Ad Blocker for

I’m in the midst of cleaning out my inbox, newsletters, and trying to set up new systems for 2023, and I realize so many of these emails I get have ads in them (Goodreads, for example, and the Athletic). I know that Apple enabled extensions/plug ins for Mail a few years ago, but I don’t think that went anywhere.

That said, is there anyway to run an ad blocker through Mail? Or do I just need to accept that embedded ads will appear even in newsletters for services I already pay for?

I believe there is a number of mail apps that do not download online images unless you opt for it. I believe Mailmate, Postbox have that, just to name a few…

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Apple Mail also has that feature (uncheck load remote content, and then it’ll prompt you to manually load images for an email.) It’s not quite an ad blocker, though.

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So that setting should be here, but I don’t see it. I’ll keep looking.

Try Privacy > Block All Remote Content.

I use SpamSieve

to filter +1,5k SpamMails every week from my Mailboxes.
While SpamSieve is far from being perfect, it is a great help for me every day.

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Spam isn’t the problem. It’s getting ads in my emails like this one from Goodreads:

Or this one from Pitchfork:

If you want to do it system- or network-wide maybe give Pi-hole or Adguard a try?
Personally I use Pi-hole:

(Im running it with some blocklists from

I’ve installed it on my iMac (always on) first, before moving it to a spare raspberry pi.
I set my router DNS to point at the pihole, and now everyone on my home network can enjoy browsing the internet with a minimal amount of ads.

And yes, it will also block ads in email, since they usually also connect to the ad-server through DNS.

I’m really enjoying the internet without all the annoying ads.

Thanks! I’ll give that a look and a try. I’ve never done a pi-hole thing before, but since I also check my mail at my office, I’d like to keep it on my device, too. But this is a good potential start!

NextDNS will let you install a profile on your Mac or iOS device that will redirect DNS inquiries from your device wherever it is to their server. They have blocklists that work the same as a pi hole, but are portable across different networks.

Only had an issue with it once on a locked down guest network that wouldn’t let be browse online if I didn’t use the locked down network’s local DNS server. But that’s unusual.

Even if the emails are not technically spam, they can still be unwanted. I have SpamSieve block “legitimate” businesses that do not honor unsubscribe requests – which seems to be increasingly common. I suspect many businesses use “unsubscribe” as a keep-alive flag.



+1 for NextDNS.

All the benefits of pihole, plus it works everywhere, and has a friendly configuration UI, and doesn’t require you to run/maintain your own Docker or PI server.

Cool! I just checked their pricing and NextDNS free plan now allows unlimited devices (only limit is 300,000 queries/month). Previously, it was limited to only one device. I wonder when they changed that. I’ve been using it on my iPad for a few years now. Will have to add my other devices.

How do you suppose they get paid?

When users upgrade to paid accounts.

300k requests per month doesn’t go far. By allowing multiple devices on the free tier, it increases the likelihood an account owner will hit the 300k limit.

That is exactly right. I have never hit the limit with my iPad only. However, if I add my Mac and my phone, it is much more likely that I will and then I may be more inclined to pay the $1.99/month subscription.

I have been tempted with NextDNS, as the price seems to be reasonable and saves the hassle of running Pi-Hole. I’ve got two VLAN’s are home - my personal network and my IOT network and the IOT network uses a profile on NextDNS (the local network uses a Pi Hole). Not sure yet if I’ll have to change it to the paid version just yet.

I’ve been toying if I could used NextDNS for a focus blocker as well, blocking access to websites during work periods.

I thought I used to have an issue on my work network (the international spanning eduroam) but I hadn’t realised that it was enabled on my phone after a visit to my in-laws over Christmas, and I haven’t noticed issues over the last few weeks when back at work but the app allows me to whitelist networks if I did have an issue. I’ve also noticed they now allow for affiliate link tracking and I’m reasonably keen to continue with that, as I have pretty reasonable rates of return via Quidco in the past (but have to remember to turn the Pi Hole off first!)

I’ve never noticed ads in my email so I just went to check, and nope, no ads. I just opened the GoodReads “most anticipated 2023 books” email and no ads in it.

So. Assuming this isn’t some weird UK/EU rule I’ve not noticed, here are the adblockers I run on my iOS devices. I assume one of them is guarding me - probably AdGuard.

(AdGuard Pro is one app, but shows up as different extension options in Safari).

Someone else may be able to confirm if it’s definitely AdGuard doing the work.

This also blocks out ads on websites, I don’t see any really. Sometimes I get white boxes where the ads should be, but nowadays that seems to be rare too, dunno why!

Sorry, I can’t answer many/any questions about these apps - I’ve used Purify and AdGuard for years and they’re just one of those things that do what they’re meant to and I completely ignore their existence.

I’m not really sure if content blockers like AdGuard work inside Mail :-?

Me neither, but something is :joy: Not sure what else I have running that could be doing it.