Blocking Ads on Your iPad

Blockers reduce bandwidth and improve download speeds

While watching the Super Bowl may be partially about the funny commercials, most of the time, we don't like advertisements. It's one reason why we DVR our favorite show to fast-forward past the ads.

On your iPad, ad blockers and content workers only work in the web browser, so you may still see ads in individual apps, including web pages shown on the Facebook and Twitter apps

STOP-sign with facade in the background
fhm / Getty Images 

Download an Ad Blocker to Your iPad

Perhaps the hardest part of the equation is actually finding a good ad blocker to download. Many ad blockers are paid apps, which means you will be charged a dollar or two for the blocker. There are also blockers like AdBlock Plus, which claims that unobtrusive ads aren't blocked to "support websites" but actually charges a fee in the form of a cut of ad revenue from some of these websites.

The top of the list is 1Blocker. It is free to download and easy to configure. Whitelist your favorite websites, which allows ads on the site, and 1Blocker is also capable of blocking trackers, social media links, comment sections, and other areas of a website that might slow download speeds. However, you can only block one element at a time in the free version. An in-app purchase blocks several elements, such as both advertisements and tracking widgets.

Adguard is a solid alternative to 1Blocker. It is also free and includes a whitelist feature. You can also block different trackers, social media buttons, and "annoying website features" like full page banners in addition to blocking ads.

And if you don't mind paying a couple of bucks, Purify Blocker is easily the best-paid ad blocker on the App Store. It blocks ads, trackers, social media links, and comment sections and can whitelist your favorite sites. You can even use Purify to block images on the page, which can really speed up how fast pages load.

Enable the Ad Blocker in Settings

Now that you have downloaded your ad blocker, you will need to enable it. This isn't something you can do in the Safari web browser or in the app you just downloaded. You will need to launch the iPad's Settings app.

In Settings, tap Safari > Content Blockers to open a screen that lists all of the ad blockers and content blockers you have downloaded. Simply flip the switch next to the content blocker you have chosen and the blocker will begin working against ads in Safari.

How to Whitelist a Website in Your Ad Blocker

For websites that display a normal amount of unobtrusive ads, especially if it is one of your favorite websites, it can be a good thing to "whitelist" the website. This procedure allows the website to display ads as an exception to the rules set up in your ad blocker.

To whitelist a website, enable the action within the Safari browser. First, click the Share button. This is the button that looks like a rectangle with an arrow pointing out of it. Scroll through the bottom list and choose the More button.

This new screen includes an action specific to your ad blocker. It may say "Whitelist in 1Blocker" or simply "Adguard"—the language varies based on the solution you installed. Tap the switch beside the action to enable it.