Troubleshooting the AdBlock for Safari App
If you're seeing ads or a web page isn't working, here are the most common reasons and what to do about them.
In this article
Ads aren't being blocked
I'm seeing ads on every site I visit
Here are the most common things to check when the AdBlock app doesn't block ads anywhere. Proceed to the next suggestion if the previous one doesn't remove the ads.
Is AdBlock paused?
Click the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar. If you see Resume, it means AdBlock is paused. Select Resume. Wait for AdBlock to reload the page to check it for ads.
Are the sites in a language other than English?
Currently the AdBlock app only blocks ads well on English-language websites. The filter lists that block and hide ads must be converted to Apple's content blocking syntax for use with the new generation of Safari content blockers. Converting the filter lists is complicated. So far, we have been able to convert only EasyList, the list that blocks and hides ads on English-language sites.
We plan to add filter lists for more languages over the coming months. In the meantime, you may want to visit non-English sites in Chrome or Firefox, where AdBlock includes filter lists for non-English languages.
Is the filter list disabled or out of date, or did you leave the non-intrusive ads setting on?
1. Start by clicking the AdBlock icon in the MacOS menu bar.
2. Select Filter Lists. Is Block annoying ads, pop-ups unchecked? If so, it means the filter list that should be blocking ads is turned off. Select this setting. Reload the page in Safari so AdBlock can check it for ads.
3. If the ads are still there, select Update Filter Lists and reload the page in Safari.
4. If the ads are still there, or if you are seeing text ads in Google, Bing, or Amazon search results, deselect Allow some non-intrusive ads, then reload the page in Safari. (AdBlock allows a few ads to appear if they meet certain criteria for acceptable online advertising. Learn more about the Acceptable Ads initiative.)
5. If you get this far and you're still seeing ads on every site, especially if the ads all look the same, then your computer may be infected with malware. AdBlock isn't an anti-malware. It can't block ads that are "injected" on to web pages by malicious software. The only way to remove the ads is to remove the malware. See this article in our Knowledge Base for advice.
6. If all else fails, see this article for more suggestions.
I'm seeing ads only on the current site
Here are the most common things to check when ads aren't blocked on one site but AdBlock appears to be working everywhere else. Proceed to the next suggestion if the previous one doesn't remove the ads.
Are you on YouTube.com or Facebook.com?
The content blocking method Apple requires us to use in our Mac app is one of those "good news/not-so-good news" things. The good news is that it blocks more kinds of ads on more sites than the old method did. The not-so-good news is that it may not block YouTube and Facebook ads as well. We're working hard to find a way around this limitation.
In the meantime, if the ads are really annoying you might want to visit the site in Chrome or Firefox, where AdBlock uses a different, more effective method to block ads on YouTube and Facebook.
Is the site in a language other than English?
Is the site whitelisted?
The site may be whitelisted (that is, you have turned off ad-blocking on that site). There are two place you can whitelist websites: in AdBlock and in Safari itself.
Unlike in other browsers, the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar doesn't change when the website you're visiting is whitelisted, regardless of where it was whitelisted. The only way to tell is by looking at the AdBlock menu in Safari and at Safari's settings for individual sites.
1. Start by clicking the AdBlock icon in the Safari toolbar. If the site was whitelisted in AdBlock, you will see Block ads on this site in the menu. Select it. Wait for AdBlock to reload the page.
2. If the ads are still there, check that content blocking is turned on for the site in Safari's settings. Right-click the address bar and select Settings for This Website. If Enable content blockers is not selected, select it. Wait for Safari to reload the page.
3. If the ads are still there, there is one more place to check. Close the page in Safari. Select Safari > Preferences > Websites > Content Blockers. Select the site, then click Remove.
Is the site using aggressive ad tech?
If the site isn't whitelisted in either AdBlock or Safari, then it may be using an aggressive form of ad technology that's particularly difficult to block. We see this used most often on free video and audio streaming sites and news sites. For some suggestions, see this article in our Knowledge Base.
If nothing else has helped, you're welcome to open a support ticket. Please include debugging information, a link to a page where you're seeing ads, a screenshot of the ads (please capture the entire screen, not just the ad), and what troubleshooting steps you've already tried.
A web page isn't working or doesn't look right
First try pausing AdBlock. If that fixes the problem, the culprit is most likely an overzealous filter list blocking something it shouldn't. Go ahead and do what you need to do while AdBlock is paused, and remember to unpause when you're done. (If you want to be a good web citizen, you can also report the issue to the filter list authors so that it can be fixed for everyone.)
If pausing AdBlock doesn't change anything, then something else is breaking the site. For more suggestions, see this article in our Knowledge Base.
I can't whitelist an entire website
The AdBlock menu in Safari allows whitelisting by page only at this time. To whitelist an entire site, please add the site manually in the AdBlock app interface. We're working on adding a site whitelisting wizard to the AdBlock menu.
A site is telling me to disable AdBlock
Don't actually disable AdBlock. The better solution is to pause it. If you don't want to see ads, you may be able to get to the content in another way. See this article in our Knowledge Base for some suggestions.
I have two AdBlock buttons in Safari and three AdBlocks in Safari Extensions Preferences
Please see this answer in our FAQ.
I need help with something else
Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or open a support ticket. If applicable, please include a link to a page where you're seeing the issue, a screenshot of the issue if possible (please capture the entire screen), and what troubleshooting steps, if any, you've already tried.