Computer Help forum


Help with Focal Filter. Sites wont Unblock!

by Erics20 / December 13, 2012 6:40 AM PST

I recently installed focal filter and blocked a few sites for 2 hours (last night). Nothing got blocked since my browser was open the entire time(until this evening, when I had to restart my computer.) Uninstalled and removed all my blocked sites from the list, then focal filter came up with an error message stating.

Focal Filter was unable to change your system settings.

Access to C:\Windows\system32\drivers\ect\hosts is denied.

Basically I need to know how to get access to this (Figured out the advance command prompt and entered this in and what not) I just don't know what to put in so I can get access to facebook back.

Chrome also gives me this error message

Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): The server closed the connection without sending any data.

Thanks for the help.

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Since this "focal filter" ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 13, 2012 4:35 PM PST

apparently does its filtering through the HOSTS file you should be able to browse to it with Windows Explorer at C:\Windows\system32\drivers\ect\hosts then make sure it is not set to read only in its properties then open the HOSTS file in NotePad (or any other TEXT EDITOR) and delete the lines containing the URLs you listed. Next, save the file and close NotePad.

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by zsinix / March 17, 2013 10:27 PM PDT

I actually just had a very similar problem, and this posting was the only one I could find! The only thing I wanted to add was that the path I found the host file in was C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\ . Simply editing it in notepad and removing the errant lines (+~5min of waiting, not sure why) fixed my connections. Again thanks!

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From the FocalFilter team
by focalfilter / July 13, 2013 4:06 PM PDT


I'm one of the authors of FocalFilter.

Some of our users have this problem due to conflicts with other software. In May-June 2013, FocalFilter was downloaded 2463 times, and 9 users emailed us with this problem. That's one email per 274 downloads. Another 7 users contacted us with the opposite problem (FocalFilter was not blocking sites).

If you have this problem, and you have trouble fixing it using the advice in this thread (thanks Edward!), you can contact me through the contact email address shown on and I will guide you through it.

If you want to know what other software you could use instead of FocalFilter, see the Related Tools section on


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