Ad Blocker for Mac: How to Stop Those Pesky Ads

ad blocker for mac

Advertisements are how websites make money, but there are some ads that are especially intrusive. These adverts may be pop-ups, or the ads can be video or text. In either case, some are very annoying. You may also find that there are ads that contain malware.

If you want to block ads on Mac, there are a lot of options available.

We’ll explain how to block these advertisements on the most popular web browsers, so you can browse the Internet in peace.

Google Chrome

If you’re a Safari user, please scroll down to the next section of the article. Otherwise, if you’re a Google Chrome user, you will find this section to be very helpful. You’ll start by installing Chrome and then disabling popups.

There’s nothing more intrusive than a popup blocking the middle of an article that you’re reading.

What you’ll want to do is:

  • Click Chrome > Settings
  • Go to Show advanced settings

You’ll find a section called “Content settings,” and in this settings page, you’ll want to scroll down to the Pop-ups section.

content settings

All of the pop-up settings can be found here, and this will allow you to choose to not allow any site to show pop-ups.

pop-ups and redirects

But if you do want a site to be allowed to show pop-ups, which is used on some sites for non-ad reasons, you can add the site to the exception list.

Blocked sites

Pop-ups can be blocked, but regular adverts cannot be blocked without installing an ad blocker. There are a few options available, but the two most popular ad-blocking plugins are:

  1. https://www.getadblock.com/
  2. https://adguard.com/en/welcome.html

These two add-ons will allow you to adjust settings and better control those pesky ads that are taking over your Mac. What’s great is that these same measures can be taken on almost any iOS device.

Safari

Safari is a very underrated browser, and it has a lot of great features that other web browsers don’t have. When you use Safari, you’ll have a surefire way of blocking out ads, but it will also impact some of the functions that you may want when using a specific website.

The Safari web browser has what’s called Reader.

Safari Reader Mode

When you use the built-in Reader mode, it will block a lot of the visual distractions on a website, including the ads that tend to clutter up the site. Reader will block other features, and these are some that you may need:

  • Video
  • Comments
  • Sidebars
  • Social elements

You have full control of the Reader, and this is done on a per website basis. When you go to the website, you’ll want to click on the Reader button that is next to the URL bar. This button will engage the reader, and it will allow you to start viewing in the reader mode.

There are other options available, too, if your version of Safari doesn’t include this button.

Note: I recommend updating to the newest version of Safari to enjoy the utmost in ad-blocking features. If you don’t have the little Reader button available, you’re likely running an outdated version of the browser.

What if You Can’t See the Reader Mode Button?

If the button isn’t next to the URL, you can navigate to View > Show Reader.

High Sierra and higher versions of macOS will allow you to remember which sites to open in Reader. I really like this option because I can use Reader on sites that I know are overrun with ads. Otherwise, I can use the full function of a website by not using Reader to view it.

Anyone with Safari 11 or higher can choose to always open a site in Reader by going to Safari > Settings for This Website. You’ll then see a heading that mentions “when visiting this website,” and you’ll be able to choose to always Use Reader when available.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the settings for Reader because there are a lot of great options available.

There are options that will allow you to automatically default to Reader on compatible websites. Reader may remove some of the functionality, as mentioned earlier, but it still works very well for blocking ads and malicious coding.

Block Popups in Safari

Popups are also able to be blocked easily in Safari.

You’ll need to navigate to Safari Preferences > Security. Within this tab, you’ll find a checkbox that will allow you to block pop-up windows.

Safari security Tab

Remember the two links for Chrome for ad-blockers? Well, these two ad blockers will need to be used if you’re trying to block traditional ads on a site. This is the only way to block ads properly, and it will allow for full control over which ads you see and which ones you don’t.

Firefox is coming out with a new iteration of their browser which is said to have heavy ad blocking support. You might want to give the new version a try because I have heard great things about it in terms of the option to block out most ads.

Read-Later Services Are an Option

You do have the option of using Read Later services. What these services do is allow you to include all of your favorite blogs and websites. The service will ping these sites, searching for new content and then displaying it in the Reader without ads included.

Read Later services are a great option, and it’s one that I highly recommend for anyone that goes to a blog or news site often. However, you may miss some great content along the way.

For example, there may be older content that you could sift through on the site, but since you’re only able to view the clean article, this can be problematic.

Ad blockers are the ideal choice if you still want to navigate on a site, ignore ads and enjoy the vast majority of the content that’s on the page. When it comes to ads, third-party solutions work best when there’s no Reader or popups involved.