Content monetization is a multi-billion dollar industry with internet giants like Google earning much of its revenue from online advertising. Earlier pay per click programs like Google AdSense had a limitation of number of advertisements displayed per page. However, this has been removed later and publishers can show unlimited ads regardless of the content length. Especially on mobile devices, you can easily get annoyed by seeing an ad after every few paragraphs. This ultimately led to the development of ad blocker software which you can use to block unnecessary advertisements.
Blocking Ads in Safari App in iPhone
Safari is the default browser in iPhone. Though you can use other browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox or Edge, many people continue using Safari as it is a native Apple app. Apple offers few options to view ad free websites in Safari. However, you need third-party apps to remove advertisements to certain extent. In this article, we will explain how to use content blocker in Safari to block advertisements on websites.
Remember, we talk about blocking ads in Safari app while browsing through websites. This is useful to block pop-up and display banner ads. You will not be able to block apps displayed inside app using the methods explained in this article.
Using Reader View in Safari
In our earlier article, we have explained how to use reader view in Safari iPhone app. You can simply toggle this option for specific website or permanently setup in Safari settings page for all websites. Reader view will help you to remove all clutters on the page including advertisements. However, you may lose the feel of reading web content and get bored with plain text / images.
Using Content Blocker in Safari
Apple offers an option called “Content Blockers” in Safari settings page. Third-party apps like browsers and ad blockers can use this to block unwanted advertisements when using Safari. Here, we will explain with an ad blocker app and Firefox Focus browser to disable ads in Safari using content blockers.
Block Safari Ads with AdBlock App
Ad blockers popular in desktop devices to prevent loading of advertisements in browsers. Good part is that you can use the same ad blocker app in iPhone to block ads in Safari browser. There are three steps in setting up the app:
Step1 – Install and Setup AdBlock App
- First, go to App Store in your iPhone and search for “ad blocker”.
- Find and install AdBlock app line any other app.
- After installing the app, tap on it to open.
- The app will ask you to all using wireless data. Select “WLAN & Cellular” option so that it can work on both networks.
- After that, tap on “First: Enable AdBlock!” option showing at the bottom of the screen.
- On the next screen, you can allow non-intrusive ads or disable them. We recommend enabling this option as many publishers like us rely on advertising revenue to run the life.
- Enable notification in the next screen and confirm the pop-up to allow notifications. This is an optional step, disable the notifications if you do not like. After that tap on “Exit Settings” at the bottom of the screen.
- Now, AdBlock app will open (or you can tap and open it) and show you the status of the last updated date of the filter list. You can update the filter list anytime, if you find some ads are sneaking into the webpages.
Step2 – Enable AdBlock in Safari
As mentioned, you have to enable AdBlock app to use Safari’s content blockers feature.
- Go to “Settings” app and open “Safari” settings page.
- Tap on “Content Blockers” option available under “General” section.
- Enable “AdBlock – Ad Blocking”, “AdBlock – International Language” and “Ad Block – Privacy Shield” options.
This will allow AdBlock app to block all unnecessary advertisements when viewing webpages in Safari browser. Remember, this will work only in Safari browser and not on third-party browsers like Google Chrome.
Step3 – Exclusion List
If you find the website content is useful, we recommend you to include the website in ad blocker exclusion list. The app will exclude the domain from blocking and show advertisement when you webpages from that domain.
- Open AdBlock app and go to “Settings” tab.
- Tap on “Setup & Help” showing as a first option.
- On the next screen, enter the domain name you want to exclude from blocking in the text box below the title “Add website to whitelist”.
- Tap on “Go” key on your keyboard to add the domain the exclusion list.
- After adding a domain, you can anytime remove it by tapping on the trash icon showing against the domain.
Using Firefox Privacy Browser to Block Safari App
Though AdBlock app works nicely, you will see some advertisements on the pages. These are generally from advertisers participating in Acceptable Ads Program. In addition, AdBlock and other ad blocker apps will block all keywords related to advertising. For example, you can’t open a webpage with the URL “example.com/advertise” as the URL contains the word “advertise”. Unfortunately, this is insane and easily make you crazy when you need to frequently visit that type of pages.
If you do not want to use AdBlock or any other ad blocker apps, then there is an alternate option available for you. You can use privacy based browsers like Firefox Focus with multiple options. These browsers allow you to block trackers and delete history instantly after viewing the site. in addition, you can use Firefox Focus to block advertisements in Safari browser also.
- First, install Firefox Focus browser app from App Store. Remember, this is a different app and not the default Firefox browser app.
- Open the app and tap on the gear icon on the bottom right corner to open settings page.
- Scroll down and enable “Safari” option showing below “Safari Integration” option.
- You will see a warning mentioning “Firefox Focus in not enabled” with the instructions on how to enable it in Safari.
- The process remains same as explained above in step 2 for AdBlock app. You have to go to Safari settings page and enable content blockers for Firefox Privacy from “General” section.
- Now, open webpages in Safari and test that the advertisements are blocked.
Content blockers is a useful feature in Safari browser that will allow third-party apps to integrate with Safari and block unwanted advertisements. Good part is that there will be no feedback send to the app and hence the blocking app will not know the details of the ads blocked. This will help to retain the privacy while blocking advertisements. However, you will still see some ads will appear, especially from the advertisers participating in Acceptable Ads Program.