How to Block Ads on iPad and iPhone
Do you want to block ads from showing up on webpages read on an iPhone or iPad? You can certainly block ads in Safari in iOS, and we’ll show you exactly how to accomplish this and remove all ads from iOS by using a feature called Content Blockers. We’re going to use a simple method and simple content blocker to block ads from the web in Safari on iPad and iPhone.
Something to keep in mind before blocking ads; Most websites nowadays are ad supported, and advertising is the predominant business model of the majority of internet publications (the site you are reading right now included). Thus if you block ads, you are effectively blocking that websites ability to monetize and support itself. But while some websites have ads that are no big deal, other web sites or ad networks they use may push out more aggressive advertising than just simple banner ads, including things like annoying auto-play video ads, page takeover ads, pop-up ads, and a variety of other ads that can be cumbersome or frustrating to experience. By disabling and blocking ads on the iPad or iPhone, you will stop all ads from showing up anywhere in Safari.
How to Block Ads on iPhone and iPad with Safari Content Blockers
You must have a modern iOS release to block ads and use Content Blockers on the iPhone and iPad. If you have not done so already, update iOS to a version compatible with Safari Content Blockers.
- Download a free ad blocker from the iOS App Store, for example Norton Ad Blocker is free and simple
- After the ad blocker has been downloaded to the iPhone or iPad, open the “Settings” app in iOS
- Go to “Safari” and then find “Content Blockers”
- Check the toggle next to the ‘Ad Blocker’ so that it is enabled
- Now go to the Home Screen of iOS and find the content blocker you just downloaded, and open the app directly
- Make sure the ad block setting is enabled in the app
- Optionally but recommended; in the “Exceptions” or “White List” setting, add websites you want to allow to run ads and support, like “osxdaily.com”
- Exit out of the Content Blocker app and Settings and now launch Safari in iOS, ad block will be enabled
When you relaunch Safari after enabling an ad blocking Content Blocker, no ads will appear on webpages anymore. However, you can ‘whitelist’ or ‘except’ chosen webpages and allow them to display ads if you wish to support their efforts and work, and I personally recommend you whitelist the sites that matter to you and that you enjoy reading.
White Listing Web Sites in Ad Blocker for iOS
Note that most ad block plugins have a “white list” or ‘exceptions’ feature which allows you to white list certain sites, giving them the ability to show ads despite them being blocked elsewhere. If you’re going to block ads, please whitelist our website and domain (osxdaily.com) since we are completely ad supported.
It’s good practice to white list and except websites you actually care about, since advertising supports much of the web. Support what you like!
In the Norton Ad Blocker Content Blocker we cover here, adding a site to the exception list is very easy:
- Open the Ad Blocker app
- Choose “Exceptions” (some apps may call it a white list or similar language)
- Choose “Add Exception” then add the domain of a website you want to allow to display ads, like “osxdaily.com”
- Choose to “Add”
- Repeat with other websites you want to allow ads for if desired
The exceptions list is also useful because some websites block visitors who have ad blockers enabled, so by excepting them through the white list you could gain access to the site again.
iOS Content Blockers, & Other Ad Blocking Solutions
General ad blocking in iOS is always accomplished through a feature of Safari called Content Blockers. Content Blockers are somewhat self explanatory, and they can be used to block any sort of content found within Safari and on the web, but in this case we’re going to focus on free Content Blockers that block advertisements of all sorts from showing up on web pages.
There are other ad block options for the iOS devices, but they are not Content Blocker based. For example you can find some dedicated browsers with built-in ad block features, or you can use AirPlane mode before launching a game or app to block in-app advertising banners from appearing in that app too, but obviously that wouldn’t work for online network games.
Another option that is built directly into Safari on iOS is using Safari Reader mode on the iPhone or iPad which will strip ads and all other content from a web page, causing it to display a simplified version of the website without any other info, banners, ads, widgets, or other stuff.
Using Free Ad Blockers vs Paid Ad Blockers on iPhone and iPad
My opinion is to use a free ad blocker. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!
There is really no particular reason to pay for an ad blocker, since there are many free ad blockers available for the iPhone and iPad. Similarly there is no reason to pay to unlock more so-called ‘features’ in an ad blocker. Just use a free ad block plugin that you can find in the iOS App Store, there are many of them. Avoid the plugins that are paid, have upsells, or other claims of unlocking features via some purchase.
Norton Ad Blocker is free and will block ads, for example, there is no need to pay for ad blocking in iOS. If you don’t want to use the Norton Ad Blocker then no big deal, there are plenty of other free ad block Content Blockers on the App Store too.