An increasing number of people are now using their smartphones to browse the internet nowadays, and this number is steadily increasing by the day.
Such users surely have experienced how frustrating and annoying the ads are, as they appear out of nowhere. This problem affects Desktop users as well. So this tutorial sets out to guide you how to remove ads and block them from appearing on the screen in Windows 10. It also teaches to block ads in Edge and Chrome.
Solution 1: Block Ads in Web Browsers
The first line of defense should always be in the web browser as it’s used to access to the Internet, and therefore it’s important to have an ad blocker installed in the browser apart from the usual Firewall that is installed in the system. Fortunately, with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge supports extensions which are available in the Windows Store. Keep in mind that all of these solutions need an account with administrative privileges to begin with, so make sure you have one before proceeding ahead.
Install AdBlock in Edge
- Launch Microsoft Edge from the start menu.
- Locate the three horizontal dotted line buttons to expand the menu. Now locate the Extensions from the list and open it.
- This will take you to the Windows Store. Once there, locate an Ad blocker app and install it. At the moment there are only two apps available, namely AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. Both of them are equally capable of blocking ads and unnecessary pop up messages appearing on the screen.
Install Adblock in Chrome
Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser of this age, and thus it’s important to have a strong ad blocker to guard against the high number of campaigns that serve no purpose at all, in the majority of cases. Chrome already utilizes a significant amount of system memory, and if popups / ads are allowed to appear along with other contents in a web page, that can really slow down the whole system to unthinkable levels.
- Open Chrome from the Windows start menu.
- Find the three vertical dotted lines button in the top-right corner and click to open it.
- On the menu located on the left-hand side, click Extensions.
- Scroll to the very bottom of the Extensions page until you see the Get more extensions button. Click it to access the chrome web store.
- Search for uBlock Origin.
- Now click the blue colored ADD TO CHROME button ahead of it to kickstart its installation.
Solution 2: Configure Windows 10 to Block Native Ads
Native ads are advertisements which are relayed to the clients from Microsoft servers. There are a couple of inbuilt options that help to block / restrict these ads.
- Go to the following location. Settings → Personalization → Start, and locate Occasionally show suggestions in Start. Now move the slider to the left to turn it off.
- Navigate to the following location : Settings → Privacy → General. Now locate Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps. Like the previous case, move the slider to the left to turn this feature off. Even though this feature doesn’t blocks ads entirely, it still helps as it prevents being tracked across the Windows platform.
Solution 3: Use The Host File to Block Ads
The Host file is just one of the many system files that are critical to the seamless performance of Windows. It helps map out the domain names to their respective IP addresses. It literally acts as a DNS server, and thus it’s possible to block ads from appearing anywhere in the system by making a couple of changes there.
- Go to the following location: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
- Drag and drop the Host file to the Desktop.
- Download the following file which comprises of a list of IP addresses of various ad networks. So when a web page or an application requests an ad to appear from the server, it redirects the traffic to the local network instead of the targeted server, and thus effectively block ads.
- Extract the file to the Desktop.
- Open it with your word processing software. In this example Notepad++ is used.
- Copy it to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc directory, and replace the existing file with this one.
- Restart Windows for the changes to be permanent.