To open the hosts file use the command below (you can Copy and Paste it directly into the terminal window). Sudo nano /private/etc/hosts. Press the return key.Terminal will ask you for a password.Enter the Administrator password for your Mac. As you enter the password the characters will not appear on screen, this is a privacy feature included in Terminal, simply hit. For some people, they edit the host file in order to block the user from accessing a certain site on the Mac system. If you want to block access to a specific website, you must map the particular website you want to block to an invalid IP address such as 0.0.0.0 so that the browser won’t be able to display the page when someone tries to enter.
Active computer users are probably already familiar with the Hosts file that contains network information. Through this file you can block access from your computer to a particular website, or make other changes to the access of your computer to a certain IP address. Despite the fact that Mac Os is a system that is pretty much closed from user interference, it has a file named Hosts that can be edited. At the same time, editing here is not at all more difficult than on Windows, and within the framework of this article we will tell you how to do this.
The easiest way to access Host file editing is to use a command line, which in Mac OS is called “Terminal”. You can run “Terminal” utility through the Finder, it is located in the list of standard programs of the operating system, or you can just use a search and type its name.
“Terminal” is running and now you need tostart editing the Host file. To do so you will need to enter and execute the following command:
After activating this command, you will also need to enter the administrator’s password for the computer, because intervention in Hosts file is quite serious, and if this file is edited incorrectly, you may experience problems accessing certain websites on the Internet.
After entering the right password, you will be able to see the Host file contents that can be edited by a user. When editing the file through “Terminal” your mouse will not work, so you will have to move between the lines of this file only with the help of your keyboard. Enter the changes you would like to make in the Hosts file. To save all changes in this file, you will need to press Ctrl + X on your keyboard. Next you are going to see a message asking you to confirm whether you want to change Hosts or no, confirm the action with “Y” button.
The second way to access Hosts and edit the file involves using the standard Finder. This way, you can open the Hosts file and edit it in any text editor, so this option may be preferable in a number of cases.
To open Hosts through the Finder you need to right-click on the lower menu on the Finder and select “Go to Folder”.
Then there will open a window and in this window you need to enter a path to the folder you want to go to. Enter the following address:
And click “Go.”
There will open a system folder in which the Hosts file is located. To start editing it, you need to right-click on it and select the editor that you would prefer to work with (you can use the standard TextEdit).
In the window that opens, you can edit the Hosts file just like any other file in a text editor. But the Hosts system file is protected from editing. After you try to make changes to it, you will see a message with suggestion to create a duplicated file. Click “Duplicate”. After that the second file will form on the basis of the first one.
Next, you will need to make all necessary changes to the new created file and save it in a convenient place, for example, on the desktop. When saving, select the .txt resolution (same resolution that the original Hosts file has). Now your new file is saved and you will need to just replace the old file in the system folder. To do this, drag the new file to the folder where the old Hosts is located and click “Replace” when the corresponding message appears. As a result of these actions, the old Hosts file will be deleted, and the new one will be used by the system instead.
Some changes that are made in the Hosts file are not perceived by the system at once and, accordingly, do not work. For the changes to take effect, you need to update the DNS cache. This can be done using the terminal with the command:
After executing this command, the Hosts file will be read by the system again, and all the changes that were made to it will be reflected on the computer’s operation.
You may be wondering Where is the “Hosts” File on a MAC? The host file is located in the /private/etc/hosts on your MAC. Because it is situated in a protected area of the system, you cannot directly open the file and edit it. The solution is to copy the file to an unprotected location for example desktop and then make the modifications. The easiest way to find the host file is to use the Finder tool. When you have launched the Finder tool, you can select Go to Folder and enter the file location /private/etc/hosts. Now, you must select the “hosts” file with your mouse cursor and drag it to the desktop. Doing so will unlock the file and enable you to edit it.
To edit the host file, you must first open it by double clicking it. You will notice that it is a simple file that contains just a few lines of text and characters such as pound and hash tags. The file also list the IP address of the localhost and broadcasthost. Before making changes on the hosts file, you should first backup the files. The hosts file can be backup by entering the hosts backup command in the terminal app. When making edits in the file, you cannot use mouse click as the mouse has been disabled in the text editor. Instead, you are to use the arrow keys to travel to different lines.
Blocking Access to Certain Websites with the Hosts File
For some people, they edit the host file in order to block the user from accessing a certain site on the Mac system. If you want to block access to a specific website, you must map the particular website you want to block to an invalid IP address such as 0.0.0.0 so that the browser won’t be able to display the page when someone tries to enter the URL.
Enter the Redirected URLs into the Hosts File
If you don’t want to redirect the website to an invalid IP address, you can enter the valid IP address of the site where you want the user to be redirected. In this way, the user will be redirected to a different site when he attempts to visit the site with the browser. You can find out the IP address of a website by sending a ping to the site via the Terminal. You must quickly record down the returned IP address on a text editor so that you won’t enter the wrong number into the file.
Umdgen for macbook. The entry should be entered in the format of the IP address followed by a space and then domain name. There is no limit as to how many entries of IP addresses you can enter into the host file. Every line should have only one entry. It is advised that you don’t delete the entries previously entered as they are required to be processed by the system when it is booting. As soon as you have entered a new entry, you should press Control + O key to confirm that you want the modifications on the file to be applied to the original version in /private/etc/hosts/.
After you have finished making the modifications, you must copy and paste the hosts file back to the original location. There will be a prompt that ask you whether you want to replace the file. To authenticate the file replacement, you must enter your administrative password. After the file is replaced, you can enter the URL in your browser to see whether the changes have been effected. You may have to delete the existing DNS cache in order for the effect to take place. To delete the existing DNS cache, you can enter the syntax dscacheutil -flushcache into the terminal.
In conclusion, it is very easy to locate the hosts file and make edits to control the sites other users will see. You can try turning off your computer and restart the system again if the website did not display properly after you followed the steps above. Sometimes, you need to quit all open browsers in order for the changes to take effect.