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I have an iPhone 5 with iOS 10, which does not support Safari Content Blockers (like Purify, Peace, or 1Blocker) because of its 32-bit chip. Is there a way to block ads in the native Safari browser without using Content Blockers?

One potential strategy I thought up is using iPhone's Web Restrictions features (accessible via General -> Restrictions -> Websites) to block content from certain sites (i.e. Taboola ads) from loading. I've tried doing this by adding taboola.com to the Never Allow list, but I have had no luck.

Is there a way to block ads in Safari on the iPhone 5?

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  • Its called OperaVPN. install it, and goodbye to all adds.
    – OzzieSpin
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 19:50
  • I've created a great guide for you, I hope it helps!!
    – owlswipe
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

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There is no way to block ads using Web Restrictions, so far as I know.

You do have two options for blocking ads, though, which I will explain below.

Note: if you do have an iPhone 5S or newer, you should stop reading and just use Content Blockers, which are by far the most desirable option. However, if you do still sport an iPhone with a 32-bit chip (iPhone 5 or earlier), here are two ways to block ads:

Using a VPN

You can use an app like Opera's new free VPN to block ads and trackers in any app, including Safari. Basically, once you set up their VPN (which is actually free and has no restrictions), all of your internet traffic will be routed through one of their servers, where they remove ad-related content and send the rest to your phone.

Advantages of Opera's VPN:

  • Ads are blocked in all apps, including Safari.
  • No cost
  • Also anonymizes your IP address and secures you on insecure Wifi networks.

Disadvantages of Opera's VPN:

  • Internet speeds may be slowed considerably (in my experience from 75mbps to 9mbps at its slowest)
  • Opera can spy on everything your doing, but they're a fairly trustworthy company and probably aren't doing that.

Using a different browser

Your other choice for blocking ads in web browsing is downloading a separate browser app that has ad-blocking built-in. This is the one I would choose, simply because of all the disadvantages of using a VPN. I have used Brave Browser a lot: it's a simple browser that replaces Safari but works just as well (it remembers passwords for you, blocks ads, increases security with HTTPS Everywhere, and works with password managers like 1Password). It's entirely open-source, and made by the engineer who co-founded Mozilla.

Advantages of Brave Browser:

  • Ads are blocked
  • No cost
  • Uses HTTPS Everywhere to increase your security
  • Can't spy on all your other internet traffic
  • Works great as a day-to-day browser
  • Doesn't slow your internet speed like a VPN does

Disadvantages of Brave Browser:

  • Doesn't block ads in your other apps
  • Doesn't make Safari ad-free

I hope this guide has helped you, if you have any questions please leave a comment below and I'll comment back.

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  • Is there a way to configure the ad blocking for Opera VPN? I'm running it but I'm still seeing outbrain ads.
    – Chance
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 12:24
  • @Chance Hmm. Make sure the VPN is connected (there will be a VPN icon next to your iPhone's battery indicator) and that the ad-blocker is turned on inside the Opera VPN iOS app.
    – owlswipe
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 20:27
  • 1
    I don't know why this was downvoted; it answers the question.
    – Chance
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 19:12
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Weblock allows you to block ads by using a Wi-Fi proxy, and this is something I've used personally. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on a data connection, and that's where Adblock comes in handy: Adblock will apparently work on a data connection as well.

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  • Don't appreciate the downvote; check out my answer for more detail!
    – owlswipe
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 0:50
  • @owlswipe, that wasn't me, I upvoted your answer a long time ago.
    – Chance
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 15:27
  • My bad I jump to conclusions some times!
    – owlswipe
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 20:32
  • It's interesting that I got a -1, considering this actually answers the question.
    – Chance
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 19:11

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