Cold Turkey Desktop Tutorial

Today’s tutorial focusses on Cold Turkey Desktop for Windows but this software is also available on MacOS and Android.

screen shot of cold turkey website. Text reads 'The most complete distraction blocker available for desktops. Download now'

Free Features:

  • Block Websites– “Easily block an unlimited number of websites. You can create up to six different block lists for different occasions!”
  • Keep Track of Progress– “Each blocked website or application counts for time saved. Ironically, you can share your progress with friends on Facebook!”
  • All Major Browsers Supported– “Configure Cold Turkey once to see your policy automatically applied to all major browsers.”

Cold Turkey Pro:

  • Whitelisting– “Need to block everything except for a few sites? No problem. Just add sites in the exception tab to allow them. You can block the entire Internet by adding: *.* to the block list.”
  • Block Applications– “Not all distractions are online. You can use Cold Turkey to block anything from games to email clients.”
  • Allow Breaks– “You don’t have to go Cold Turkey completely! The app will still let you schedule breaks between work periods to help you recharge.”
  • Get Offline– “Frozen Turkey is a feature that helps you schedule time away from your computer. When activated, you’ll be locked out of your computer.”


How it works:

screen shot of cold turkey web page explaining the distraction cycle

How To:

Visit the Cold Turkey Website to download the version appropriate for your operating system. Because I use a DSA provided Windows laptop, today’s tutorial will focus on how to use Cold Turkey on a Windows PC. To download the other versions please visit the website and use the bar at the top left of the page to access download links for the Mac and Android versions of this app. (I use the free version because I like to save my student loan for instant noodles and glitter instead of appropriate study aids. Also, in the interests of universal accessibility I tend to favour free or very cheap study aids and assistive tech over premium, pro or more expensive versions.)

Once you have pressed the ‘download now’ button, you will see the following popup:

Select ‘Save File’ and wait for your download to complete. Once complete, open the file in your downloads destination- the icon looks like this-

cold turkey download icon

Double click on this icon and press ‘allow app to make changes on this computer’ or similar.

Once you have installed and opened the programme, you can start setting your timers and block lists!

Screenshot of Cold Turkey Dashboard

Cold Turkey also has a full user guide on their website.

Below is an in-depth Youtube Tutorial on how to use Cold Turkey.

Thomas Frank has also created a short promo video on how to use Cold Turkey, which you can view below. His YouTube account contains lots of study skills tips for HE students.

Thanks for reading,