How to Edit Hosts File on Mac

Whether you want to control network traffic or access to websites or thwart spyware, you will need to edit Hosts file on Mac. Thanks to Terminal application, configuring the host file is a bit easier on macOS. Read on to know how it works!


The Hosts file basically translates domain names or NetBIOS names into IP addresses. It’s used for multiple purposes like blocking spyware and controlling the access to websites as well as network traffic. Based on your requirements, you can edit Hosts file on your Mac to remain in complete control.

Before proceeding, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For instance, you must have the IP address of the device you want to send your Mac to, or the domain names you wish to keep your computer away from. Thanks to the Terminal app, working on Hosts file is a hassle-free experience.

How to Edit Hosts File on Mac

Step #1. Launch Finder app on your Mac and then click on Applications from the sidebar. Next, double-click on Utilities. Then, double-click on Terminal as well.

Or simply search Terminal in the Spotlight.

Open Terminal on Mac from Spotlight Search

Step #2. Now, enter the command: sudo nano /etc/hosts and then hit return.

Step #3. Next up, enter the administrator password and then press return.

Enter System Password on Mac

Step #4. Nano text editor will appear. Now, to add a new device or domain, simply move the cursor using the arrow keys and position it after the text in the window.

Hosts File on Mac

While mapping an IP address on your local network to a domain, type in IP address, press ‘Tab’ on Keyboard and enter the domain name. (Make sure to enter all the possible combinations i.e. and

  • To keep your computer away from certain sites, make sure to use “”
  • will default to the local machine even if it has been assigned a different IP address by its router.

Block Website on Mac By Editing Hosts File

Step #5. Next up, you need to hold down the control and O keys to save the file. Press enter/return key.

Then, use control and X to exit.

Most importantly, you need to flush the DNS. To do so, In the command line, enter sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder Then, press return. Enter your system password.

Refresh Terminal on Mac

It will flush the DNS cache of your computer. Read more on how to flush DNS on Mac.

Video Walkthrough to Edit Hosts File on your Mac

That’s all there is to it!

Over to you

So, now you know how to make the best use of the Hosts file to keep malicious spyware at bay. Have any feedback? Do share it with us.

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