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How To Block Websites On Internet Explorer

Updated on January 28, 2014

Internet Explorer was launched almost two decades ago and is currently one of the most popular browsers on the market.

If you have young children, you're probably looking for ways to make Internet Explorer safer for all users. Private browsing is an excellent option, but blocking websites is one of the most dependable ways to make sure your child has a safe online experience.

This article explains two different ways to block websites in Internet Explorer by activating specialized parental controls. The steps you choose to follow will be dependent on the version of Explorer you have installed on your computer.

How to block websites on Internet Explorer 10

Windows Live Family Safety

If you are used to a version of Internet Explorer prior to IE10, then you may be familiar with the Content Advisor tool. Prior to IE10, this was the standard tool for blocking websites on Internet Explorer.

However, in IE10, the Content Advisor tool has been replaced with the Family Safety tool. Independently, this tool does not allow you to block websites, so you will need to download an additional service provider.

Fortunately, Microsoft has created a parental control program called Windows Live Family Safety that works alongside Internet Explorer 10. This free software can be downloaded from the Microsoft website as part of the Microsoft Essentials package and can also be used to block websites using Firefox.

Step One: Sign into your Microsoft account

Once you have downloaded the software and installed it on your computer, follow these steps to configure the parental control settings.

  1. Click the Windows button, then type "Windows Live Family Safety" in the search box.
  2. Click the name to open the program.
  3. Sign in using your Windows username and password. If you don't have a Microsoft account, click "Sign Up." You will need an account in order to use the Parental Controls software.

Step Two: Select the account(s) to configure

The next window displays a list of all of the user accounts associated with the computer. You now need to choose which account you would like to configure controls for.

  1. Click the check box next to the selected account. (Note: If your your child does not have a separate user account, create one now by clicking "Create a new standard Windows account.")
  2. Click "Save."
  3. You will now be directed to the Family Safety website. Click the link.

Step Three: Configure the Allow or Block list

  1. On the website, select the account you would like to configure Internet browsing for.
  2. Select "Web Filtering" from the menu on the left side of the screen.
  3. Select "Allow or Block List."
  4. Use the slider to turn Web filtering "on" for that user.
  5. You can now type in specific URLs in the text box on the screen. Type in the URL of a website you would like to block.
  6. Use the drop-down menu to select whether you would like to block the website for this person only, or for all user accounts.
  7. Click the "Block" button. The website will now appear under the "Blocked websites" heading.

How to block websites on versions of Internet Explorer prior to v.10

Content Advisor Tool

If you use a version of Internet Explorer older than IE10, then Content Advisor is the best way to block websites.

Select the Content tab in the Internet Options window to see the settings for Content Advisor.
Select the Content tab in the Internet Options window to see the settings for Content Advisor.

Step One: Launch Content Advisor

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools in the menu bar.
  2. In the Tools menu, select "Internet Options."
  3. Under the Content tab, find Content Advisor, and then click "Enable." You may be asked to input an administrator password.

The "Settings" button will now be enabled. Click this button before proceeding to the next steps.

The slider allows you to configure ratings settings for web browsing with Internet Explorer.
The slider allows you to configure ratings settings for web browsing with Internet Explorer.

Step Two: Adjust the ratings level for specific categories

  1. In the Settings window, select the Ratings tab. You will see a list of categories that have been deemed offensive for young users (ie. depiction of drug use).
  2. Select the category you would like to adjust.
  3. Use the slider to configure the ratings setting for that category. Moving the slider to the left blocks all access to content in that category. Moving the slider to the right allows unrestricted access to that category.
  4. Click "Apply."

You can choose to allow or block specific websites by entering their URLs.
You can choose to allow or block specific websites by entering their URLs.

Step Three: Configure the Approved Sites list

  1. In the Settings window, select the Approved Sites tab.
  2. Enter the URL of the website you would like to block in the "Allow this website" box.
  3. Click "Never." The URL will appear in the box under "List of approved and disapproved websites" with a red mark next to it.

You can also configure specific websites so that they are always available to users. Follow the steps listed above, but instead of clicking "Never" after typing in the URL, click "Always." This will allow full access to the specified website.

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