking measures, and can keep young children from finding out about FaceBook for a while (it won't work for long, though -_-). So follow the steps below to block FaceBook from appearing in Google search results in Chrome.
1. Download the "Personal Blocklist" extension for Chrome, here.
2. Search up "FaceBook" on Google, and on the results page you will notice a little "Block facebook.com" link underneath the FaceBook search result (as illustrated in the image below). Click on it.
Done! FaceBook.com will now be yanked from all Google search results when using Chrome - if you search up the site now, it simply will not be there. That's bound to puzzle a few people ^_-
*Like I said before, it is possible to achieve this in Firefox, but it's certainly not this easy. Click here for a tutorial on how to do so*
Method Three: Use SelfControl to limit access to FaceBook
If you want to block FaceBook permanently, then this method isn't for you. However if you just want to put time aside where FaceBook can't be accessed, then the SelfControl app might be just the ticket! It allows you to block a specific website or websites for a specific amount of time - so if you want to work on a project for two hours without being able to access FaceBook, for example, you can open up the SelfControl app, set the timer for two hours and you will not be able to access the site on your Mac for those two hours. It doesn't matter if you reboot your Mac, quit the app or even delete the app... the blocked site(s) will only be unblocked when the time limit expires. The min limit you can set is 15 minutes, while the max limit is 24 hours - so if this sounds like it'll be helpful to you, read on!
1. Download the SelfControl app for free on the right (direct from MacInfo.us!).
2. Open the app, and in the window that comes up click the "edit blacklist" button.
3. Add the following to your blacklist:
4. Your blacklist window should now look something like the image on the right. Shut the blacklist window now, and drag the slider in the main window to the amount of time you want FaceBook to be blocked on that computer. You can set it for a min of 15 minutes and a max of 24 hours.
5. Press start, and you're away!
Method Four: Use standard website-blocking plugins
There are of course plugins available for most major browsers to block specific websites from displaying in them. However since they are mere plugins they can be switched off fairly easy without an administrator password - nevertheless, these plugins are worth mentioning if you want to block FaceBook on your Mac.
Google Chrome users can download Website Blocker Beta, Firefox users can download LeechBlock and Opera users can configure their browsers to block websites by following this guide (unfortunately Safari doesn't have a plugin, as most people consider the Parental Controls feature built into OSX to be enough). Once you've installed the relevant plugin for your browser, configure it to block facebook.com & login.facebook.com and you shouldn't be able to view FaceBook in that browser. If you can still access it, try to block both the http and the https version of the site - some of the plugins block both automatically, but some may not.