Go “Cold Turkey” to break your addiction to certain websites

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Just in time for finals (if you’re attending school), you might find yourself pretty easily distracted from doing your necessary work or studying.

If you really want to shift your habits so you’ll be more focused and productive, it’s time to go Cold Turkey.

Cold Turkey is a free/open-source application that makes it easy to block your own access to certain websites.

It comes automated to block popular, time-consuming sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Ebay, games, and others at the check of a box. You can also make a custom list of other sites to block (but don’t block Freewaregenius. You can then set how long you want the block to be in place.

For example, if you need to block yourself until after your exam tomorrow, just change the date and time to match that and you’re all set. If you need to block your access all week, go for it. Cold Turkey also makes it easy to update your Facebook status to tell your friends that you’re going “off the grid” for a little while so they know to contact you via other means.

Cold Turkey affects all users and you must be administrator to use it. After Cold Turkey is set, you may have to restart your browsers if they were already open for the block to take effect. Once your time period is up a little window will pop up to inform you of your new found freedom. Before the time is up, if you try to go to the site you’ll just get a “site could not be found” page.

If you don’t have the discipline to study on your own and have to resort to software to control yourself, what’s to stop you from just turning Cold Turkey off? The software doesn’t work that way. Cold Turkey will end at the time you designate and revert its blocks. If you get desperate and try altering Cold Turkey’s files, it will punish you and add another week to the block.

As you might have guessed from the description and the requirements, Cold Turkey edits your HOSTS file to prevent your access. If you don’t know what that means and are truly trying to break your addictions to certain websites, I’m not going to ruin it and explain it further.

Sure, there are other ways to block your access (OpenDNS for one) but Cold Turkey makes it very easy to comprehensively block sites and the ability to set a timer is a great feature.

Version tested: 0.51

Requirements: WinAll with at least version 2.0 of .NET Framework. Mac version in the works.

You can download Cold Turkey here (approx .7MB download; install size 1.7MB). Looking for a Mac version in the mean time? Check out SelfControl.