Browsing the web, particularly on your phone, can be a frustrating experience, with annoying ads, auto-playing videos, and pop-up cookie notices getting in your way. Safari's Reader View can help, but you might not always want such a pared-back experience on your favorite sites.
It's a problem Apple addressed way back in iOS 9 with support for content blockers, and you can still use them today in iOS 15. These utility apps can be downloaded from the App Store and can help to block ads and prevent tracking when you browse using Safari.
Content blocks have been available for use on all the best iPhone and iPad models since 2013.
How to block ads on iPhone or iPad
Before you can block ads on your iPhone or iPad, you need to download a content blocker from the App Store. Fortunately for you, we've put together a list of the best ad blockers for iPhone, so that part of the process is really easy. Once you've downloaded one of those apps, complete the below steps to make it work.
- Download your Content Blocker of choice from the App Store.
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down and tap Safari.
- Tap Extensions.
- Enable the content blockers of your choice.
And that's it! To disable a blocker or switch to a different app, you can return to this screen and turn off the switch next to it.
Though ads are an essential part of the online publishing business for free-to-view content, some ads can be annoying or downright user-hostile. Therefore, it's nice that Safari on iOS lets you take more control over your browsing experience.
Content blockers on iOS aren't perfect, but they can limit the number of ads you see, reduce the cross-site tracking that occurs, and can even be used to block adult content or certain websites altogether.
Updated February 2022: With updates to reflect iOS 15.
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Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.