Seeing unblocked ads in Chrome? The problem may be Chrome, not AdBlock

Chrome has some "loopholes" that other browsers don't have, which allow ad providers to sneak ads past ad blockers. If you're seeing ads in Chrome, first check to see whether they're blocked if you visit the page in a different browser.

If the ads are blocked in the other browser, then the problem is Chrome and those "loopholes" we mentioned earlier. Give the workarounds in this article a try.

However, if the ads aren't being blocked in other browsers either, check these "unblocked ads" troubleshooting steps if you haven't already done them.

Basic Chrome troubleshooting

Is something strange other than unblocked ads happening in Chrome? Some basic troubleshooting can help you solve the problem, or at least eliminate the most obvious causes to make finding an eventual answer easier.

Perform each step in order, restarting Chrome after each. Only move to the next step if the problem is still happening.

  1. Reboot your computer. This solves 95% of all computer problems. Seriously.
  2. Make sure that Chrome is up-to-date.
  3. Clear your browser cache and other browsing data.
  4. Try using Chrome in incognito mode, which disables extensions. If that fixes the problem, one of your extensions is the troublemaker.
  5. Look for and uninstall unfamiliar extensions.
  6. Reset Chrome's settingsPrograms you install can change your Chrome settings without your knowledge. Resetting them will undo any unwanted changes without interfering with your saved bookmarks and passwords.
  7. Recreate your Chrome profile.
  8. Check for and remove malware that affects Chrome.
    The "SRT" being referred to there is the Chrome "unwanted software removal tool," a one-time run cleanup utility Google developed. It tries to remove software that forcibly changes Chrome settings without your consent. Google suggests you download it to a computer other than the affected one (a computer that's free of any malware, of course!) and copy it onto the affected machine using a flash drive. This is because some of the sneakier malware tries to prevent you from downloading the SRT, or even substitutes a different download.
  9. As a last resort, uninstall Chrome. Be sure to select Also delete your browsing data. Then reinstall Chrome.
    Warning: Uninstalling Chrome this way will completely erase your bookmarks, saved passwords, extensions, and Chrome settings on your computer. Before you proceed, be sure to turn on Google Chrome sync and synchronize everything through your Google account!

And finally, here are some suggestions to try if Chrome won't open or launch.

Not for the faint of heart, here's some more in-depth information about troubleshooting unspecified Chrome errors, from a post in a Microsoft forum:

Browsers have many volatile behind-the-scenes operations that could be fouling up your browsing experience. Here are a few options for you to try.

  • Clear Chrome's temporary Internet files cache. This is initiated with Ctrl+Shift+Delete; then there are a few options you can check or uncheck after that before committing to the process.
  • While Chrome does not have a Safe mode, you can start Chrome as an incognito window, which closely approximates the "open-with-no-add-ons-enabled" configuration of other browsers.
  • Check Chrome's Customize and Control > Settings > Extensions for anything that doesn't look like you want it there. Disable everything that you feel you can live without.
  • Finally, personal search history is considered very valuable information by market research companies that may have infected your computer with spyware/malware. If there is any remote chance that this has occurred, get a free malware scanning program like MalwareBytes to run on your computer. Download, install, and update the malware definitions, then run a full or even a quick scan. Expect this to take some time depending upon the number of files on and size of your hard drive. Clearing all browser caches and emptying temp folders and Recycle bins prior to initiating a scan will speed this process up. Check everything it finds and remove them. You may be prompted to restart your computer in order that final operations on files residing in memory can be completed. You may need administrative level control of the computer to complete this.