You can pause AdBlock, allowing ads to appear temporarily when needed, or turn it off entirely on sites where you want to allow ads every time you visit. You can make sure your filter lists are up to date if an ad isn't blocked. You can also uninstall AdBlock for Safari. This article will show you how.


Note: If you installed the Mac app before you uninstalled our legacy extension, please see this answer in our FAQ.


In this article

Before you start

What is the AdBlock for Safari app?

Customizing how and where AdBlock works

Stop blocking ads

Whitelisting a site

Tip: Are you seeing unblocked ads only on the current site?

Removing a website from your whitelist

Pausing AdBlock

Tip: Are you seeing unblocked ads on every site you visit?

Resuming ad blocking after pausing

Disabling AdBlock

Blocking non-intrusive ads

More about non-intrusive ads and whitelisting

Manually updating AdBlock's filter lists

Getting answers and contacting AdBlock Support

Uninstalling the AdBlock for Safari app

Troubleshooting the AdBlock for Safari app


Before you start

If you haven’t installed the AdBlock for Safari app yet, do that now.


What is the AdBlock for Safari app?

The AdBlock for Safari app, first released in 2018, is the "next-generation" version of the AdBlock for Safari extension that has been around since 2009. Although you can still use the old AdBlock extension for now, Apple is making Safari extensions obsolete. We recommend that you switch to the new app by the end of the year.


The AdBlock for Safari app consists of three components:

  1. The AdBlock extension, which uses filter lists to determine what to block on websites you visit. This is the content blocking piece, the part that actually blocks the ads. It has no user interface.

  2. The AdBlock Safari Icon extension, which allows you to control the AdBlock extension in Safari. You can use the AdBlock icon on the Safari toolbar to pause ad blocking everywhere, whitelist just the site you're on, open the app, find answers to questions, and contact AdBlock Support.

  3. The AdBlock app, which allows you to select and update filter lists and whitelist any site manually. The app's user interface includes the app window and a button in the MacOS menu bar.


Both extensions are required for the AdBlock app to work.


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Customizing how and where AdBlock works

Some of the things you can do with the AdBlock app can be done in more than one place or in more than one way. Just use the method that's most convenient for you.


Stop blocking ads

Why would you want an ad blocker that doesn't block ads? It sounds like a trick question, doesn't it? But there are times when you might want AdBlock to leave a web page alone. Maybe you want to view content on a site that doesn't let you use an ad blocker. Maybe you really like the site and want to support it by allowing it to show you ads every time you visit. Or maybe an overzealous filter list is blocking something that isn't an ad, breaking a site feature you're trying to use. 


There are three ways to make AdBlock stop blocking ads: whitelist a site, pause AdBlock, and disable the AdBlock extension entirely. Although they all "disable" AdBlock, they have different scopes and are recommended for use in different situations.

  • Whitelisting a site stops ad blocking only on that site. Ads are still blocked everywhere else.

  • Pausing AdBlock suspends ad blocking everywhere. The content blocker remains active but idle, like a conscientious security guard at a cotton ball factory.

  • Disabling the AdBlock extension stops ad blocking everywhere. The content blocker is "sleeping," like a negligent security guard at a cotton ball factory.


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Whitelisting a site

Whitelist a website when you want to support it and you don't mind the ads it serves. Ads continue to be blocked everywhere else.


Where you can do it: In Safari and the AdBlock app


Whitelisting a site in Safari

Click the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar and select Allow ads on this site.


Whitelisting a site in Safari


The page reloads automatically. It may take a few seconds for all the previously blocked or hidden ads to appear.


Whitelisting a site in the AdBlock app

  1. Click the AdBlock button in the MacOS menu bar and select Whitelist.

    Whitelisting a site using the AdBlock app button in the MacOS menu bar
    The AdBlock app window opens on the Whitelisting tab.

    Alternate method: Click the AdBlock icon in the Dock or Launchpad to open the app, then click the Whitelisting tab.


  1. Enter the site's domain name and click Add Website. (The domain name is the part of a website address up to and including ".com.")

