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.


I'm seeing ads on every site I visit

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, Firefox, or Edge, where AdBlock includes filter lists for non-English languages.
Is the filter list disabled, out-of-date, or is the non-intrusive ads setting on?

1. Start by clicking the AdBlock icon in the MacOS menu bar.

AdBlock app menu on 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" into web pages by malicious software. The only way to remove the ads is to remove the malware. See this article for advice.

6. If all else fails, see this article for more suggestions.



I'm only seeing ads on one site

Are you on YouTube or Facebook?

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, Firefox or Edge, where AdBlock is able to use a more effective method to block ads.

Is the site in a language other than English?
Is the site on your allowlist? 

The site may be allowlisted (that is, you have turned off ad-blocking on that site). There are two place you can allowlist 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 allowlisted, regardless of where it was allowlisted. 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 allowlisted 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 allowlisted 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.


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.


I can't allowlist an entire website

The ability to add an entire site to your allowlist is a feature provided with the Gold upgrade. If you prefer not to upgrade to Gold, it's only possible to allowlist by page from the AdBlock menu. To allow ads on an entire site, please add the site manually in AdBlock's Settings window.


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 for some suggestions.


I need help with something else

Feel free to send us an email at 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.


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