Blocking ads on Mac

Back in the days when we where riddled with mass popups I was using several ad blockers in my browsers.
But popups became less of a problem with the time.
For some time my honest opinion was that I wanted to accept ads on pages I really like. They have to make money, that’s their way of making money.

But I get more and more annoyed with ads because they get more and more intrusive. Simple fanmade wikis that get hard to read because every other sentence there is a big picture about stuff I don’t even care about. If the ads would even somehow reflect my interests, I would be ok with that. But just because I like gaming on iOS and on Windows, I don’t like those money grabbing pay to win “free” games and stuff.

I tried to change that but I still just get ads that not for 1% fit to anything I like. I googled Bitcoin 1 year ago and I’m flooded with “easy ways to get rich”.

Now I’m looking for a solution to get rid of this problem. As much as I know the usual adblockers don’t block but just hide the commercials which puts stress on the CPU leading to battery drain and all.

Is there a better, system wide solution for Mac and iOS?

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Get a raspberry pi and use pihole on it, works for you whole network.


You did not ask for it because you are looking for a system-wide solution, but I think there are two different approaches that each make sense:

  1. The use of the means Apple has to offer: Privacy - Apple. If this is combined with plugins in your browser of choice, you have done a lot. And honestly, that is all I am willing to do and I am fine with it. Currently, I am using AdGuard. I am not so sure if this means that everything is just being hidden. I think much (not all) of the stuff is being blocked, it cannot run, it cannot phone home. If this is not enough, you might consider not to protect your Mac, but your network. See the second approach.

  2. - like @aardy has mentioned. I never really looked into this option because I am fine how my Macs, iDevices and my PC are running without Pi-hole. I makes sense to keep your network clean without bothering with this need on your devices. Throw in a VPN to your network and your can protect your iPhone, when out on the road, too. But we are talking about nerd stuff here. But… it can be done, it is efficient and apparently it works like a charm.

I think your Mac should not be bothered with software that is scanning everything your Mac does. If you are worried about battery drain with plugins, you might be even more worried with a “software” that is dealing with everything any process is doing on your Mac. And to be honest, that is something that I do not want to have it running on my Macs.

interesting… can pihole run on docker on Synology NAS (DS918+) , instead using a RPi

Not as a native app, but almost anything can run in a docker, Pi-hole, too.

I never tried it myself, but:

thanks a lot…

Also, I was wondering…

unless we do not use Google search engine (such as using DuckDuckGo or Startpage), will that reduce the ‘ads’ , @johnkree , how did you get flooded? By emails? Sms, browser popups? Will pihole stop this if we keep using Google Search ?

Yes, I’m running Pi Hole in a docker instance on my DS220+.

I did have to find a guide online to help me, but once I did, it’s working as a charm. Updating it has taken some getting used to (but that’s Docker’s method of updating, which I’d never used before).


Why don’t you turn off personalized ads in Google?

+1 for pi-hole on a raspberry pi or docker container

FWIW I’ve been clearing my browser history after each session for years, and have never noticed anything that appears to be a targeted ad. And I use Safari Reader Mode whenever possible. (Reader mode also allows me to read stories on a few paywalled sites)

The above steps and a habit of avoiding sites with the most obtrusive ads has worked for me, so far.

Have you looked at

As a bonus, you can (if relevant) create a profile for kids’ devices, with additional filtering.


Every single ad shown on Youtube is either about getting rich fast, commercials that promise if I sign up today I will be rich. Or ads about really dumb mobile one star games. I tried to report them as inappropriate or pointless but Youtube keeps showing me this stuff. I literally tried to watch other commercials just to get better ads. Didn’t work either.

And the same is happening with other websites. I get ads of banks, of investments, of stocks… It really is annoying. I wouldn’t complain if it would be some new PC games or something. Some good books. A funny or good looking Coke commercial. But it is senseless stuff.

Maybe using duckduckgo would be better but I’m from a German speaking country and Google has the best German results…

It is not easy to answer this question just with yes or no. It is complicated depending on the question what data you are delivering to Google via which ways. When you use Google or its services, Google always will be able to gather at least some data depending on how you use the services or if at all.

I try not to use services from Google, I prefer and I am fine with it. Even with the limitations @johnkree has mentioned. I try first. If does not deliver what I need, I switch from to Google just by adding !g into the search field. Most of the times, I am fine with And they are getting better and better.

No Google, no Facebook and so on in combination with Apple’s privacy feature and one plugin in Safari and the internet feels quite fresh again. Without any battery drain! :slight_smile:

Do you use the app or just the Safari plugin? I have seen that the family license is on sale on Stack Social.

I use Vinegar a Safari extension for Youtube that removes ads. It has completed changed the experience of watching a video.


Just the Safari plugin.

The family license on StackSocial looks tempting.

I just bought it and I’m playing around with it. I’ve read some good reviews on reddit about Adguard. I even can implement their DNS Server in my router.

Thank you. I have to look into that one…

AdGuard definitely is nice. :slight_smile:

Regarding their DNS: Connect to public AdGuard DNS server

That is a free solution, no need for a license. With the usual caveats: you cannot “whitelist” stuff (if you run into issues accessing a website or using a service, you might have to switch to a different DNS server) and routing everything through their DNS means you are routing all your DNS requests through their servers (with all implications there might be - or not). :wink:

I do not use their DNS (right now), but I am very happy with their plugins.

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For people that have moral doubts, due to recent events and the origin of AdGuard, 1Blocker might be a (paid) alternative (for the free Safari content blocker):