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Adblock logo & wordmark.svg
Original author(s)Michael Gundlach
Developer(s)BetaFish Incorporated
Initial releaseDecember 8, 2009; 12 years ago (2009-12-08)
Stable release
Chrome, Safari, Opera:
3.46.0 / April 22, 2019; 3 years ago (2019-04-22) (Google Chrome)[1]
Written inJavaScript
PlatformBrowser Extension
Available in51 languages[2]
TypeBrowser extension
LicenseGPLv3[1] Edit this on Wikidata

AdBlock is an ad blocking browser extension for Google Chrome, Apple Safari (desktop and mobile), Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge.[2][3][4][5][6][7] AdBlock allows users to prevent page elements, such as advertisements, from being displayed. It is free to download and use, and it includes optional donations to the developers.[8] The AdBlock extension was created on December 8, 2009, which is the day that support for extensions was added to Google Chrome.[9][10]

AdBlock's efforts are not related to Adblock Plus.[11] The developer of AdBlock, Michael Gundlach, claims to have been inspired by the Adblock Plus extension for Firefox, which is itself based on the original Adblock that ceased development in 2004.[12][13]

Since 2016, AdBlock has been based on the Adblock Plus source code.[14][15]

In July 2018, AdBlock acquired uBlock, a commercial ad-blocker owned by uBlock LLC and based on uBlock Origin.[16]


Gundlach launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdtilt in August 2013 in order to fund an ad campaign to raise awareness of ad-blocking and to rent a billboard at Times Square.[17] After the one-month campaign, it raised $55,000.[18]

Sales and acceptable ads[edit]

AdBlock was sold to an anonymous buyer in 2015 and on October 15, 2015 Gundlach's name was taken down from the site.[19][20] In the terms of the deal, the original developer Michael Gundlach left operations to Adblock's continuing director, Gabriel Cubbage, and as of October 2, 2015, AdBlock began participating in the Acceptable Ads program.[20] Acceptable Ads identifies "non-annoying" ads, which AdBlock shows by default. The intent is to allow non-invasive advertising, to either maintain support for websites that rely on advertising as a main source of revenue or for websites that have an agreement with the program.[20]


AdBlock uses the same filter syntax as Adblock Plus for Firefox and natively supports Adblock Plus filter subscriptions. Filter subscriptions can be added from a list of recommendations in the "Filter Lists" tab of the AdBlock options page, or by clicking on an Adblock Plus auto-subscribe link.

Partnership with Amnesty International[edit]

On March 12, 2016, in support of World Day Against Cyber Censorship, and in partnership with Amnesty International, instead of blocking ads, AdBlock replaced ads with banners linked to articles on Amnesty's website,[21][22][23] written by prominent free speech advocates such as Edward Snowden, to raise awareness of government-imposed online censorship and digital privacy issues around the world.

The campaign was met with both praise and criticism, with AdBlock's CEO, Gabriel Cubbage, defending the decision in an essay on AdBlock's website, saying "We’re showing you Amnesty banners, just for today, because we believe users should be part of the conversation about online privacy. Tomorrow, those spaces will be vacant again. But take a moment to consider that in an increasingly information-driven world, when your right to digital privacy is threatened, so is your right to free expression."[23] Meanwhile, Simon Sharwood of The Register characterized Cubbage's position as "'You should control your computer except when we feel political', says AdBlock CEO".[24]

AdBlock for Firefox[edit]

On September 13, 2014,[4] the AdBlock team released a version for Firefox users, ported from the code for Google Chrome, released under the same free software license as the original Adblock.[25] The extension was removed on April 2, 2015 by an administrator on Mozilla Add-ons.[26]

The official site's knowledge base article on December 7, 2015 states that with version 44 or higher of Firefox desktop and Firefox Mobile, AdBlock will not be supported.[27] The last version of Adblock for those platforms will work on older versions of Firefox.[27]

AdBlock was released again on Mozilla Add-ons on November 17, 2016.[28]


On April 1, 2012, Adblock developer Michael Gundlach tweaked the code to display LOLcats instead of simply blocking ads. Initially developed as a short-lived April Fools joke, the response was so positive that CatBlock was continued to be offered as an optional add-on supported by a monthly subscription.[29]

On October 23, 2014, the developer decided to end official support for CatBlock, and made it open-source, under GPLv3 licensing, as the original extension.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Index of /releases". Index of /releases. Adblock. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "AdBlock - Chrome Web Store". 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  3. ^ "Apple - Safari - Safari Extensions Gallery". Archived from the original on 2014-05-24. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  4. ^ a b "AdBlock for Firefox". Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "AdBlock extension - Opera add-ons". Archived from the original on 2015-07-20. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  6. ^ "AdBlock – Windows Apps on Microsoft Store". Microsoft Store. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  7. ^ "AdBlock for Firefox". Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  8. ^ "AdBlock is pay-what-you-want software". AdBlock. AdBlock. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  9. ^ "In Allowing Ad Blockers, a Test for Google". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  10. ^ "Is AdBlock available for my iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Mobile device?". AdBlock. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  11. ^ FAQ - Adblock Plus Project
  12. ^ Kurdi, Samer (June 22, 2011). "Adblock v. Adblock Plus: two Chrome extensions compared". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  13. ^ Gundlach, Michael (August 2013). "AdBlock is not Adblock Plus". Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  14. ^ "AdBlock is a popular ad blocking extension for Chrome, Opera and Safari, now based on the Adblock Plus code". GitHub. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Unsupported, legacy code of AdBlock for Chrome, Safari, and Opera". GitHub. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  16. ^ "An update on uBlock". July 13, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  17. ^ This ad blocking software is getting users to pay for it to advertise Quartz, August 30, 2013
  18. ^ "AdBlock Raises Over $55,000 for Anti-Advertising Ad Campaign". Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  19. ^ first version without his name.
  20. ^ a b c Williams, Owen. "Adblock extension sells to mystery buyer," Retrieved 2015-10-02
  21. ^ "Ai Weiwei, Snowden, Pussy Riot take place of online ads to protest censorship". Amnesty International. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  22. ^ Walters, Joanna (2016-03-11). "Edward Snowden, Pussy Riot and Ai Weiwei protest cyber censorship". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  23. ^ a b AdBlock. "Why AdBlock Is 'Un-Blocking' Amnesty Banners Today". Archived from the original on 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  24. ^ Sharwood, Simon (2016-03-14). "AdBlock replaced blocked ads with ads for Amnesty International". The Register. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  25. ^ "Adblock Plus". February 2016.
  26. ^ "AdBlock for Firefox". Mozilla Add-ons. Archived from the original on 2014-09-06.
  27. ^ a b "Why did AdBlock stop supporting Firefox?". Official Adblock support. Adblock. Archived from the original on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  28. ^ "AdBlock for Firefox :: Versions :: Add-ons for Firefox". Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  29. ^ "AdBlock's Blog: CatBlock lives on". 2012-04-03. Archived from the original on 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  30. ^ "CatBlock from AdBlock". 2018-10-15. Archived from the original on 2015-05-10. Retrieved 2018-10-15.

External links[edit]