What's happening?

Some folks have reported that MSN.com and other websites look like the following screenshot when they visit using the Google Chrome o Mozilla Firefox browsers with AdBlock or Adblock Plus (ABP) running. (Adblock Plus is an unrelated product developed by a different company.)

MSN.com home page with an ad blocker

Or maybe MSN.com isn't displaying pictures properly. Or your MSN.com home page might look mostly normal, but it shows a message like this:

Special notice: If you are seeing problems with pages displaying or links not working, it may be related to your ad blocker software. We suggest temporarily disabling your ad blocker software while visiting www.msn.com to resolve these issues.

First try these troubleshooting steps to rule out a misbehaving filter list. If the page doesn't return to normal even with all your filter lists disabled, it's not a filter list issue. Keep reading for additional suggestions.

Why is it happening?

MSN.com and some other popular websites appear to be escalating the war against ad blockers. First, they began using a very aggressive ad technology to bypass users' ad blockers, particularly in Chrome. Now it looks like the sites are intentionally breaking their own pages to force visitors to disable their ad blockers altogether. The site looks fine when we test in Chrome and Firefox. MSN.com may be testing some new anti-ad blocking technology or technique on random visitors.

What can I do about it?

We are working on ways to counter this aggressive technology. In the meantime, there are a few things you can try that may make MSN.com pages display properly.

Pause AdBlock

Pausing AdBlock is a quick and easy way to disable AdBlock temporarily. Remember to unpause when you leave MSN.com!

  1. Click the AdBlock button in the browser toolbar and select Pause on this site or Pause AdBlock.
  2. Reload the page.

To resume ad blocking, click the AdBlock button again and select Resume blocking ads or Unpause AdBlock.

Whitelist MSN.com

Whitelisting tells your ad blocker not to block ads on a particular page or website while continuing to block them everywhere else.

  1. Click the AdBlock button in the Chrome toolbar and select Don't run on pages on this site.
  2. Click Exclude.
  3. Reload the page.

Open Chrome's developer tools

Opening Chrome's developer tools temporarily stops MSN.com's ad technology from running. The technology is smart. It can detect when the developer tools are open and not run. In effect, it's "hiding" from visitors who know how to use developer access to the page to try to get around it.

You don't have to be a web developer to use this workaround. You don't need to do anything with the developer tools, just open and close them. Site pages will load properly, without ads, for a little while. When the ads return or the page breaks again, just open and close the developer tools.

To open Chrome's developer tools, press Ctrl+Shift+I or right-click the page and select Inspect. To close them, click the X in the upper right corner of the developer tools pane.

Update AdBlock

We are actively working to counteract the aggressive ad technology. The best thing you can do is to keep your AdBlock up-to-date. If your Chrome extensions are set to update automatically (which is the default setting in Chrome), you don't need to do anything to get new releases. AdBlock will update itself automatically when your browser is open.