Free Software to Temporarily Block Selected Websites: SelfRestraint

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Selfrestraint is a free software for blocking access to certain websites for a limited time period. It lets you use your computer and surf the net without worrying about sites which distract you. Whenever you will try to browse any website that you have blocked, your browser will block you. You can block websites from anywhere between 15 minutes to 24 hours 45 minutes.

This application is easy to use and helps you block certain websites temporarily. You can block as many websites as you want. Also, this application is browser independent, so any website that you block will be blocked from all the browsers.

selfrestraint output

Do note that the blocking time you specify will be applicable to all the websites that you choose to block; you can’t specify separate blocking time for each.

Also, as the blocking is done for a limited time only, so it shouldn’t be used as a parental control software or a software to limit computer usage time. It just provides relief from temporary distraction.

Using This Freeware For Blocking Access To Websites:

Download this freeware from the link given at the end of this review. The size of the file is 12.1 MB. It is a portable software and does not require any installation. Just run its executable file and you are done.

You need to start this application by right clicking on it and run as administrator. When you run this software, you will see a simple window, as seen below. In this window, you just need to add the list of websites that you want to block.

selfrestraint adding website

After that move the slider and set your desired time. You can choose time between 15 minutes to 24 hours and 45 minutes.

selfrestraint timer start

Here I chose 15 minutes for blocking the desired website. Next click on “Start” button. This will bring up a small countdown timer that will show time left for website to be unblocked. Once the time elapses, it will automatically unblock the websites.

selfrestraint timer 1

How Does SelfRestraint Actually Works:

This software is actually a modified form of a hosts file editor. Whenever you choose to block any website, it makes modification to hosts file of your PC and adds blocked websites to that.

When the time elapses, it just removes those websites from the Hosts file.

SelfRestraint Hosts File Entry

Bug in SelfRestraint:

This software has a major flaw, since at least 2 years, that has not been fixed till date. When the timer runs, you have to let it keep running. If you exit the timer, then the websites that you had added to blocked list will remain permanently blocked!

There are a couple of ways to fix this problem:

  • Start SelfRestraint software again and add the same list of websites to it. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Once the time elapses, it will unblock all the websites.
  • Or, just go to Hosts file of your computer and remove entries for those websites.

Key Features of this software to temporarily block websites:

  • Selfrestraint is a freeware.
  • Selfrestraint helps you in blocking distracting websites for a short time period.
  • Selfrestraint is a cross platform application.
  • It does not require any installation.
  • Selfrestraint is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1.

My Opinion About Selfrestraint:

Personally, I don’t find this software useful, as I can easily open Hosts file myself and make the changes. I would rather install some advanced computer time management software to regulate how much time I am spending on different websites.

However, the USP of this software is that it is pretty easy to use. I really wish that the developer fixes the long pending bug. Also, I hope there is an option to close the timer, as timer seems to be a constant reminder that some websites are blocked and it serves more of a distraction.

Get Selfrestraint free here.

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Works With: Windows
Free/Paid: Free