How to Block/Remove Ads on Chrome, IE and Firefox

Looking for a way to easily remove those big annoying ads that you see on some of your favorite sites? Those types of ads are called obtrusive ads and they can really be frustrating because they might start playing a video without your permission or making weird or odd sounds or growing to the size of the entire page and blocking what you were reading! These are the types of ads that are becoming more common because they force you to look at them or interact with them and that’s what advertisers want.

Luckily, there are a lot of different ways to block these types of ads. Also, just to clarify, I only think blocking obtrusive ads is good. I do not believe in blocking all ads because there are millions of sites that use unobtrusive ads to make money. Here on Online Tech Tips, all my revenue comes from the few ads I have on the site. I keep three image ads on the site: one towards the top, one in the sidebar and one at the bottom. I also use some text link ads, but overall, I don’t think my ads are obtrusive.

Without ads, I would basically make no money and would have to go back to a job! So please don’t block all ads, but only the ones that you find to be over the top or intrusive. In this article, I’ll talk about my favorite ad-blocking plugin that works with IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc and that follows this rule of only blocking obtrusive ads.

Adblock Plus

adblock plus

Adblock Plus is the best solution for blocking ads because it’s used by millions and it’s actively monitored by the community, which makes sure it’s blocking the correct types of content. Adblock Plus basically relies on Filter Lists, which are a large set of rules that tell Adblock Plus what content to block on a particular website. It can also be used to block tracking and malware.

Once you install the extension, there are two lists that are enabled by default: the ad-blocking list for your particular language and the ad exceptions list. You can choose to disable the exceptions list if you like, but again, the world would be a better place if you didn’t! The exceptions list is very strict on what is allowed and they have a whole slew of rules that a website must pass in order for an ad to show, so you’ll rarely see an annoying ad bypass the filter.

If you do find annoying ads, you can help out by reporting those ads and when others report the same ads, they will then be blocked for future Adblock Plus users. Here’s an example of a website I visit often with and without ads:

with ads

after ad removal

When you install the extension, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, the best browsers to install Adblock Plus are Opera, Firefox and Chrome. They have the most options and features. After that, you’ll still get an overall great experience, but less features with IE and Safari. Safari doesn’t allow deep access to the code, so some ads can get by like ads inside videos, etc. One good thing about Safari, though, is that it shares the same codebase with Chrome and Opera, so when the extension for any of those browsers is updated, all of them get the update.

IE is such a complicated beast that it requires an entirely different installation process in the form of an EXE setup file. It’s still quick to install, but you can’t configure it at all. From what I could tell, it seems impossible to turn off the acceptable ads exception list in IE because you can’t open the options for the add-on.

The only thing I’ve noticed about Adblock Plus as I’ve used it for a few weeks is that it does block a lot of ads that I would not think are obtrusive. Website owners can apply to not have their website ads blocked if they follow the strict acceptable ads rules, but it would be nice if the plugin wasn’t as aggressive in blocking ads by default. That’s just my opinion. If you have used Adblock Plus, tell us what you think. If you have any other questions about blocking ads, let us know in the comments. Enjoy!

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Comments [5]

  1. glenn says:

    I already use Adblock and NoScript, so I don't see banner ads and such. Will this block "Sponsored" text ads? That's what I'm trying to stop.

  2. Rene' says:

    I'm using IE on Facebook. An offensive ad popped up on my Facebook profile, so I right clicked on the ad and copied the URL and pasted it into the Restricted Sites zone of the Securities tab as instructed above and when I refreshed the page that one particular ad was gone, but 4 more (albeit non-offensive) popped up in its place. I would love an ad free profile page, offensive or no. What am I doing wrong.

    Thank you for your help!

  3. Zed says:

    That worked really well, took a few seconds to install and means that facebook is now usable on a netbook!

  4. Weasel says:

    From what I've noticed, Facebook ads use different DOM object names depending on what FB page you are viewing. For instance, the right-hand ads on your Wall will be differently named objects from the right-hand ads on your Groups & Pages page. Have to find out all of the object names and block them accordingly.

  5. Ads says:

    Ad Muncher is the best ad blocker out there !

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