How to Block Google Images

by Tech Lockdown Team
Updated August 19, 2023

Google Images is a useful tool when it comes to finding content on the internet. Unfortunately, it doesn't always provide useful content, and it's possible to find adult content while using the platform. For this reason, it is helpful to know how to block google images.

There are techniques that can be used to limit the features of Google Images or block it entirely. These techniques can be layered together to make a much more secure defense. 

When preparing these techniques, it is strongly recommended to limit as much as possible. For example, if you do not use Google Images at all, it is better to block it completely, so it cannot become a source of temptation. If you do need to use Google Images, there are ways to limit the options provided, and as a result, reduce the opportunities to be accidentally exposed to sensitive content online.

Blocking Google Images Completely

As a rule of thumb, "if you don't need it, block it". If you or your family don't use Google Images, then you should block it.

Blocking Google Images with a Blocking App

One of the most comprehensive solutions for blocking Google Images (or any other website) is to use a blocking application. If you want to enforce these settings, you can use a blocking application like Cold Turkey to restrict access to your browser's settings page.


This tutorial will assume that Cold Turkey has already been properly installed.

When you switch from a standard Google search to Google image search, the URL should change to include &tbm=isch

If you want to block Google image search entirely, you can create a block like this to target image search specifically:


If you want to block the image results, then blocking them will require some specialized techniques.

Blocking Image Results on Google Image Search with the Hosts File

The Hosts File is a special list on your computer that can be used to block websites or domains, and we have a guide going over how to use it here . If you already know how to use it, then you can add these entries to limit the images displayed on google search.

# Google Images

The results you should get after these changes should look like this:


The first couple of images might still display (usually around 5-10 images). It is strongly recommended that Google's Safe Search feature also be enabled.

Blocking Image Results on Google Image Search with a DNS Filter

The most comprehensive way to block images is to block the DNS hostnames on the network level. This must be done with a DNS Filtering service. An example of this kind of service is Tech Lockdown , which allows you to set up protection for an entire home network.
  • On Windows: Open Command Prompt as Administrator, copy/paste the following command, and press enter:
ipconfig /flushdns
  • On Mac: Open the Terminal Application, copy/paste the command below, and press enter:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder


Sometime, the first 5-10 images may still get displayed. It is strongly recommended to also enable Safe Search.

Get Powerful DNS Filtering

Start filtering content on your home network

Forcing Safe Search for Google Chrome

One of the most basic, (yet surprisingly effective) ways to protect a device from explicit content exposure is to enable safe search. There are a couple of ways to go about doing this, with the simplest way being using the Chrome settings . While changing the SafeSearch options in Chrome settings works, there are much more effective ways to enforce protection.

These methods use DNS hostnames to force devices to use the SafeSearch servers for Google. There two main ways to change these DNS settings are to use Host Files or a DNS Filtering service.

Forcing Safe Search on Google Using the Hosts File

Using the Host File method, add these entries:

# Google SafeSearch

Forcing Safe Search on Google Using a DNS Filter

The most comprehensive solution is to use a DNS Filtering service. Not only will Safe Search for Google be much easier to set up, but also many DNS Filters can force Safe Search on other search engines as well.

Tech Lockdown's Safe Search mode is very simple:

As a bonus, this filtering will block unsupported search engines. It can also be used to filter an entire network to provide comprehensive protection.

Disabling Image Search in Google Chrome

One technique for increased protection is to disable certain features of the search engine. Many features can lead to an unintentional exposure to explicit content. By disabling JavaScript, you can ensure the basic functionality for Image Search, while disabling non-necessary features. 

  • Disable All JavaScript. Keep in mind some websites might not work properly:
  • Disable JavaScript for just Copy/paste the following URL into the Not allowed to use JavaScript section:

Learn more about how to effectively block content and prevent bypass in our step-by-step guides.

Final Thoughts

This guide has gone over techniques for limiting image search. While not a complete solution to sensitive content online, it does provide an added layer of protection against adult content. 

The best approach is to limit what isn't necessary. If you don't need to use Google Images, it is probably best to remove that source of temptation. Hopefully, these techniques can be a useful tool to lockdown your devices.

Did you know that you can block YouTube thumbnails? If you're curious, check out our guide for How to Block Content on YouTube .

Go Beyond Beyond Basic Blocking

Elevate your content blocking and bypass prevention.