Best Ad Blockers for Mac and Safari

Whether you’re looking to block YouTube ads, have better privacy protection, or want parental controls, these five products have what you need.
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Best for Ease of Use

4.5
Editorial Rating
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On Total Adblock's website

Total Adblock
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Best for Multiple Devices

4.8
Editorial Rating
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On Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking's website

Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking
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Best for All-in-One Protection

4.6
Editorial Rating
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On NordVPN Threat Protection's website

NordVPN Threat Protection
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Best for Apple Compatibility

4.6
Editorial Rating
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On 1Blocker's website

1Blocker
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Best for iOS

5.0
Editorial Rating
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On AdLock's website

AdLock
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Although Apple products tend to get shorted when it comes to security, there are content blockers for macOS and Safari that can help block ads, stop trackers, and even protect your device from malicious websites. 

We've determined that the best ad blockers for Mac and Safari are Total Adblock, Surfshark CleanWeb, NordVPN Threat Protection, 1Blocker, and AdLock. The five we’ve chosen not only work on Apple products but also provide a number of features for security.

In this article
The best ad blockers for Mac and Safari 2024
Total Adblock: Best for ease of use
Surfshark CleanWeb: Best for multiple devices
NordVPN Threat Protection: Best for all-in-one protection
1Blocker: Best for Apple compatibility
AdLock: Best for iOS
Honorable mentions
Best ad blockers for Mac and Safari FAQs
Bottom line: The best ad blockers for Mac and Safari
How we tested the best ad blockers for Mac and Safari
How to choose the best ad blocker for Mac and Safari

The best ad blockers for Mac and Safari 2024

Top 5 ad blockers for Mac and Safari compared

Ad blocker Total Adblock Surfshark CleanWeb NordVPN Threat Protection 1Blocker AdLock
macOS app
Safari extension
Learn more Get Total Adblock

Read Total Adblock Review

Get Surfshark CleanWeb

Read Surfshark CleanWeb Review

Get NordVPN Threat Protection

Read NordVPN Threat Protection Review

Read 1Blocker Review Read AdLock Review

Total Adblock: Best for ease of use

Limited-time offer: 80% off
4.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Total Adblock's website
Total Adblock
  • Remove ads & trackers on YouTube, Facebook, and most websites
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Easy to set up
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites

Total Adblock is an ad-blocking solutions from the makers of TotalAV antivirus. Similar to TotalAV, Total Adblock is a product that's easy to install, setup, and use, as it silently works in the background to provide you with an enhanced web browsing experience. 

What we liked

Our testing proved that Total Adblock is an easy-to-use and reliable ad blocker. As soon as we installed the extension, Total Adblock started working right away and setup took less than five minutes. If you're curious about how well Total Adblock is working, you can click on the extension to view the number of ads and trackers blocked, as well as the data you've saved from using the ad blocker. 

We also liked that Total Adblock had stellar test scores for ad and tracker blocking. With the free version, Total Adblock had a perfect score of 100/100 ads blocked and it passed 2/3 of the tracker blocking tests. If you do wish to pay for Total Adblock, the bundle comes with TotalAV antivirus so you can protect your devices from malware threats too. 

What we didn’t like

Total Adblock Free excludes the top 15,000 websites as listed on Alexa.com, which can make your ad-blocking experience pretty limited. You'll have to pay for Total Adblock to work its magic on all ads.

While testing, we received a lot of Total Adblock pop-up banners on the bottom of some websites urging us to upgrade to premium. It's ironic that Total Adblock would be the source of the ads we're receiving, and we can see how this would be annoying for some users.

Total Adblock pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy setup process
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Customizable for managing websites and ad preferences
Cons
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites
  • Sends annoying pop-ups pushing you to upgrade

Get Total Adblock | Read Our Total Adblock Review

Surfshark CleanWeb: Best for multiple devices

4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking's website
Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking
  • CleanWeb 2.0 blocks all ads, including YouTube ads
  • Unlimited devices to use simultaneously
  • Does not completely hide your digital fingerprint

Although you may not immediately think of a virtual private network (VPN) as being a good ad blocker, Surfshark boasts a built-in ad blocker known as Surfshark CleanWeb. One of the reasons we love Surfshark is its allowance for unlimited simultaneous connections. Combined with CleanWeb's extensive compatibility, you'll be able to block ads and trackers across devices.

