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Adblocker Not Working On Chrome? Here's What To Do

Key Points:

  • Google's Manifest V3 update for Chrome extensions has hindered the effectiveness of some adblockers.
  • Ghostery and uBlock Origin Lite are alternative adblockers optimized for Manifest V3, and open-source options ensure privacy.
  • Firefox and Safari browsers, along with private browsers like Brave, offer robust ad-blocking and privacy features unaffected by Manifest V3.
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Adblocker Not Working On Chrome? Here's What To Do
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Google Chrome to Limit Ad-blocking Extensions

A recent update to Chrome's extension platform has left many adblocker users scratching their heads.

Google plans to replace its older, more versatile extension system, Manifest V2, with the more restrictive Manifest V3. Announced in 2019, the controversial replacement has faced numerous delays, but the Chrome team now confirms the transition is happening.

Check out the Manifest V2 support timeline.

The Google Manifest V3 update is a significant overhaul of the way extensions, including adblockers, function within the Chrome browser.

This update aims to improve security, performance, and privacy, but it also introduces changes that can hinder the ability of adblockers to effectively filter out unwanted content. As a result, users may notice an increase in ads slipping through their adblockers.

Many organizations, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and our own company, have disagreed with Google.

Manifest V3 [...] will restrict the capabilities of web extensions — especially those that are designed to monitor, modify, and compute alongside the conversation your browser has with the websites you visit. Under the new specifications, extensions like these — like some privacy-protective tracker blockers — will have greatly reduced capabilities. Google’s efforts to limit that access is concerning, especially considering that Google has trackers installed on 75% of the top one million websites.

— Electronic Frontier Foundation

Many people expect users to report issues with their adblock in Chrome not working effectively after the update to Manifest V3.

Why Some Adblockers Stopped Working on Chrome

To understand why your adblocker might not be working as well as it used to, it's important to grasp the basics of the update. In essence, a manifest is a new set of rules dictating how extensions can interact with web pages and the browser itself.

The changes introduced by Manifest V3 directly impact how adblockers operate. Chrome will limit their effectiveness. In some cases, Chrome may disable your current adblocker altogether.

As a result, you may encounter various issues with your adblocker on Chrome. Some common problems include more ads appearing on websites you visit, slower page load times, and a general sense that your adblocker isn't performing as efficiently as it once did.

Many are frustrated with their adblock not working in Chrome, particularly when trying to filter out YouTube ads. Some users have noticed Adblock Plus not working Chrome, which has raised concerns about the new Manifest V3's impact.

These issues can be annoying, but fortunately there are steps you can take to mitigate the impact of Manifest V3.

How To Fix Adblock Not Working On Google Chrome

Use Alternative Adblockers

While some popular adblockers have struggled to adapt to the Manifest V3 update, others have managed to maintain their effectiveness.

If you find that your current adblocker isn't cutting it anymore, consider switching to an alternative that has been optimized for the new extension platform.

Two notable examples are Ghostery and uBlock Origin Lite, both of which perform well under Manifest V3.

How To Find An Adblocker That Works

When searching for a new adblocker, it's crucial to exercise caution. Some extension stores may contain malicious or ineffective extensions masquerading as legitimate adblockers.

To avoid falling victim to these deceptive practices, look for recommended badges or endorsements from reputable sources. Additionally, consider asking friends or trusted online communities for their suggestions, rather than relying solely on search results.

Another important factor to consider when choosing an adblocker is whether it is open-source. Open-source extensions provide transparency, allowing users to inspect the code and verify that the adblocker is doing what it claims without compromising privacy.

Opting for an open-source solution is the best way to ensure that your adblocker is trustworthy and effective. Open source extensions will typically advertise this fact and provide a link to the source code repository.

Use Alternative Browsers

It's worth noting that the Manifest V3 update primarily affects Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. If you're willing to explore alternative browsers, you may find that your adblocker works just fine on platforms like Firefox or Safari.

While Chrome will be deprecating Manifest V2 starting in June 2024, the timeline for other browsers is less clear. Firefox has stated it will continue supporting Manifest V2, while Chromium-based browsers may have the flexibility to maintain Manifest V2 support for some time.

Many modern browsers are based on Chromium, a Google project that also powers Chrome.

Chrome leads the way for Manifest V3, while other browsers hesitate to follow. However, Chromium-based browsers will likely adopt Manifest V3 eventually to improve security.

Ad blocker developers, constrained by limited resources, will adapt their extensions to maintain compatibility across browsers. Most open-source ad blockers are run by small teams, making it impractical to support multiple codebases.

That said, private browsers such as Ghostery Private Browser, Brave, or Firefox with an adblocker installed, offer robust ad-blocking capabilities along with additional privacy features. These browsers can block ads and trackers and better protect your data from third-parties.

If you decide to switch or use an alternative browser for some purposes, consider moving to Firefox and installing an adblocker. Firefox is a mainstream browser with a reputation for being privacy-focused and offers a wide range of extensions, including many well-regarded adblockers.

READ: How to install add-ons on Firefox

Bottom Line

Manifest V3 has caused some adblockers to lose effectiveness or stop working altogether. This is due to changes in how extensions can interact with web pages and the browser itself, which limits the ability of adblockers to filter out unwanted content.

The introduction of Manifest V3 adblock rules has significantly affected the performance of popular ad blockers. Adblock Google Chrome extensions are struggling to maintain their previous levels of ad filtering effectiveness.

Manifest V3 limits what privacy extensions like Ghostery can do compared to Manifest V2. Mozilla, Apple, and other browser makers have reacted to Manifest V3 in their own ways.

Ghostery has pushed for better extension support in all major browsers, including Chrome. We will continue to develop advanced privacy protection and encourage browser vendors to make changes that improve privacy protection.

When choosing a new adblocker, look for recommended badges, ask for suggestions from trusted sources, and opt for open-source solutions to ensure privacy.

Alternatively, you can switch to a browser like Firefox or Safari, which are not affected by Google's update and offer their own robust extension ecosystems. For even better protection, consider using a private browser with built-in ad-blocking and privacy features.

As always, get in touch with our team if you have any questions.