We’re playing with fire here, in a way, because many sites on the internet — Android Authority included — depend on some form of ad revenue to survive. But we also recognize that ads can potentially be obnoxious or even scams, so ad blockers may sometimes be a necessity to make the web usable. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best ad blocker Chrome extensions.
The best ad blocker Chrome extensions
You should, as a rule, only use one ad blocker at a time. More than one is redundant, and could even (hypothetically) introduce software conflicts. Pick one, and if it does what you need, stick with it. If you want to switch at some point, remove or disable your existing ad blocker first.
While we’ve already said it, we want to reiterate that a lot of livelihoods depend on ads. If you genuinely care about a site, be sure to whitelist it. Chances are that most sites worth visiting are going to have ads you can tolerate.
If you want to get into the weeds there are some potentially complex settings options, but for general use it’s extremely simple. In fact, if you want to whitelist (or blacklist) ads on a particular page, all you have to do is open the extension and click a giant “power” button.
As mentioned, AdBlock Plus is practically synonymous with ad blockers, so there’s no way we’d leave it off this list. The extension automatically halts most banners, pop-ups, trackers, and video ads, and like uBlock, it allows whitelisting for sites you want to support financially. If you just want to block a specific aspect of a site, there’s a Block Element button.
We say it blocks “most” ad content because AdBlock Plus is a part of the Acceptable Ads initiative. That means that you may still see some ads on otherwise scrubbed sites, but these should be less intrusive, and you can opt out if you want to scrub everything. Remember, once more, that sites you like will lose out on your ad revenue.
Ghostery promises to block ads, trackers, and cookie consent pop-ups, but what makes it unique is its slick design and emphasis on analytics. When you visit a page you can access data on aspects like page load times, the number of trackers blocked, and what kinds of trackers are in use. You’ll even get previews of this tracker info when looking at search engine results, although of course with a blocker in place, it shouldn’t make much difference.
There’s also an emphasis on speed, hence the load time clock. The last thing we’ll say is that while visual themes, priority support, and historical data require being a paid contributor, the extension is open-source and otherwise completely free.
Here’s a twist — Privacy Badger is a project by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization known for opposing both corporate and government surveillance. Strictly speaking the extension is only meant to block and/or opt out of trackers, but it will kill ads (sometimes, a lot of them) if they happen to be tracking you. For some people, that’s far more important than de-cluttering a webpage or watching videos without interruptions.
While it’s active, Privacy Badger identifies the domains tracking you, and you can adjust permissions on a per-domain basis. You can also disable the extension for individual pages, or report technical issues to the EFF if something looks wrong.
AdLock claims to be the “most comprehensive” ad blocker for Chrome. Indeed on top of targeting banners, pop-ups, trackers, and video ads, it further blocks audio ads on services like Spotify, YouTube Music, and SoundCloud, and its developer openly rejects the Acceptable Ads initiative. It even works to bypass walls against blockers where possible — it’s an ad blocker blocker blocker, if you will. You can customize filters to choose what’s allowed if you like, and of course whitelist sites you want to support.
With that said, it’s late on our list for a couple of reasons. The first is that ironically, it doesn’t necessarily stop as many ads as something like uBlock, Ghostery, or AdBlock Plus, although your mileage will vary based on the sites you visit. There’s also a paid subscription tier, so while you can always use AdLock for free, expect to be nudged towards spending money. Look for a sale if you fall in love with the free tier.
Trend Micro Ad Blocker
There’s nothing particularly special about Trend Micro’s blocker, but the company considers that a selling point. The extension has a clean and straightforward interface, so if you find something like uBlock or Ghostery confusing, it might be up your alley.
It should still cover the bases, for instance blocking banner, pop-up, and video ads as well as tracking cookies. It’s easy to whitelist sites, and Trend Micro promises that you can hit the ground running, avoiding the tinkering some extensions need.