    Whitelisting a site in the AdBlock app

Tip: Are you seeing unblocked ads only on the current site?

The AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar doesn't change when the website you're visiting is whitelisted. The only way to tell the site is whitelisted is that "Block ads on this site" replaces “Allow ads on this site” in the menu.


If ads aren't being blocked on the current site but are blocked everywhere else, you probably forgot you whitelisted the site at some point. Click the icon and select Block ads on this site if you want ads to be blocked here again.


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Removing a site from your whitelist

Remove a website from your whitelist to start blocking ads again every time you visit.


Where you can do it: In Safari and the AdBlock app


Removing a site from your whitelist in Safari

Click the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar and select Block ads on this site.


Removing a site from your whitelist in Safari


The page reloads automatically, without ads.


Removing a site from your whitelist in the AdBlock app

  1. Click the AdBlock button in the MacOS menu bar and select Whitelist.

    Removing a site from your whitelist using the AdBlock app button in the MacOS menu bar
    The AdBlock app window opens on the Whitelisting tab.

    Alternate method: Click the AdBlock icon in the Dock or Launchpad to open the app, then click the Whitelisting tab.

    Removing a site from your whitelist in the AdBlock app


  1. Click the trashcan icon next to the site you want to start blocking ads on again.


  1. Return to Safari and reload the web page to see it without ads.


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Pausing AdBlock

Pause AdBlock:

  • To view content on a site that requires you to disable ad blockers, but that you don't want to whitelist.

  • As part of troubleshooting when something on a web page doesn't look or work right. See the section on troubleshooting, below.


Where you can do it: In Safari


Pausing AdBlock in Safari

Click the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar and select Pause.


Pausing AdBlock in Safari


The page reloads automatically. It may take a few seconds for all the previously blocked or hidden ads to appear.


Tip: Are you seeing unblocked ads on every site you visit?

The AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar doesn't change when AdBlock is paused. The only way to tell AdBlock is paused is that "Resume" replaces "Pause" in the menu.


If ads aren't being blocked, you probably forgot to unpause AdBlock. Click the icon and select Resume if it appears.


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Resuming ad blocking after pausing

Remember to start blocking ads again when AdBlock is paused!


Where you can do it: In Safari


Resuming ad blocking after pausing in Safari

Click the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar and select Resume.


Unpausing AdBlock in Safari


The page reloads automatically, without ads.


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Disabling AdBlock

You should never need to disable AdBlock entirely while you're browsing the web. Pausing AdBlock or whitelisting a site will generally get you past "anti-adblock" blockades, for instance. But if something on a web page isn't working and pausing AdBlock doesn't help, try disabling AdBlock as a test. If the page works, please let us know. If the page doesn't work with AdBlock disabled, then the issue is something other than AdBlock.


Where you can do it: In the AdBlock app and Safari Extensions preferences


Disabling AdBlock in the AdBlock app (MacOS menu bar button)

  1. Click the AdBlock button in the MacOS menu bar and select Filter Lists.

    Disabling AdBlock using the AdBlock app button in the MacOS menu bar


  1. On the Filter Lists menu, select Block annoying ads. When this setting is unchecked, the EasyList filter list (which blocks and hides ads on English-language websites) is disabled and no ads are blocked.


Disabling AdBlock in the AdBlock app (app window)

  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the Dock or Launchpad to open the app, then click the Filter Lists tab.

    Disabling AdBlock in the AdBlock app


  1. Select the Block annoying ads checkbox. When clear, the EasyList filter list is disabled and no ads are blocked.


Disabling AdBlock in Safari Extensions preferences

Open Safari Extensions preferences and select the AdBlock checkbox. When clear, the AdBlock extension is disabled and no ads are blocked.


Disabling AdBlock in Safari Extensions preferences


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Blocking non-intrusive ads

When the AdBlock for Safari app is installed, it allows some non-intrusive ads to appear as a way to support responsible websites. The setting that determines whether non-intrusive ads are blocked or not also disables and enables the Acceptable Ads filter list. (See "More about intrusive ads and whitelisting," below.) You can turn this setting off to block all ads.


