Can anyone help me to remove the SelfControl app that is blocking my Facebook and YouTube?

I'm using a MacBook Pro running macOS 10.11.6. I haven't contacted SelfControl app support for help yet. I've already deleted the app but it still affects my computer.


3 Answers 3


You can remove the self control app and unblock access to websites regardless of whatever the timer was set to. This requires that you have administrative access to the computer and are comfortable using the Terminal and editing system files.

  1. Kill "Self Control" from "Force Quit Applications"
  2. Run:
sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.eyebeam.selfcontrold.plist
sudo rm /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/org.eyebeam.selfcontrold
  1. Remove the SelfControl hosts overrides
  2. sudo vi /etc/hosts
  3. Delete everything between # BEGIN SELFCONTROL BLOCK and # END SELFCONTROL BLOCK
  4. Reboot your computer and you can now access your blocked websites
  • There's no SELFCONTROL block in my (wife's) /etc/hosts, which makes me a bit nervous about following the other steps in case they leave things in a mess. Commented May 2, 2020 at 12:11
  • I suggest you change vi to nano to make these instructions easier to follow
    – ma1234
    Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 16:10

If you're impatient about letting the clock run out, check your calendar and alerts for the next 24 hrs and jot down anything important during that time.

quit SelfControl

Go into System Preferences, date and time, and sign in your password to unlock. Advance the date one day, and relock everything. SC's timer goes strictly by the system clock.

Start up SC again. You'll get timer at all zero's (SC thinks it's tomorrow [and so will everything else on your machine, which is why you want to check time-sensitive things beforehand] ) and likely a message 'stuck?' or something like that. un-stuck it. Now you'll get the standard timer selection. You can set it for the minimum--15 minutes--and let it run out again, to get a more graceful time-out. Now you can go into your blocklist and delete everything there, start it up again for 15 minutes and run it out. In fact I recommend you delete everything there, because selfcontrol can really crap your system, especially when you have other blocking elements (system security blocking, lulu, etc.) competing.

( I wound up with Safari, Chrome, Skype blocked which I had nothing to do with, and were never in the blocklist (I checked the plist manually; there was nothing but n.c.h .c.o.m sites: I got SC specifically for stopping n.c.h apps from phoning home.) I couldn't wait 24 hours, Skype and a browser are an essential for me. )

From there you can decide whether to delete SC altogether and be done with it. Wharton School absolutely recommends having nothing to do with it in the first place, and gives 5 very good reasons why.

  • This worked on my wife's MacBook Pro. She had set it for a month and the block seemed to be affecting everything, not just the (huge) blacklist, so the laptop was unusable. I was wondering if it was a network card failure until she mentioned SelfControl. Now I'm a genius for fixing it for her - thanks! Commented May 2, 2020 at 12:45

This is covered pretty clearly in the FAQ. Since the vendor has little help, do you have a backup of your Mac or can you make a backup so that if you need to erase and reinstall the OS, at least you have that option?


Q: How do I disable SelfControl once it has started?

You can't. That's the idea. Just wait.

"But, but but..." you say.

Seriously, chill out. It's not the end of the world.

The timer will run out and the internet will come back again. In the meantime, you may find comfort in curling up in a ball under your desk and rocking back and forth for a while.

Q: I deleted the application, will that do anything?

No. (Except maybe cause problems with the block disappearing at the proper time. Don't do it!)

Q: I did some stuff with the terminal that I read on a cool tech site, but it didn't work, what do I do now?

We don't know what you did or why you would follow instructions found on the internet before reading this FAQ. Lesson learned right? Good luck!

So for the good luck part, the most helpful advice would be to reinstall the latest version of the app (or the current version you installed if you still have the installer) - downloading it from another computer if needed and hope that when the timer goes to 0 like the FAQ describes - you can then unblock things before trying to uninstall it once the block period has expired.

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