What we liked

On top of a VPN to remain anonymous online Surfshark comes with CleanWeb, which can block ads, trackers, and malicious websites. During our testing, CleanWeb got a perfect ad-blocking score and it passed 2/3 tracking tests. Not bad for a VPN feature.

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs available due to its combination of security and affordability. Depending on current price, a two-year plan with Surfshark can average out to about $2.00/mo. It allows for unlimited simultaneous connections so you can protect every device in your home and then some. 

CleanWeb 2.0, its updated feature, is available as a browser extension while the standard CleanWeb can be used on multiple operating systems including macOS, Windows, Linux, and more. 

What we didn’t like

CleanWeb 2.0 is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, but it's lacking an ad blocker extension for Safari. You can enable CleanWeb on your Surfshark app for Mac, but it won't be able to block ads on streaming platforms or provide malware alerts. 

CleanWeb isn't a standalone ad blocker either; you'll need to buy a Surfshark subscription to use it. This could be frustrating if you already have a preferred VPN or were only looking to an ad blocker. 

Surfshark CleanWeb pros and cons

Pros
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Perfect ad-blocking score
Cons
  • CleanWeb 2.0 isn't available for Safari
  • VPN subscription required to use CleanWeb

Get Surfshark CleanWeb | Read Our Surfshark CleanWeb Review

NordVPN Threat Protection: Best for all-in-one protection

NordVPN Threat Protection Ad Blocker
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN Threat Protection's website
NordVPN Threat Protection
  • Block ads (including on YouTube), trackers, and malicious downloads
  • Works on multiple devices and browsers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall

Similar to Surfshark, NordVPN also boasts a built-in ad blocker known as NordVPN Threat Protection. This means you’ll get the ad blocker you’re looking for plus the added security of a VPN. It can also scan for malware, protect you from phishing, and alert you of any real-time threats.

What we liked

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market, and one reason for that is its premium features. One of those features is NordVPN Threat Protection, which blocks ads, trackers, and malware. You can even scan downloaded files for malware. For Nord users, all you need to do is visit the settings section of the NordVPN app and turn on the toggle for Threat Protection. 

Just because Threat Protection tackles several cyberthreats, doesn't mean it's slacking on any of them. Threat Protection received impressive test scores: a 93/100 on AdBlock Tester, 2/3 on Cover Your Tracks, and it passed its malware detection and phishing detection tests. 

What we didn’t like

NordVPN may not be the best substitute for an antivirus, considering that Threat Protection doesn't have its own dedicated firewall. Nord could also be an expensive option if all you need is an ad blocker. Plans start at Standard 2-Year, which is much more than any of the featured ad blockers on this list. CleanWeb's also got it beat when it comes to price.

NordVPN Threat Protection pros and cons

Pros
  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • Scans for malware
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • VPN plans could be expensive compared to just ad blockers
  • Lacks a firewall

Get NordVPN Threat Protection | Read Our NordVPN Threat Protection Review

1Blocker: Best for Apple compatibility

1Blocker has close to 6,000 ratings on the app store with a 4.6 rating. It also touts itself as a “set and forget” product. According to one reviewer, 1Blocker was the only ad blocker that worked with their school’s mandatory enterprise security software.

What we liked

We are 100% on board with products that want to make the Mac user experience easy, and that’s what 1Blocker came to do. We’re also excited about the reports from reviewers that customer service was a breeze. Its compatibility with stronger security software, the “set and forget” ease of use, the fact that it’s free, and it doesn’t sell your data all make this a strong contender.

