From iOS and Android to macOS and Windows, there are tons of ad blockers on the market. But while ad blockers can be a valuable tool, they can sometimes have unintended side effects (like blocking some web pages from loading). Thankfully, nearly every browser extension or built-in ad blocker can be turned off. In this article, we’ll explain how ad blockers work, and how to disable ad blocker on various devices and operating systems.
How ad blockers work
Whether it’s an extension or built-in to your browser or device, most ad blockers work in a similar way: they alter or remove ads on the web pages you visit. Some will hide an ad from appearing on the page; others prevent it from loading in the first place. The latter method, known as request blocking, is the most common. In this case, your web browser compares the list of scripts on the page to known ads and advertising techniques. If there’s a match, the request (and thus the ad) is blocked. Sometimes, the ad is replaced by an approved ad, but often there’s no replacement—you just see a broken link or “hole” on the page.
Why disable your ad blocker?
So, why might you disable ad blocker? Well, they sometimes block web page elements that aren’t ads. For example, ad blocker might stop web forms from loading, hide images, or block payment portals. In these cases (and others), you can try disabling your ad blocker to see if that fixes the problem.
Note: If you do turn off ad blocker, you should only do so temporarily. For both privacy and security, and to ensure a cleaner view of the web, you should always default to the ad blocker being turned on.
How to disable built-in ad blocker
Some of the most common ad blockers are built right into your browser. If this is true for you, see instructions below for a few of the most common browsers. If you’re using an ad blocker you installed in your browser, you can scroll down to see how to turn off adblock extensions.
- Open Chrome.
- Click the “…” (ellipsis) menu, and then click Settings.
- Select Security and Privacy, and then Site Settings.
- Select Additional content settings, and then Ads.
- Turn on Block ads on sites that show intrusive or misleading ads.
Firefox doesn’t have a native ad-blocker. However, it does have several built-in options to block various kinds of trackers, cookies, fingerprinting, and more. To access these settings:
- Open Firefox.
- Click the browser menu (it looks like three stacked lines), and click Settings.
- Click the Privacy & Security header.
- Select Standard, Strict, or Custom mode depending on your preferences.
According to reports, ad blocking won’t be available for the Edge browser until its next update. However, in the meantime, there is an anti-tracking function that you can enable by following these steps:
- Open Edge.
- Click Settings and more, and then click Settings.
- Click Privacy, search, and services.
- Make sure Tracking prevention is set to On.
- Select the level of tracking prevention that’s right for you.
How to turn off ad blocking extensions
If you’ve installed a third-party extension in your browser, you can change the settings just like you would any other extension. On Chrome, you can access extensions under the “…” menu. You can configure Safari extensions under the Safari menu, while Edge extensions are found under Settings and more.
How Brave solves the ad-blocking problem
Brave saves you the hassle (and potential risk) of installing adblock extensions: With Brave, the protections are built right into the browser. Ads & trackers, fingerprinting, third-party cookies, and more are all blocked by default. To see what Brave blocked (and a number of other protections) simply click the lion icon in the address bar of any page you visit.