Launch a web browser and go to the Cold Turkey website. When the page is onscreen, click the Download button and at the next screen, click Download Now button at the foot of the Free Edition column. If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Now close the web browser and locate and double-click the downloaded file. Click Run to start the installation wizard followed by Next. Accept the licence agreement and all the default settings (unless you have reason to do otherwise) and keep clicking Next. At the final screen, make sure Launch Cold Turkey is selected and click Finish.
By default Cold Turkey blocks popular time-wasting websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (it’s easy to add more, as we’ll explain in Steps 5 and 6). Leave the blocked ones as they are for now and use the date and time settings to define how long you want to be prevented from visiting the selected websites. Cold Turkey offers the opportunity to update your Facebook status one last time (presumably to tell the world you’re going cold turkey). If you don’t want to do this, click to remove the tick next to this option and then click the Go Cold Turkey button.
Cold Turkey displays a dialogue box summarising the sites that are about to be blocked so there’s an opportunity to go back and make changes. If all’s well, click Go Cold Turkey and then OK. In this screenshot we’ve launched Internet Explorer and opened the Computeractive website in the first tab – that’s fine. However, when we try to log on to either Facebook or Twitter, the browser reports that it’s unable to display the web page. Websites on the exclusion list will continue to be blocked in this way until the allotted time is up.
Is there any way to circumvent what Cold Turkey’s doing? Expert users will find a way, but the sort of brute-force attacks that even a seasoned PC user might try won’t work. For example, here we’ve held down the Control (Ctrl), Alt and Del keys and then chosen Task Manager from the menu. Ordinarily we’d be able to see a program running in the Applications list and simply highlight it and click End Task, but Cold Turkey isn’t visible (nor is it under the Processes tab). There’s no icon in the Notification Area, either.
So, it’s not easily possible to stop Cold Turkey before the time’s up, but additional sites can be blocked. Launch Cold Turkey again and when the dialogue box appears, click Yes. At the next screen, type in the address of the new website to block (there’s no need for any of the http or www stuff) and then click the Add button. Cold Turkey can’t block individual pages (say the football pages on the BBC site) – it blocks only entire websites. Carry on adding sites in this way and click Done to finish.
Cold Turkey displays a dialogue box explaining that it’s sometimes necessary to restart the browser before the additional sites are blocked – click OK. When the time’s up, a notification dialogue box like this appears. Click the Leave Me Alone button to quit or click Reopen Cold Turkey to open the settings screen seen in Step 2. When you’ve had enough of Cold Turkey, click the Start menu, open its program folder, choose Uninstall and follow the prompts. However, don’t try this when the program is running and doing its job or it’ll block you for a whole week.