For a long time, Internet Explorer users lacked an easy to use add-on that was meant for blocking annoying ads while Firefox, Chrome and Opera users enjoyed the Adblock Plus extension. As of August 2013, the team behind Adblock Plus decided to release a version for Internet Explorer. We took it for a test drive and we would like to share our findings. Is it any good? How does it compare with the versions that are available for Firefox or Chrome?
What Does Adblock Plus Do?
Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer is an add-on that blocks most of the ads displayed on the websites you are visiting. Although some users might prefer to see ads, some are annoyed by them and want to remove them entirely.
Adblock Plus doesn't block ads by itself. It uses various lists with filters for this task. Internet Explorer is able to work with these lists as well, without having to install Adblock Plus. However, this add-on does gives you the option to set exceptions and a bit more control over when and how ads are blocked.
The lists with filters for ads are updated on a regular basis and they are available to anyone. The default list used by Adblock Plus is named EasyList and can be found here.
How to Get Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer 11
To install Adblock Plus, open the desktop version of Internet Explorer and go to this page. Then, click or tap "Install for Internet Explorer" and save or run the setup file.
To run its setup you must have administrator privileges. Start the file that you have downloaded, press Yes when shown the UAC prompt and press Install.
Wait for the wizard to finish. There are no custom installation options to choose from and the whole process is very straightforward. At the end of the installation process, press Done.
How to Configure Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer 11
After installing Adblock Plus, you will have to restart Internet Explorer so that the add-on is activated. When you restart the browser, you are asked to enable the add-on. Press Enable so that you can use it.
In order to configure Adblock Plus, you must enable the Status bar in Internet Explorer and this bar is hidden by default. To enable it, right click on the top of the Internet Explorer window and check the Status bar option.
The Status bar is now shown on the bottom of the window. On the right side you will find the Adblock Plus button. If you don't see it, restart Internet Explorer one more time and it will show up.
If you click or tap on it, you will get access to a several configuration options:
Disable on (current website) - will stop Adblock Plus on the website you are viewing and ads will be shown each time you visit. For your favorite websites (including 7 Tutorials), we recommend that you disable Adblock Plus. It will help us monetize the work we are doing. We promise to always do our best not to annoy you with lots of ads. Also, we will always place them so that they don't stand in the way of our content.
Disable everywhere - will, obviously, disable this add-on completely and ads will be shown on all websites.
Settings - opens a new Internet Explorer window where you can manage the list used for blocking ads and manage the sites where Adblock Plus is disabled. You must click Manage before changing the list of websites where this add-on is disabled.
Check for updates - triggers a manual check for updates.
How Well Does Adblock Plus Work in Internet Explorer?
Adblock Plus works reasonably well in Internet Explorer but it has a few shortcomings. First of all, it doesn't work with the touch version of Internet Explorer. It works only in the desktop version.
As you would expect, it does a good job at blocking ads but it is not as easy to configure as the versions that are available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. You can only use one of the default lists with filters and you cannot manually add your own lists. Also, you cannot use this add-on to block or report unwanted ads that it might have not been blocked in the first place.
Another issue we have found is that, on some computers with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11, it may cause stability issues, making the browser crash at random moments.
How Well Does It Work For You?
If you use Internet Explorer on a regular basis, give this add-on a try and let us know how well it works for you. Do you have stability issues like we did on one of our test computers?
Is it simple enough to use or you prefer to subscribe to ad blocking filters using the default features found in Internet Explorer? (More on this subject here).