Best ad-blocks for Safari in 2023: Browse ad-free on Mac & iOS

Best ad-blocks for Safari in 2023: Browse ad-free on Mac & iOS

December 21, 2023 privacy 0

The web is full to the brim with adverts for all sorts of products and services, so what better piece of kit to invest in than a high-functioning and reliable ad-blocker?

In this article, we’ve taken a look at the best ad-blockers for Safari. These apps make for a faster, safer, and better browsing experience. 

What is the best ad-block for Safari?

Here’s a quick look at the best ad-blockers for Safari. A more detailed analysis can be found further on in this article. 

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Why are these the best ad-blockers for Safari?

If you have looked for an adblocker for Safari before, then you will know that there are hundreds of services out there. We have chosen services with the following properties:

Not all of the services on the list have a free option, however, four of the five services on the list do. 

An in-depth look at the best ad-blockers for Safari

Below we take a closer look at the best ad-block software for Safari. If you still need more information about any of the services in this list, click through to the provider’s website. 

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What is an ad-blocker?

An ad-blocker is an application that will remove or alter adverts on the web pages you visit. When you click on a website, the webpage loads a number of scripts in order to display the content. Some of these scripts are related to adverts on the page. Ad-blockers analyze these scripts whilst webpages load, compare them to a list of known advertising scripts, and block what they recognize (with varying degrees of success). 

Due to the fact that advertisements are necessarily connected to tracking (a lot of adverts you’ll see are served to you because of information gathered by trackers from your browsing history and activity on websites), the other crucial thing ad-blockers do is to prevent tracking scripts from running on your device. 

If you’re in the market for an ad-blocker, remember that they come in all shapes and sizes, from browser extensions to fully-fledged apps. VPN companies like [[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn”]]NordVPN[[/post-object]] and [[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”surfshark”]]Surfshark[[/post-object]] provide ad-blockers as part of their services – which is an excellent way to get ad-blocking that will work on any browser – including Safari.

Safari browser vs Safari app 

When you’re using a handheld Apple product like an iPhone or an iPad, you can head over to the App Store to download an ad-blocking app. On a Mac or a Macbook, ad-blockers are available as both Safari extensions or standalone Mac apps

However, these are, for the purpose of getting you up and running with an ad-blocker, essentially the same thing. They’re just found in slightly different places. 

How to install an ad-blocker on Safari 

Ad-blocker apps

  1. Search the app store for your chosen ad-blocker. 
  2. Download and install the app on your chosen device. 
  3. Go to your device settings and tap ‘Safari‘. 
  4. Scroll down to and click on the menu item entitled ‘Content Blockers‘. 
  5. Toggle on the ad-blocker settings you’d like active. 

Ad-blocker browser extensions

Make sure you have the latest macOS update installed and Safari up to date. Extensions are only available on devices with Safari 12 onwards. 

  1. Click on Safari in the top left-hand corner. 
  2. Select Safari Extensions from the drop-down menu. 
  3. Wait for the App Store to automatically open on the extensions page. 
  4. Search for the ad-blocker you’d like to add. 
  5. Click Get underneath the ad-blocker extension.
  6. Sign in with your Apple ID if required and start the download. 
  7. Click install to get the app up and running.
  8. Open the extension and follow any subsequent instructions.
  9. Click on Safari in the top right corner once more.
  10. Select Preferences from the drop-down menu. 
  11. Tick the checkbox next to the ad-blocker you downloaded. 

Ad-blocker apps on the Mac App store

  1. Search for your chosen Ad-blocker on the Mac App Store. 
  2. Click Get
  3. Select Install to set the ad-blocker up on your device.
  4. Click Open.
  5. Enable the app in Safari.
  6. Check the relevant boxes in Safari Preferences. 

Can I whitelist certain websites or ads while using an ad-blocker on Safari?

Most ad blockers let you whitelist specific websites and services. This is an important feature as it allows you to support websites that are funded by ads – by allowing them to load on that domain (or subdomain). This also allows you to comply when a website refuses to load until you have turned off your ad-block.

Some ad blockers even give you granular control over which ads you can see. This allows you to allow certain ads to be displayed, while still keeping the ad blocker turned on for that website.

Yes. There is nothing illegal about blocking ads and trackers on Safari. It is your right to use an ad blocker to save data and get better page load times. However, some services may ask you to turn off your ad blocker to continue.

Those services are supported financially by ads, and they cannot afford for users to bypass ads, which are often the only (or a primary) source of revenue. If you choose to support that website and its operations, you may decide to allow ads on that website in order to help support them financially. 

Despite the fact that some services are funded by ads, it is not illegal to block ads, and you will not be prosecuted for using an ad blocker. On the other hand, it may be against the Terms of Services to use an ad block on some websites and services. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis, so be sure to understand the terms before using an ad blocker. This is the case with Twitch, for example.

Under these circumstances, you could potentially have your account or membership canceled for breaking the rules. However, in our experience, it is pretty unheard of for someone to lose an account simply for blocking ads. 

Are free ad blockers for Safari safe?

Free ad blockers for Safari can be safe, but it depends on the specific one and its developers. However, they need access to your data to work, which can raise privacy concerns.

Ad blockers function by identifying and blocking ads on web pages, which requires access to the information on the pages you visit. Some free ad blockers may not block all ads, may break some websites, or may collect or sell your data.

Paid ad blockers often offer more features and better privacy protection, but the choice between free and paid depends on your needs and preferences. Our list of the best ad blockers above and this article will help you make an informed decision.

Final thoughts

If you’re a Safari user, investing in an ad-blocker is a no-brainer. To save you scrolling back up, here’s a reminder of our top picks for the browser:

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