If you're tired of all the ads but don't want to use Reader View every time you surf the web, you can add content blockers to your iPhone or iPad, which will put them out of sight and help keep your activities private while you're online.
Ad blockers work in Safari and are only available on devices that support 64-bit architecture. In order to use an ad blocker after you've downloaded it, you'll need to enable it in Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
Here are the best ad blockers for iPhone and iPad.
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1Blocker is really customizable. You can set different rules for blocking ads, trackers, cookies, website comments, Twitter and Facebook widgets, adult websites, and more. Plus, you can add your favorite sites to the Whitelist (ahem, iMore) and block specific websites from access at all. You can also customize whether to block or allow cookies and page elements from specific sites.
1Blocker is free to download, but it's really more of a trial version. For a $4.99 in-app purchase, you'll be able to unlock the ability to use more than one feature at a time. If your ad-blocking needs are minimal, you'll have a great experience with the free download and just blocking ads or trackers. But if you're looking at 1Blocker, it's probably because you want the advanced features, like custom rules, a Whitelist extension for Safari, and iCloud syncing so your ad block settings are synced across all your iOS devices.
If you really want to customize your web browsing experience, and like the idea of being able to set up rules for different websites, the full, in-app purchase of 1Blocker is worth it.
AdGuard blocks dozens of different types of ads to speed up your Safari browsing on iPhone and iPad. You can set up rules for specific websites and manually block ads from sites as you visit them using the Share sheet in Safari. You can also use at least two dozen preset filter lists, like EasyList, Malware Domains, and EasyPrivacy, on top of the AdGuard filters. It blocks trackers from social media sites and basically cleans up Safari so your browsing experience is smoother.
With the pro version of AdGuard for $1.99, you can add the ability to use a local DNS proxy to block ads outside of Safari in other web browsers and apps.
Get AdGuard for a clean, fast web browsing experience in Safari.
If you want a simple ad blocker for iOS Safari, then you should give Wipr a try. This lightweight blocker provides hassle-free blocking just by activating it. Wipr automatically updates itself to make sure that you don't see unwanted ads. However, due to the barebones simplicity that Wipr is known for, you won't find any customizable settings or whitelist options for the sites that you want to support. And best of all, Wipr does not take money in order to let certain ads show up, unlike some other ad blockers that have caused controversy in the past.
Wipr also has an active developer who is always available for support if you have issues.
AdBlock Pro for Safari
If you're serious about blocking ads and want the best feature set, then AdBlock Pro for Safari is what you need. AdBlock will improve your overall Safari experience by blocking all ads, including normal ads and banners, autoplay ads, those pesky fake "x" button ads, scrolling banners, timed popups, redirects to "xxx" sites, YouTube ads in Safari, and no more online tracking. With all of these available ad-blocking options, you will get 2x faster browsing in Safari and over 50 percent lower data usage. AdBlock Pro can even bypass those anti-adblock detectors, sync your settings between devices via iCloud, and much more.
AdBlock Pro is a beefy ad-blocker that gives you a ton of options to improve your online experience. It may have a higher price tag than you would expect, but it's well worth the cost to have a little less annoyance in your online life.
Ka-Block! is an open-sourced content blocker for iOS that works with Safari through an extension. With Ka-Block!, you're going to find a fast and curated filter list that will eliminate pretty much all of those annoying ads you'll find on the Internet. The pesky trackers are also blocked with Ka-Block!, so you don't need to worry about those.
With Ka-Block!, you're getting a fast and lightweight content blocker that costs nothing and is constantly updated.
How do you block ads?
Do you have a favorite ad blocker for iPhone and iPad? Which one do you use and why does it stand out? Let us know in the comments.
November 2019: Added Wipr, AdBlock Pro, and Ka-Block! Removed Crystal and Purify due to lack of update.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.