How to block Instagram during work with Otto on Chrome?

Published on July 17, 2023

Do you ever get distracted while you work? Especially when you keep on checking instagram every 5 minutes on your computer? Well it’s quite normal to do that because social media has infiltrated our lives so much that we just feel like it’s part of our identity. Therefore we feel obliged to check what our friends and acquitences are upto.

But being distracted when you want to focus on something is not a great idea. We’ve all fallen to prey when that happens. This is one of the reasons I built Otto. I was getting distracted quite a lot and I had to focus on work. But being on instagram or twitter doesn’t help much.

What is Otto?

Otto is a gamified pomodoro timer and website blocker designed to enhance your focus while working and manage distractions effectively. It incorporates game-like mechanics to make the experience engaging. This tool is available as a Chrome extension, making it simple to set up and use.

How does Otto help with blocking instagram?

With Otto, you can easily block Instagram during your work sessions using the website blocking feature. This feature specifically targets Instagram when the pomodoro timer is active, so if you attempt to access Instagram during a work session, Otto's "health" will be negatively impacted.

There are two ways to block Instagram using Otto:

  1. Regular web blocking: If you want to use this method to block Instagram, you need to add it to the block list and start the timer to begin a work session. While the timer is running, the web blocking feature will prevent you from accessing the site. This is a straightforward and effective way to stay focused and avoid distractions while working.
  2. Autoblock: Unlike regular web blocking, Autoblock allows you to add a website to the block list and specify a duration. Once you spend the designated amount of time on the website, Autoblock automatically blocks it. This feature is beneficial as it doesn't require the timer to be running, making it easier to stay focused.

Block Instagram

To block Instagram using Otto, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Otto extension icon in your browser's tab.

  2. Go to the blocking tab, which is the third button inside the Otto popup.

  3. You'll see a large input field and a "Block" button. If you're using the extension for the first time, Instagram is already included in the blocklist. Simply turn on the timer to activate the block. To remove it, click the "Unblock" button next to Instagram.

    If Instagram isn't listed, don't worry. Just type "" into the input field and click the "Block" button.

  4. Instagram is now added to the block list. Whenever you activate the timer, a blocked screen will appear when you try to visit Instagram. Keep in mind that excessive attempts to access Instagram while it's blocked will deplete Otto's health to zero. 😉

Blocking Instagram with Otto is an effective way to manage distractions and stay focused while working. With Otto's web blocking feature, you can easily add Instagram to your blocklist and activate the timer to prevent yourself from accessing the site. This will help you to stay productive and avoid distractions that might hinder your progress. So, if you want to stay focused and boost your productivity, give Otto a try today!


Autoblock is as easy as doing the above. You will have to create a simple rule.

  1. Go to the blocking section of Otto and click on the Autoblock tab.

  2. If Instagram is already in your block list, select "" from the dropdown menu. If you don't see Instagram in the dropdown, click on the "Add" button and enter "" in the input field.

  3. Once it's added to the list, select Instagram from the dropdown.

    The rule is as follows: if you spend more than one minute on Instagram, the website will be automatically blocked. To adjust the duration, click the dropdown and choose a different time limit.

  4. Now, when Autoblock is active, you'll see a timer hovering whenever you visit Instagram.