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Updated: How Simple It Is To Remove Facebook Ads In All Major Browsers

Facebook earn their money through the display of ads to the user, usually in the sidebar. Nobody said you actually have to see them in order to use the social network. Although this might be some sort of contract breach if you don’t, they’re not gonna find out anyway. Before turning away because you think this might be some sort of complicated hack and it’s gonna take hours for you to even understand what’s going on, be assured that everybody who can at least start up his browser and type in a URL can also make use of this easy solution.

Now look at the screenshot below. This is what will happen if you follow the instructions in this article: The “sponsored” ads will be completely gone on both the profile view (Timeline) and the home screen (not shown here). Even the ads in the photo gallery disappear! Well, if you still want to display them, you can click the “See All” link.

Facebook Ads Removed!

Cool, isn’t it? If you want to have it right now without all the explanations just scroll down to the section that deals with your beloved browser and skip the next two sections.

You can find a lot of solutions to achieve this and there are many apps out in the wild, such as AdBlock Plus, AdBye for Firefox or commercial ads blocker for Chrome. Common ad/script blockers such as NoScript for Firefox do usually not work on Facebook since all the ads are coming from the facebook.com domain itself, which means in order to block ads you would have to block the whole Facebook script which in turn would render the website useless.

Anyway, I am not a big fan of custom ad blocker addons since unless you have a look at the source code (which might or might not be open) you do not know what exactly happens and secondly, those addons might stop working as soon as you update your browser to a newer version because of compatibility reasons.

Two Techniques To Get Rid Of Ads

In the following section, I will present two different techniques to get rid of Facebook ads. Both are simple to implement and 100% effective.

The first method is to use a custom script: I use a certain addon that allows you to execute custom scripts on any page. And exactly those scripts will block the rendering of ads on Facebook (and any other website if you are willing to implement a script on your own or look for one). But wait, the whole process involves installing another addon to the browser, so how is it any better than the other method? The reason is simply that you can always look at a script before you choose to execute it, therefore making sure the script is doing exactly what you want to. And secondly, the addons I am going to present have such a big user base that they are well managed and frequently updated, thus you can safely install them. This method works for both the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

The second method is to use a custom Cascading Style Sheet. CSSs declare how a page is rendered inside your browser. Since all the elements on a page, such as ads, are rendered within small containers, you can use CSS to select those containers and simply make them invisible. So the solution lies in specifying some custom CSS rules and make your browser execute those rules. This solution is actually even simpler than the above, and it works in both the latest Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer (on Windows 7, at least).

Firefox

First, update to the latest Firefox (currently it’s version 15). This solution will likely work in older versions as well, but it is always good to use the lastest software version because of security and other reasons. Then, install the Greasemonkey addon. As I said, it allows you to run custom scripts to enable or disable certain features of a website. Now you go to userscripts.org, a large community where people share their scripts and review them, and install this one by clicking on the install button in the upper right corner of the page. In the upcoming dialog you have to confirm the trust delegation (no worry, this script is definitely safe), and then install it. Thanks to “Maxcod2” for submitting this script! Now I recommend restarting Firefox and then navigating to Facebook. The ads should be gone by now! Make sure Greasemonkey is running though and the script is shown as “activated”. There should be a little icon with a monkey head somewhere on your browser, that’s where you can check that stuff.

Chrome

With Google Chrome, it’s about the same procedure as with Firefox, just instead of installing Greasemonkey, you’ll install Tampermonkey. After that, do exactly as stated above: Navigate to here, install the script in Tampermonkey (press “ok” to confirm the upcoming dialog after clicking “Install”), and restart the browser. Then navigate to Facebook and be amazed.

Safari

Just fire up a text editor such as the default Windows text editor (type in “Editor” after pressing the Start button in the lower left corner of your desktop and press Enter). Now copy and paste the following code in the just opened text file:

Make sure nothing else is in the file and then save the file as noads.css, for example (be aware that you have to explicitly specify the extension “.css”). Then, go to Preferences > Advanced > Stylesheet and select “Choose…” from the list. A prompt will appear and ask for the location of your custom script. Just specify the script you have just saved and press “Open”. That’s it!

I am not sure whether restarting the browser is absolutely necessary but you should do it nonetheless. After navigating to Facebook, the ads should be gone.

 

5 Comments

  1. Jemma

    Awesome – this totally worked. thank you!

    Facebook app on iPhone is now adding sponsored ads/stories to news stream – driving me crazy. If you ever see/find/invent a way to block these – do let me know!

  2. Hey Jemma,

    It’s the same for the Android app, and actually for browsers if you surf the Desktop/Mobile version.

    They both display those sponsored ads/stories. I am currently thinking about a fix for at least the website (fixing the issue in the app might be close to impossible, if you don’t want to reverse engineer it).

    Check back for news!

    Thanks, Winston

  3. Sam

    Thanks for the Firefox tip! I noticed lately that when I click on a “It’s x Birthday” (reminder), ALWAYS the stupid advert underneath it opened instead (sneaky FB trick? or FF issue…I don’t know). No more Adverts! Thanks!

  4. Milt

    Hey, that’s really neat. Thanks! Two questions: – Will this ever mess up any other pages ? – What’s gonna happen when facebook changes its ad layout ? I’m using safari on osx, and this worked perfectly.

  5. @Milt: You’re welcome.

    1) That could happen, theoretically. Haven’t found any bugs so far though and have been using it since the publication of this article.

    2) If the Ad layout changes but the code (i.e. the CSS classes/ids) stays the same, it should still work. If not, it’s likely gonna need a new hack.

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