How to Edit, Write-Protect and Backup Windows Hosts File

Jon Fisher

The hosts file dictates how websites are to be accessed on the Internet. When a particular URL is entered, and if the Windows hosts file contains explicit data on this URL, the browser will obey what is present in the hosts file and either reject or accept a page load.

Easily-Edit,-Secure,-and-Backup-the-Hosts-File-With-BlueLife-Hosts-Editor

For example, if Google.com is explicitly defined in the hosts file to point to 205.186.146.186, the resulting page will be GuidingTech.com instead of Google.com. The same principle is applied not only for redirecting websites but also for blocking them. You can define a zero as an IP address so when a particular website is trying to load, the result will be an error. This is a basic method of blocking or redirecting sites.

Editing of the hosts file is normally done using Notepad. While this is a sure way to do it, BlueLife Hosts Editor makes it easier by accompanying the editing with a backup function for restoring the original hosts file if an error occurs, as well as protecting the file from being edited by enabling a write protection function.

How the Hosts File is Normally Edited

The hosts file is normally edited with Notepad from the System32\drivers\etc folder.

Open-the-hosts-file-in-Windows

Open-the-hosts-file-in-Windows

Entries are added, like on line 23 above, with the IP address that should be used with a corresponding URL.

Cool Tip: Learn more about editing the hosts file with this article.

Edit the Hosts File with Ease Using BlueLife Hosts Editor

Editing with Notepad is the default method of changing the hosts file, but BlueLife Hosts Editor utilizes a graphical interface for easy manipulation.

Download BlueLife Hosts Editor here.

The files for the editor are contained within a ZIP folder you must first extract. Open the HostsEditor file to open the editor. You can see upon launch that the same entries found in Notepad are present in this user interface.

Edit-the-hosts-file-with-BlueLife-Hosts-Editor

Add any website and IP address from the two main text areas. To sent Twitter.com to a non-existing IP address, thus blocking access, enter Twitter.com in the first text box and an incorrect IP in the second. Finish by pressing the add button.

Edit-the-hosts-file-with-BlueLife-Hosts-Editor

Now every time Twitter is attempting to be loaded, the result will be the IP address in the hosts file and not the real one, thus blocking access. Be sure to save modifications before exiting with the Save Changes button.

Save-changes-to-edit-the-hosts-file-with-BlueLife-Hosts-Editor

If errors occur after making changes to the hosts file, there is a built-in backup function to resolve this. Open Tools > Backup Manager to restore to the original hosts file at any time.

Backup-or-restore-the-hosts-file-with-BlueLife-Hosts-Editor

BlueLife Hosts Editor can enable write-protection for the file hosts file from the Options menu. Enable this to ensure no one else can edit the hosts file for malicious purposes.

Protect-the-hosts-file-from-being-edited-with-BlueLife-Hosts-Editor

Conclusion

Don’t be veered away from editing the hosts file simply because it seems primitive or sloppy. The BlueLife Hosts Editor should take this fear away, as the interface is easy to understand and does everything traditional editing does but also adds more functionality like write-protection and backups.

Also See
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