iOS 9: How to use the Purify ad blocker

One of the first iOS 9 content blockers offers relief from obnoxious ads


One of iOS 9's most coveted features is its ability to provide ad blockers (content blockers) in mobile Safari. Purify is one of the first ad blockers for iOS 9, and it works surprisingly well to clean up the mobile Web in Safari.

[ Related: 7 tips and tricks for iOS 9 ]

I signed up for the Purify beta a while back, and got an email the other day inviting me to try it via the TestFlight app. So I installed TestFlight, then installed Purify on my iPhone 6 Plus. I wasn't sure how well Purify would work to clean up the mobile Web in Safari, but I was pleasantly surprised indeed.

purify adblocker ios 9 enable in safari

To use the Purify ad blocker in iOS 9, you first need to enable it in the Content Blockers menu for Safari in the Settings app.

Don't worry if you haven't used a content blocker before in iOS 9, Purify has a helpful animated demo that explains how to use it. And I've included some instructions and screenshots below so you can take a peek at how to use it right now.

How to install and enable the Purify ad blocker in iOS 9

The Purify app has been released, and you can download it right now from the app store. It costs $3.99. 

Here's how you can install and enable the Purify ad blocker in iOS 9.

1. Download the Purify app from the app store on your iOS device.

2. Open the Settings app.

3. Tap on Safari.

4. Scroll down and tap on Content blockers.

5. Tap the Purify button to enable Purify in Safari.

And that's all you need to do to get Purify working in Safari in iOS 9. But Purify blocks more than just ads, so if you want to customize how it works you'll need to do a bit more inside the Purify app itself.

How to configure the Purify ad blocker in iOS 9

purify adblocker ios 9 preferences

The preferences menu in the Purify ad blocker for iOS 9 also lets you block images, scripts and even fonts. 

Here's how you can configure the Purify ad blocker in iOS 9:

1. Open the Purify app on your iOS device.

2. Tap on the Preferences button at the bottom of the app.

3. Tap the Ads and Tracking button to enable or disable blocking of ads and trackers.

4. You also have the option of blocking these additional resources: Images, scripts and fonts. Just tap the button next to each to enable or disable blocking them in Purify.

5. Tap on Whitelisted Sites under Personalization to edit your list of whitelisted sites (more on how to whitelist sites below).

It's quite easy to configure Purify to your liking, so do take a minute or two to look at the preferences menu in the app.

How to whitelist sites in the Purify ad blocker in iOS 9

purify adblocker ios 9 add whitelist button to sharing menu

Tap the Sharing button to add the Purify Whitelist button to your Sharing menu in iOS 9.

As always, it's a very good idea to whitelist the sites you really care about so they can continue to generate revenue that will let them keep producing the content you enjoy. Whitelisting sites is very easy and fast in Purify, here's how you can do it:

purify adblocker ios 9 whitelist site

After you add the Purify Whitelist button to your Sharing menu, tap it to enable or disable a site in your whitelist.

1. Open the site you want to whitelist in Safari.

2. Tap on the Sharing icon.

3. Tap on More.

4. Tap on the Purify Whitelist button to add it to the Sharing menu.

5. Tap the Purify Whitelist button that now appears in the Sharing menu.

6. Tap the button next to the name of the site to whitelist it.

Once you've added the Purify Whitelist button to the regular Sharing menu, it's very quick and easy to whitelist your favorite sites. They'll appreciate your continued support and you'll feel glad that you're doing your part to help them stay in business.

The Purify ad blocker for iOS 9 is off to a good start

So far I'm pleased with the Purify ad blocker. It definitely makes Web pages load faster, and it gets rid of annoyances like popup ads, etc. Browsing the Web on my iPhone 6 Plus with Purify on is certainly a better overall experience.

However, I did encounter one problem with Purify. Even though I had it set to block trackers, I still saw some social media buttons showing up. I detest them, so it might be a good idea for the Purify developer to add Fanboy's Social List to Purify's ad blocking list. Social media buttons have become a pestilence on the Web, so making sure they are removed should be a top priority for any ad blocker.

The social media button snafu aside, the Purify ad blocker looks like it's in very good shape. I think a lot of iOS 9 users are going to be very happy with it when they are able to download it from the app store. Hopefully it will be available soon after the release of iOS 9.

Purify is one of the first, but it definitely won't be the last ad blocker released for iOS 9. I suspect that the app store will soon be inundated with ad blocking apps. We'll have to wait and see which ones survive over time, and which ones offer the best blocking options in iOS 9.

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