Where you can do it: In the AdBlock app


Blocking non-intrusive ads in the AdBlock app (MacOS menu bar button)

  1. Click the AdBlock button in the MacOS menu bar and select Filter Lists.

    Blocking non-intrusive ads using the AdBlock app button in the MacOS menu bar


  1. On the Filter Lists menu, select Allow some non-intrusive ads. When unchecked, the Acceptable Ads filter list is disabled and all ads are blocked.


Blocking non-intrusive ads in the AdBlock app (app window)

  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the Dock or Launchpad to open the app, then click the Filter Lists tab.

    Blocking non-intrusive ads in the AdBlock app


  1. Select the Allow some non-intrusive ads check box. When clear, the Acceptable Ads filter list is disabled and all ads are blocked.


By the way, the Block annoying ads setting controls EasyList, the filter list AdBlock uses to block and hide ads on English-language websites. Always leave this selected or you will see ads everywhere!


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More about non-intrusive ads and whitelisting

Allow some non-intrusive ads controls the Acceptable Ads filter list, which whitelists text ads in Google and Bing search results and other unobtrusive ads that don't bog down web page loading or get in the way of the content you came for. The Acceptable Ads filter list is a compromise between putting up with web pages filled with ads and depriving sites of the ad revenue that keeps them in business. Learn more about the Acceptable Ads program.


If you keep this setting on, ads that meet the Acceptable Ads criteria may appear on any website. Keep in mind that ads on sites you whitelist are independent of ads that are whitelisted by the Acceptable Ads filter list. If you whitelist a site, the ads you see may not meet Acceptable Ads criteria even if that setting is turned on.


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Manually updating AdBlock's filter lists

AdBlock's filter lists update themselves automatically when the app is open. Websites change their ads often, however, and it can be a day or so before the filter lists catch up.


If you start seeing ads that should be blocked, it might be because AdBlock's copy of the filter lists is older than the ads. A good first step in troubleshooting is a manual update, especially if you see that the last update was more than a day ago.


Note: If you skipped the "keep AdBlock up to date" step when you installed the app or you have disabled Start AdBlock at Login in the AdBlock menu on the MacOS menu bar, you will also need to manually update your filter lists every time you restart your computer.


Where you can do this: In the AdBlock app


Manually updating filter lists in the AdBlock app (MacOS menu bar button)

Click the AdBlock icon in the MacOS menu bar and select Update Filter Lists.

Updating filter lists using AdBlock app button in the MacOS menu bar


Manually updating filter lists in the AdBlock app (app window)

  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the Dock or Launchpad to open the app, then click the Filter Lists tab.

    Updating filter lists in the AdBlock app


  1. Click Update Filter Lists.


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Getting answers and contacting AdBlock Support

Find answers in the AdBlock knowledge base or contact us (by email or by opening a support ticket) if you need more help.


Where you can do this: In Safari


Getting support for AdBlock in Safari

Click the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar and select Help & Feedback.


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Uninstalling the AdBlock for Safari App

Since AdBlock for Safari is a Mac app, uninstall it the same way you would uninstall any other app on your Mac.


If the app is running, you will need to close it first. You will also need to quit Safari to allow the extension part of the app to be uninstalled.


Uninstalling the AdBlock app

  1. If AdBlock is running, right-click the icon in the Dock and select Quit.

    Quitting Safari


  1. Open Safari if it isn't already. Open Safari Extensions preferences and disable both AdBlock and AdBlock Safari Icon.

    Disabling the AdBlock extensions in Safari Extensions preferences


  1. Quit Safari.


  1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock. Position the pointer over the AdBlock app icon, press and hold until all the icons begin to jiggle, and then click the little "x" and confirm.

    Confirming uninstalling the AdBlock app


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Troubleshooting the AdBlock for Safari App

AdBlock for Safari works quietly in the background, blocking ads and keeping the filter lists updated as needed, with no effort on your part. (But see the note under "Manually update the filter lists," above.) When something does go awry, read this article for solutions.