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The Best Way to Block Porn on a PC Running Windows

How do you block porn on a PC running Windows?

Parental controls on Windows are typically not enough to block all pornography. On laptop and desktop PCs, accountability or "buddy system" software like Covenant Eyes is one of the most effective options, and a great starting point. You can try Covenant Eyes here.

To block porn on a PC, particularly a desktop computer, I would recommend focusing on a combination of accountability software (as mentioned in the box above) and possibly some kind of third-party web filtering software.

Covenant Eyes does not block websites (at least not the basic version), but is entirely based on the buddy system, through the following method:

  1. Ask someone to be your accountability partner, someone you trust
  2. Install the software so they can monitor your connection
  3. Image and text/URL reports are sent to your accountability partner

This doesn't necessarily block pornographic websites (though there is a version of Covenant Eyes that does), but it makes certain that your activity on the internet is seen by someone else. Again, the report shared is based on text and screens/images.

This is helpful for something like Instagram or Flickr, where the text wouldn't necessarily indicate something pornographic, but the content, when viewed visually, is clearly a dangerous place to be.

Read more: Non-porn sites to avoid

Need help stopping? Here are the best porn blocking services for 2023.

Covenant Eyes Software and NordLayer DNS Filtering: Covenant Eyes provides accountability software that covers URLs and images, as well as blocking options, and lots of resources for helping you quit porn.

NordLayer allows you to implement network-wide filtering, and is a much more comprehensive blocking option, with added security measures and more extensive configuration options. It's effective for both homes and businesses.

Is it more difficult to block porn on a PC?

In my experience, dealing with a desktop computer running Windows is more straightforward. To be fair, that's what I'm most used to, and most accountability software and filters were originally developed for the PC.

I would argue that it's actually easier in a lot of cases to block porn on a PC, though there are plenty of good options for Mac users as well, that are basically the same as what we recommend for PC folks.

It's always going to be some combination of accountability/monitoring, filtering, and parental controls, regardless of the computer in question.

Parental Controls in Windows

Windows doesn't have a lot in the way of native parental controls. Almost all of it is based on a Microsoft account, and something called Microsoft Family Safety

Windows tries to funnel you into a paid service, linked up to a Microsoft 365 membership.

Windows tries to funnel you into a paid service, linked up to a Microsoft 365 membership.

This functions like Net Nanny, with a lot of emphasis (understandably) on kids and parental monitoring of multiple devices. But it's not really made to address simple pornography use on a single device. Getting it for that reason, especially just one person, would be overkill.

Another reason I don't like it is that it shackles you to a Microsoft 365 account, for a paid monthly membership.

If you want a service like this, I'd just recommend getting Net Nanny which is a better option anyway and not in bed with all the Microsoft stuff. I know, I know - I'm on Windows already. But I'm all about avoiding the paid membership arrangement. I grew up in the '90s, so I just want to buy the software in a disc, unwrap it, and own it forever. 

Again, it's not an effective anti-porn method in this case.

If I use accountability software, is a filter/blocker needed?

I think this depends on how seriously you're taking the accountability arrangement. If you end up not really caring whether your partner sees what you're looking at, then adding a filter would be a logical next step that could help you seal off temptation. 

But I've found that the accountability/monitoring software is an extremely effective deterrent, especially with the screen/image monitoring technology.

My wife gets my reports, so under no circumstances do I want something shady on that report.

So in a lot of cases, if you want to start with accountability software, I'd say add that first and see how effective it is for you.

You can always add more barricades later.

Does the version of Windows make a difference?

As long as you're reasonably updated, the version of Windows on your PC should be fine. Windows 10 or 11 are the current order of the day, so either of those will be fine with the software we've recommended.

If you're running Windows XP, I'm not sure you'd even be able to get on the internet.

Maybe that's a good option.

Seems like it was only yesterday.

Seems like it was only yesterday.

Either way, blocking porn on a PC is the same approach, without regard to Windows versions.

Conclusion and questions

The approach to blocking porn on most devices is pretty similar. Between Macs and PCs, it's almost identical, though Mac has better native content restriction than Windows does.

Generally, you'll use third party software and self-restricting settings to help lock your computer up and avoid temptation.

You can read all about the best porn blockers on our home page, for more info.

Living in such a tech-heavy world and trying to avoid porn is really difficult.

But, it can be done, PC or otherwise.

Keep the fire alive, and leave questions in the comments section below.

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Author

  • Adam Grainger

    Adam is a software engineer with experience in blocker software and VPNs. He has helped produce software and written content for a number of churches and organizations to help people stay focused and have a better experience online.

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