The 8 Best Ad Blockers for iPhones in 2019

Stop more ads on your Apple mobile device

Photo of iPhone XS with eight apps mention in the article on screen,

The best ad blockers for iPhone will conceal your movements and protect your privacy as you surf the web, ensuring your activities can't be tracked. We reviewed numerous ad blocking apps and came up with this list of what we believe are the best ad blockers for iPhone (or iPad, too).

These apps fall into three categories:

  • Browser extensions that work within Safari to allow you to block—or unblock!—specific sites or types of content. Install your selected app, enable content blocking within Safari settings, then use Safari to browse.
  • Private browsers that block ads and trackers by default. These apps may serve as an alternative to Safari on iOS.
  • Virtual private networks (VPNs) which require a bit more configuration, but VPNs also offer different types of protection.
01
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Effective and Simple: Wipr

3 Screenshots: (left) Wipr main screen, (middle) Update available, button: refresh now, (right) Wipr uses EasyList, EasyPrivacy, and I don't care about cookies.

What We Like

  • No settings to review

  • Blocklist auto-updates

What We Don't Like

  • Can't select and then block specific content on a page

  • No way to configure to always allow a specific type of blocked content

Wipr ($1.99) keeps content blocking on iOS simple. Once you install and enable it, you have no additional settings or options to configure. Just browse in Safari with Wipr enabled and the app blocks thousands of trackers and ads.

02
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Block and Bypass: BlockBear!

3 screenshots: (left) BlockBear on, with 4 config slides (Ads, social buttons, tracking, fonts) and Whitelist link, (middle) Whitelist sites, (right) What, Why, and How it works (uses EasyList)

What We Like

  • A content-blocker app for free

  • Simple customization and controls

What We Don't Like

  • A site is either blocked or not (no partial page blocking)

  • Lacks complex, custom-blocking configuration options

BlockBear offers four sliders, so you may choose to block or allow ads, social buttons, tracking, or fonts separately. The free app also lets you bypass all blocking for specific sites you choose.

03
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Most customizable: 1Blocker X

3 screenshots 1Blocker: (left) Sliders for Ads, Trackers, Annoyances, Social Widgets; (middle) Custom settings includes whitelist, cookie controls; (right) Why is 1Blocker not free?

What We Like

  • A highly customizable content blocker

  • Often able to block specific content on a page

What We Don't Like

  • Not for people who want the simplest ad block solution

  • App doesn't always update on a consistent schedule

Technically proficient people may prefer the long list of custom-controls that 1Blocker X: Faster & Safer Web ($4.99) offers. In Safari content blocker settings, the app lets you separately enable or disable eight different controls for ads, adult sites, annoyances, comments, social, trackers, custom rules, and regional rules.

04
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Browser With Its Own Blocker: Firefox Focus

3 Firefox Focus screenshots: (left) Slides for ad, analytics, social, and other content trackers, (middle) How to use with Safari screenshot, (right) Shows Safari integration slider enabled

What We Like

  • Blocks trackers when active as a Safari content blocker

  • One-tap to erase history when used as a browser

What We Don't Like

  • Can't configure to allow ads on specific sites

  • Can't select additional content on a page to block

Firefox Focus serves two roles. It can function as a content blocker for Safari, and it can also be used as a browser alternative to Safari. As a browser, you may enable (or disable) whether the app blocks ad trackers, analytics trackers, social trackers, and/or other content trackers. Even better, the app is free.

05
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Private by Default: Brave Fast Privacy Browser

3 Brave browser screenshots: (left) Web page says it blocks ads & trackers, (middle) Shows active shields, with 5 controls, e.g., ads & tracking, https: everywhere, block phishing, etc.; (right) Home screens shows 534 ads & trackers bloced, 2 https: upgrades, 26s time saved

What We Like

  • Default settings in favor of your privacy

  • Interface familiar to anyone who has used Chrome on mobile devices

What We Don't Like

  • No ability to customize and block specific content on a site

  • Sometimes leaves sections of blank space on pages where ads otherwise appear

The Brave Browser gives you a browser alternative that is configured, by default, to protect your privacy. It blocks ads, trackers, and phishing attempts, among other options. You may choose to also block scripts and guard against fingerprinting. With two taps, you can turn off protections for a site.

06
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Content and Network Blocking: AdGuard Pro — adblock&privacy

3 AdGuard Pro screenshots: (left) Main config screen, shows DNS requests, trackers detected, time per request; (middle) DNS settings options list, (right) AdGuard privacy settings and Safari Content Blocking options page

What We Like

  • Privacy protection beyond Safari

  • Different solutions for people of differing technical abilities

What We Don't Like

  • Some people may not understand long lists of DNS provider options

  • Even with content blocker and DNS active, may not block all ads in all apps

AdGuard Pro ($1.99) offers an app that delivers both a content blocker and custom DNS configuration options. The content blocker works in Safari, while the DNS configuration seeks to block ads via network protections. You can choose from several DNS providers, including AdGuard, OpenDNS, Google, or custom DNS settings you specify.

07
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Widely-used Service: Privacy Pro SmartVPN

3 Privacy Pro screenshots: (left) Shows protection summary, blocked trackers and secured http counts (62 and 7), (middle)Settings, including Auto-connect, secure model, DNS, Advanced, (right) Advanced DNS configuration and tracker import/export options.

What We Like

  • Provides effective protection against tracking

  • Availability of basic features for free, with upgrade options for a fee

What We Don't Like

  • To get the most from the app, it helps to understand how DNS and HTTP work

  • Configuration options may be too complex for some people

Privacy Pro Smart VPN from Disconnect adds a VPN connection to your device to block trackers and offers an encrypted DNS connection to secure your network traffic. You also may configure custom DNS settings, if you choose. An upgrade to a paid subscription ($4.99 per month or $24.99 per year) lets you encrypt all HTTP traffic from your device.

08
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Network Tracker Protection: Guardian Firewall + VPN

3 Guardian Firewall screenshots: (left) Shows logo and

What We Like

  • Identifies and blocks data and location trackers

  • Simple configuration

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks ad block capabilities

  • May decrease network connection speeds

Guardian Firewall + VPN blocks trackers, not ads, but it does so for your device, not just within the Safari browser. Essentially, it serves as a remote firewall that blocks apps that seek to track your location or personal data. There are almost no options to configure after you install and enable it. You can use it in addition to any of the Safari ad blockers listed above. The app requires a subscription ($9.99 per month or $99.99 per year).