Acceptable Ads FAQ

Will AdBlock block all ads?

It is not technically possible to block all ads on the internet. We do try our best, but we're a small team and the internet is a big place, with lots of different ad formats and different technologies used to show ads.

Also, we don't believe that all ads are bad. There's a world of difference between an annoying, flashing pop-up blaring audio and a tasteful, non-intrusive ad running adjacent to a story on your favorite website. That's why, since 2015, we've participated in the Acceptable Ads program, which is controlled by an independent, US-based non-profit organization called the Acceptable Ads Committee.

What are Acceptable Ads?

Acceptable Ads are ads that don't interfere with content and are clearly labeled with the word "advertisement" or its equivalent. These ads aren't annoying or intrusive and will never include things like pop-ups, autoplay audio ads, or other ads that drive users crazy. In order for an ad to be an "Acceptable Ad", it must adhere to standards that have been set forth by the Acceptable Ads Committee, an independent, non-profit group that includes user advocates, advertising industry members, and digital rights organizations.

Why are Acceptable Ads enabled by default in AdBlock?

Many of our favorite websites would not be able to survive without ads. We believe that Acceptable Ads provide a middle ground between AdBlock users and the website owners that need to use ads to generate the money they need to survive. With Acceptable Ads, we can eliminate the type of ads that led people to install an ad blocker in the first place, while not completely depriving websites of one of their primary sources or revenue.

Can I turn off Acceptable Ads?

Absolutely. You can disable this feature at any time. Here's how:

AdBlock for Chrome and Edge

  1. Click on the AdBlock icon in your browser (it looks like a red stop sign).
  2. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the pop-up menu.
  3. Uncheck "Allow Acceptable Ads".
  4. Close the tab.

AdBlock for Firefox

  1. Click on the AdBlock icon in your browser (it looks like a red stop sign).
  2. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the pop-up menu.
  3. Uncheck "Allow some non-intrusive advertising".
  4. Close the tab.

AdBlock on Safari (MacOS)

  1. Open the AdBlock app. (Using Launchpad, you can click on the AdBlock icon, which looks like a red stop sign.)
  2. Click on the "Filter Lists" tab in the left-hand section of the window.
  3. Uncheck "Allow some non-intrusive ads".
  4. Close the app.

AdBlock for Samsung Internet

  1. Open AdBlock for Samsung Internet.
  2. Uncheck "Allows some nonintrusive advertising".

AdBlock for Mobile (iOS)

  1. Click on the AdBlock icon on your iOS device.
  2. Click on the "Settings" tab with a gear icon.
  3. Uncheck "Allow some non-intrusive ads"
  4. Close the app.

Do AdBlock users really want to see ads?

The vast majority of our users understand that not all ads are annoying. We have millions of people daily who use AdBlock features to turn off AdBlock, or to "whitelist" websites they like.

Do publishers and advertisers pay to participate in Acceptable Ads?

Publishers with more than 10 million monthly ad impressions do pay a fee to participate in the Acceptable Ads program. This fee is paid to eyeo, the company that created Adblock Plus and the Acceptable Ads program. Revenue from these publishers funds the ongoing development of Adblock Plus, as well as the operation of the Acceptable Ads program, including compliance, monitoring, technical support, and more. Please find more details about licensing here.

The remaining 90% of publishers participating in Acceptable Ads do not pay to participate. The ads these companies utilize still need to be "acceptable" — that is, non-intrusive or annoying — at all times; otherwise, they will not be shown to AdBlock users.

Can you give me an example of companies that participate in Acceptable Ads?

Sure. Roughly 25 percent of the top 1000 websites worldwide participate in the Acceptable Ads program. You can see the full Acceptable Ads Whitelist here. And you can visit the Acceptable Ads forum to learn more or to provide your opinion on which ads are annoying or not.

Please let us know at [email protected] if you have any feedback that could improve the quality and transparency of the Acceptable Ads Program.