Expert Tips and Tricks for Working with the Hosts File on Your Mac

Hosts File on MacBook is used for mapping hostnames to IP addresses. The file allows editing to override DNS data for a specific domain and add their IP address. Mapping is crucial when connecting IP addresses to domain names. They appear as a text file and separate an IP address with a space followed by a domain name. The files can be used to improve online privacy and block certain websites. It is useful for development and for enhancing security on your laptop. Here are different tips and tricks for using Hosts File on MacBook.

Use during website development

Website development is intensive and requires a combination of commands. Once you complete development, you need to run your website on a local host for verification. You may run it on the localhost IP address or choose to use Hosts file allows you to debug and test the functionality of your website.

You might need to add a custom domain on the hosts file before launching. In some instances, editing of hosts file might be necessary. Create time to learn how to edit hosts file mac to allow a smooth editing process.

Add static entries in the hosts file

Hosts file in your laptop acts as your DNS service. It overrides mappings on your network. The place where the file is located depends on the file system in use. If the DNS cannot resolve an IP address, the file cannot start. To solve the problem, you need to add a static file in the hosts file location Mac. Files may fail to read due to errors in the mac OS X file systems. Sometimes you may experience no mountable file systems mac problems.

  • Go to your administrator settings and open the text editor.
  • Open the hosts file location in C.
  • Add the IP address and include its host name. Example
  • Save the changes

Edit hosts file

Once in a while, you might need to edit hosts file on your laptop. You might have experienced a cybersecurity attack that destabilized the file. It could be you want to gain access to certain sites and have more traffic control. It is easy to learn tricks about how to edit hosts file on mac. No matter the macOS version you are using on your computer, the hosts file syntax is the same.

The file contains multiple entries, but what is important is to know the file location. Each entry contains two parts. The first part is where the IP address will be directed to. The second part is the address that needs to be directed. It is separated by a space like this: localhosts #loopback.

Use the local host to configure the loopback interface on your computer. An example of where the IP address will be directed is localhost. The address that needs to be directed can be something like this broadcast host. If you get any challenges with mac how to edit hosts file, search for more information online.

Improving the security of your computer

The security of your laptop is crucial in protecting your data. Some websites might be full of links containing viruses. When browsing online, you might come across ad networks and spyware sites. It might not be easy to tell if a site is safe, and your computer could be at risk. You can edit hosts file and use them as a firewall on your computer. You only need to add the spy site and domains of ads networks in the hosts file. The file adds a security buffer zone by blocking dangerous websites.

Create automated updates on hosts file

If you often connect your laptop to your iPhone, you cannot always guarantee security. Keeping your apps updated boosts your online security. At times, macOS might block some domains and mark them as dangerous. You must blacklist domains that you view as dangerous. White list the ones you view as secure.

All your customized preferences will be stored in the hosts file. Each time the preferences get updated, the file automatically updates them. You no longer need to worry about cybersecurity when hackers change domains. You can use the same tips to block some websites from being accessed by your kids. Add all the domains in hosts file and block those, including sensitive programs. If you need to whitelist them, follow the same process to allow access.


The hosts file is located in the hosts’ directory on Mac. It is used to map hostnames and IP addresses. The file can be used for several other purposes. It can be used to create scripts, block/whitelist domains, and create automatic updates. The file can be edited using any text editor, provided you have administrator logins.