How to use the Adblock Plus browser in iOS

The free Adblock Browser lets you block ads, trackers, social media buttons and other annoyances on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

Ad blockers have been in the news a lot lately, and many users have been lusting for ad blockers in iOS. The makers of the popular Adblock Plus blocker have finally released a version for iOS. You can download the free Adblock Browser for iOS right now in the app store. 

I installed Adblock Plus' new ad blocking browser in iOS 9 on my iPhone 6 Plus to check it out, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it performed.

In this how-to I'll show you how to switch your search engine, disable nonintrusive ads, use additional blocking options, and how to whitelist sites in the Adblock Browser.

Downloading and installing the Adblock Browser in iOS

As I noted earlier, you can get the Adblock Browser in the app store. The download is quite small, just 7.8 MB. So it won't run up your data usage if you are on a cellular connection and want to download it immediately.

I had no problems installing it in iOS 9. The browser seemed very fast and stable while running on my iPhone 6 Plus. 

Using the Adblock Browser in iOS

adblock browser ios whitelist sites

To access the controls, including the whitelist option, just click on the Adblock icon at the bottom of the browser. 

When you first open the Adblock Browser app, you'll see two welcome screens. The first is just splash screen that tells you that announces the virtues of not seeing any ads, but the second tells you how to access the whitelisting, sharing and settings controls in the Adblock Browser for iOS.

All you need to do is tap the Adblock icon at the bottom of the browser and you'll see the menu appear with the whitelist, sharing and settings icons. There's also a star icon at the bottom so you can bookmark favorite sites or pages, and a tabs button you can tap to see all of your open web pages.

Two search engines: DuckDuckGo and Google in the Adblock Browser in iOS

The Adblock Browser for iOS comes with a choice of two search engines: DuckDuckGo and Google. DuckDuckGo is the default search engine, and that should please anyone who cares about their privacy since DuckDuckGo doesn't track or filter bubble its users. But Google is there for the folks who want to use it. 

If you prefer Google, here's how you can change the default search engine in the Adblock Browser for iOS:

adblock browser ios change default search engine

The default search engine in the Adblock Browser for iOS is DuckDuckGo. But Google is also available as an option if you prefer to use it. 

1. Tap on the Adblock button at the bottom of the browser.

2. Tap on the Settings button.

3. Tap on Search Engine under Search.

4. Tap on Google.

Now your default search engine will be Google instead of DuckDuckGo. 

How to disable nonintrusive ads in the Adblock Browser in iOS

One thing that some users might not like is that nonintrusive ads are enabled by default. This means that you will still see some ads in the Adblock Browser for iOS when you start using it. But you can easily turn them off.

Here's how to disable nonintrusive advertising in the Adblock Browser for iOS:

1. Tap the Adblock icon at the bottom of the browser.

adblock browser ios disable nonintrusive ads

Nonintrusive ads are enabled by default, but you can easily change this if you prefer to block them in the Adblock Browser for iOS.

2. Tap the Settings button.

3. Tap on Adblock Plus under Privacy and Security.

4. Tap on Acceptable Ads under Exceptions.

5. Tap the "Allow some nonintrusive ads" button to turn it off.

Now all ads will be blocked in the Adblock Browser for iOS.

I know that some folks will probably be irritated that they have to tap a few times to disable nonintrusive advertising, but I don't think it's all that big of a deal. In fact, I suggest you try browsing with nonintrusive ads enabled just to see if they actually bother you or not. It may not be worth bothering to disable them for some users.

How to block tracking, malware, social media buttons and more in the Adblock Browser in iOS

The Adblock Browser for iOS also has some additional blocking options:

1. Disable Tracking

adblock browser ios more blocking options

The Adblock Browser for iOS also comes with additional blocking options, including the ability to block annoying social media buttons. 

2. Disable Malware Domains

3. Disable Social Media Buttons

4. Disable Anti-Ad Blocking Messages

Here's how you can enable these additional blocking options in the Adblock Browser for iOS:

1. Tap the Adblock icon at the bottom of the browser.

2. Tap the Settings button.

3. Tap on Adblock Plus under Privacy and Security.

4. Tap on More Blocking Options.

5. Tap the buttons of the additional blocking options you want to enable.

I was very happy indeed to see social media buttons listed under the blocking options. I despise seeing them strewn all over the web like raw sewage, stinking up one site after another. So I made sure to turn on that additional blocking option immediately. The other options will also be appreciated my many users, particularly those that value their privacy.

How to whitelist sites in the Adblock Browser in iOS

Whitelisting sites that you really care about is always a good idea so that those sites can continue to earn revenue to keep producing the content you enjoy. Here's how you can quickly whitelist a site in the Adblock Browser for iOS:

1. Tap the Adblock icon at the bottom of your browser.

2. Tap the "Ad blocking on this site" button to remove the green arrow.

3. Reload the page to see it with advertising enabled.

The Adblock Browser is the first of many ad blockers in iOS

Based on what I've seen so far, I think the Adblock Browser for iOS is off to a very good start. All of the important features are there, the interface is done well and the ad blocking seems to work on every site I've tried so far.

However, the Adblock Browser for iOS is the tip of the iceberg as far as ad blocking goes in iOS. iOS 9 will have many more ad blockers available that will use Apple's new content blockers. And those ad blockers won't require a separate browser at all, you'll be able to use them in Safari.

But remember that Adblock Plus has been in the ad blocking game for a while now. They know which features most users expect to have (as you can see from the ability to block social media buttons and other additional blocking options), but it remains to be seen if competitive ad blockers will match the features already in the Adblock Browser for iOS. We shall see soon enough.

One thing is for sure, we are about to enter a golden age of ad blocking in iOS.

Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.

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