If you're constantly bombarded by advertisers, you may want to know how to block pop-ups on your iPhone or iPad. Fortunately, iOS supports adblocker software! There are hundreds of adblocker apps available in the App Store, so it can be difficult to know which adblock apps iPhone users should download. In this guide, we list the best iPhone Adblocker apps and show you how to set up Adblocker software on iOS.
What is an adblocker?
The term “adblocker” is somewhat misleading because, although adblocker applications block ads, their most useful function is to prevent tracking scripts from loading in your browser, which allows businesses to track your movements when you browse the web. This is why they are also called “content blockers”.
Another advantage of adblockers is that they can speed up page load times because they prevent the browser from loading unnecessary (and potentially dangerous) scripts. For the same reason, adblockers reduce bandwidth consumption and are therefore almost essential for those with limited data plans. They also claim to save battery life, although we are fully confident that this benefit will be noticeable for the average user.
Best Adblockers for iPhone and iPad
Below is a list of the best adblock apps for iPhone and iPad users. Most of the adblockers in this article are free, however, some offer a premium version.
AdGuard is a very popular free and open-source adblocker which also has a Pro version. AdGuard Free does most of the things you expect: it effectively blocks ads and protects your privacy by blocking tracking scripts. You can choose from over 50 popular filter lists, such as EasyList and EasyPrivacy.
One cool feature of AdGuard is its manual blocking feature, which lets you select and delete items on a web page (such as an ad it couldn't automatically block).
Premium users can create custom filter lists and perform system-wide DNS filtering. This is accomplished by creating a “fake” VPN connection to any popular DNS service of your choice. Or you can configure your own DNS server. As mentioned earlier, this functionality is not compatible with the use of a standard VPN application.
Adblock is the original adblocker for iOS. In addition to a normal Safari content blocker, Adblock can create a local DNS proxy on your device that performs DNS blocking locally, rather than on a remote server.
In addition to using popular blocking list rules, you can create custom blocking rules and URL-based blocking lists, which you can export and sync between devices using iCloud. To minimize disruption to your browsing experience caused by DNS filtering of disruptive sites, Adblock provides a handy widget to quickly enable or disable the DNS proxy.
Firefox Focus is an open source browser from Mozilla, creator of the famous Firefox browser. It is designed from the start to improve privacy, a key element of which is content blocking. Its main concern is monitoring protection rather than blocking ads, but for that, it blocks all ads that follow you. Unsurprisingly, this means that it blocks most ads.
Although it is ideal for privacy, Firefox Focus has limits as a daily browser. The most notable of these is that website login information is not saved between sessions. Another is that tabbed browsing is not supported in iOS (although it is in the Android version).
It is however possible to integrate the content blocking features of Firefox Focus into Safari in the usual manner described above in this article.
1Blocker has a relatively high price, this updated version of the famous legacy 1Blocker application remains very popular. It is a standard Safari adblocker that benefits from doing its job simply but well.
It uses more than 115,000 rules to block ads and trackers and offers regional rules tailored to specific countries. It also allows you to add custom rules, which you can protect using Touch ID or Face ID. If you want to support specific websites, you can whitelist them.
One feature we like is the ability to block annoyances like social media widgets, cookie reviews, share bars and crypto miners.
The 1Blocker website proudly claims that independent tests by Wirecutter, NY Times and BrooksReview have confirmed that the application reduces average data usage by more than 50%. Which is quite impressive.
How to stop pop-ups and ads on iPhone
On desktop and Android platforms, the usual approach to block ads is to install an adblocker add-on for Firefox or Chrome browsers. Such as uMatrix, Privacy Badger and / or uBlock Origin.
iOS being what it is, however, installing an adblocker on an iPhone or iPad is not that simple. For starters, thanks to strict guidelines from the App Store developers, neither Firefox nor Chrome supports browser add-ons in iOS.
This leaves you with a main approach to ad blocking, use the content blocking apps in Safari by installing them and activating the app in Safari settings.
To do this, just:
Go to Settings -> Safari -> General -> Content blockers and activate yours.
Content blocking apps can conflict with each other, so it's probably a good idea to activate only one at a time. iOS limits adblocker apps to 50,000 rules each, however, many apps (such as AdGuard shown below) run in multiple processes to work around this restriction. In this case, you should probably activate all the processes from a single application.
Practical tip: Adblockers can break websites by blocking scripts that websites need to run. Fortunately, Safari for iOS provides a fix for this. Just long press the page refresh button to bring up a pop-up dialog which allows you to refresh the page without any content blocker activated.