I have a content blocker set up just the way I want it as a Firefox extension, but I've recently been cheating by switching over to Safari. I want to reclaim distraction-free browsing but after an exhausting effort I can't figure out a good way to "break" Safari 13 on Mojave.

Rootless won't permit uninstallation (nor do I see that being advisable).

I tried using Gatekeeper to prevent Safari from being launched. Supposedly

sudo spctl --add --label "BlockedApps" /Applications/Safari.app
sudo spctl --disable --label "BlockedApps"

should have done the trick, but some have reported this trick doesn't work and indeed it did nothing to stop Safari from launching.

I got my hopes up with WasteNoTime only to find such extensions aren't supported by Safari anymore.

Apps like Cold Turkey are overkill, since I only want to prevent web browsing using Safari. Apps like 1Focus aren't powerful enough. Foiled at every turn. Is there a trick to "breaking" Safari?

  • I had the same problem a while back and eventually asked for a full uninstall. So this could be relevant: apple.stackexchange.com/q/282496/236117
    – Hendrik
    Jan 15, 2020 at 23:18
  • @Hendrik Decided I didn't want to mess around with multiple accounts on my machine so I went this route. It's been perfect so far, absolutely no system issues. Would check this as the answer if I could.
    – AV Joe
    Jan 25, 2020 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


Enable parental controls in System Preferences and black list Safari on Mojave and older. On Catalina it’s called screen time, but you can blocks apps like a safari there as well.

If you need the high security option, get the self control app. Warning, you will not be able to use the internet or blocked sites until the time you enter passes. If you mistakenly choose one day rather than one hour (or worse), you will have to erase your Mac or wait for the time to expire.

  • 1
    I think Parental Controls only works if that the account is not an administrator. Screen Time will work, but it also has a built-in feature to bypass its restrictions, so it's hardly going to put up much of a fight.
    – TJ Luoma
    Jan 14, 2020 at 6:52
  • @TJ Luoma is correct. This isn't the solution I seek.
    – AV Joe
    Jan 14, 2020 at 11:51
  • @AVJoe anything you can set up you can reverse. The idea is to add a reminder and friction while you retrain your brain to the discipline of avoiding safari. This is easy, well documented and won’t break updates. I’ll look forward to other answers of course. You certainly don’t need to implement this if you don’t like it.
    – bmike
    Jan 14, 2020 at 16:18
  • @bmike Though you are right that it may help I can't use Parental Controls without account conversion since I'm admin. Screen Time's passcode seems more promising though but in the case of my FF content blocker (LeechBlock) I know from experience that I rely on the random 128-character string that has to be manually typed in to unlock it. That effort allows discipline to kick in. Otherwise I just go to options and disable the block. It looks like Screen Time's passcode can be similarly disabled with two clicks (as admin).
    – AV Joe
    Jan 14, 2020 at 20:15
  • @AVJoe You can choose to not be the admin user and only use admin to do admin things. The authorization dialog allows you to enter any valid admin combination and doesn't have to be your current session - make that password 128 characters : - ) I added the self control app - might be right up your alley.
    – bmike
    Jan 14, 2020 at 20:40

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