Why use an ad blocker?
Ads are in every part of our life - commercials on TV, ads before, after and during a YouTube video, ads on a simple online article. Having advertisements constantly shoved in our face gets tiring, what can we do about it?
A simple thing you can do right now is install an ad blocker plugin on your web browser. An ad blocker can take a page that looks like this:
And turn it into this:
That's much cleaner and easier to read, isn't it. If you're interested in getting those ads out of your face, follow these simple steps to install a free, safe, and secure ad blocker in your internet browser.
There are a lot of different ad blockers out there. I personally use AdBlock.
It's a free browser extension that takes seconds to install and works across all main browsers. I'll be showing some screenshots for installing this in Chrome, but you can follow along even if you use Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Your view might looks a little different, but since this is a browser extension, a lot of the installation work is done for you by your browser.
First, go to getadblock.com. Feel free to explore the website and read more about why Ad Block is useful and how it works. Once you're ready to add AdBlock to your browser, click the Get AdBlock Now button.
Here is where things might look a little different if you're using other browsers, but the steps are still the same. This button takes us to the browser extensions store for your browser. No matter what your browser is, you will have a button that says something like "Add to Chrome", "Get", "Add", etc. Click on that to add it to your browser.
You might get a popup or two to confirm that you'd like to add this to your browser. Click through those popups to install AdBlock.
Once AdBlock is added to your browser, you will be taken to a webpage managed by AdBlock. AdBlock is free, but if you would like to donate a one-time or monthly donation to the AdBlock team to help support the product, you are welcome to do so. Paying for AdBlock is NOT required to use AdBlock nor does it give you any additional features. Paying for AdBlock just helps provide support to keep AdBlock running and keep adding features for all its users. If you choose not to pay for AdBlock, you can simply close this window. AdBlock is already installed in your browser.
Showing AdBlock in Your Extensions
When I installed AdBlock, it did not immediately show up in my extensions bar. You may not care if AdBlock is visible in your extensions bar, but I recommend you have it visible. Some websites you frequent might not function properly if AdBlock is running. For example, my banking website now shows its log in information in a popup. Unfortunately, AdBlock thinks that popup is an add and blocks it. So, whenever I go to my bank's website, I need to turn AdBlock off temporarily so that I can log in. It is super easy to quickly turn AdBlock on and off temporarily if it's visible in your extensions bar.
In Chrome (it will be similar for other browsers) click on the extensions button (it typically looks like a puzzle piece). In some browsers, you might have to click on the three dots to open the drop down menu before you will see the extensions button.
Once you see your lists of extensions, find the AdBlock one. Make sure that the push pin, or toggle switch, or whatever button your browser uses is turned on. This will show AdBlock in your extensions bar.
Turning AdBlock Off and On
As I mentioned before, sometimes you don't want AdBlock running. If you find that a website you are trying to use isn't functioning properly, try pausing AdBlock on that site to see if that fixes your issue.
To pause AdBlock, simply click on the AdBlock icon in your extensions bar and select 'pause on this site' to pause AdBlock on the site you are currently on. If you want to pause AdBlock on all your websites, click 'pause on all sites' instead.
Once you've decided to start blocking ads again, just click on the AdBlock icon in your extensions bar and select 'resume blocking ads'.
Some websites may detect that you are using an ad blocker and prevent you from accessing the site. This is more common with some news sites, since they tend to get all their revenue from ads on their articles. If you find a popup like this, you can decide if you'd actually like to access the website. If you would like to access it, you can pause AdBlock for that website.
If this is a website you access frequently, and you don't want to try and remember to turn AdBlock on and off, you can add that website to a list of sites AdBlock won't block adds on. You can do this by clicking on the AdBlock icon in your extensions bar and select either 'don't run on this page' or 'don't run on pages on this site'.
The difference between these options is that 'don't run on this page' will turn off AdBlock only on the exact page you are on (for example one particular article on a website) while 'don't run on pages on this site' will turn off AdBlock for any page on the site you are on (for example all articles on a website).