What we didn’t like

The free iOS app only allows you to have one filter at a time. This means we have to choose between webpage ads and web trackers. Also, there was a little more setup for the app than just plug-and-play. We had to go in and configure the ad-blocking extension settings manually after installation.

1Blocker pros and cons

Pros
  • Compatible with cybersecurity software
  • Lots of options
  • Doesn’t sell your data
Cons
  • Free iOS app is limiting
  • Some setup required

Read Our 1Blocker Review 

AdLock: Best for iOS

5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On AdLock's website
AdLock
  • No ads on YouTube
  • Blocks tracking ads
  • Social media blocker requires paid tier

AdLock is a free ad-blocker browser extension for Safari (with paid tiers) and a paid app on iOS products. Although the ratings on the app store hover around a 2.5 rating for the Safari extension, the iOS product works well at blocking ads. It was built by cybersecurity experts and prioritizes privacy while also providing filtering options.

What we liked

AdLock’s privacy policy is impeccable. Not only does it not sell your data, but it also works on an internalized system to make sure your requests aren’t being sent to an outside server. Most free products harvest and sell your data, but this one is transparent about what it logs, who uses your data, and for what purpose. The privacy policy is truly impressive.

Additionally, AdLock blocks banner and pop-up ads and it can even block follow-along video ads like the ones you’d find on blogs.

What we didn’t like

It’s not fancy and isn’t great on macOS. AdLock will block ads with some language filters and has the option for allowlisting on the iOS app, but you’ll have to pay for the social media and spyware filters. These come free on the Safari extension, so we’re not sure why the iOS app would be different.

AdLock pros and cons

Pros
  • Doesn’t sell data
  • Prevents social media tracking
Cons
  • Inconsistent features across products
  • Not great on macOS

Read Our AdLock Review

Honorable mentions

There are plenty of ad blockers on the market, but they aren't all suited for macOS and Safari. Here are some honorable mentions and why they didn't make the cut

  • Adblock Plus: This ad blocker is pretty easy to use, and it does a good job of blocking annoying and malicious ads. It’s not fancy, but it’s clean and transparent. However, you have to pay to get better ad-blocking features and there aren't as many features for Safari as there are for other browsers.

    Read Our Adblock Plus Review

  • Brave Browser: Brave blocks ads, trackers, cookies, and fingerprinting, and it helps to keep you safe from malware and phishing attempts. But with Brave, you'd have to learn a new browser, which isn't ideal if you want to stick to Safari.

Best ad blockers for Mac and Safari FAQs


+

Do ad blockers work on Mac?

Yes, there are many choices for macOS for ad blockers. You can use different browsers such as Brave, apps like Total Adblock, or browser extensions like AdLock.


+

Does Safari need an ad blocker?

Although Safari claims to block trackers, it really isn’t getting them all. To stop annoying ads, pop-ups, trackers, and even phishing attempts and malware, you should be using an ad blocker.


+

How do I turn off an ad blocker on a Mac?

If your ad blocker doesn’t have a toggle button in the extension, you can go into the settings from your browser. You can also go to Safari > Settings > Extensions and unclick whatever extension you don’t want running. If your ad blocker is an app, go to your dashboard and toggle it off.


+

How do I block YouTube ads on a Mac?

If you use Safari on your Mac, Total Adblock will block YouTube ads.


+

Is Adblock Plus good for Mac?

Adblock Plus is easy and will block some ads on Mac. It’s not the strongest or best ad blocker though. Fortunately, there are better options for macOS.

Bottom line: The best ad blockers for Mac and Safari

Security products are usually glitchy, laggy, and lack features when installed on Apple devices. This is because Apple’s proprietary security is so strong that it historically hasn’t needed security products. Unfortunately, cyberthreats have evolved. That’s where these ad blockers come into play.

We chose Total Adblock, Surfshark CleanWeb, NordVPN Threat Protection, 1Blocker, and AdLock because they not only work with Apple products but also provide helpful features such as ad blocking and malware protection. We were even impressed to find a product like 1Blocker that was built exclusively for macOS and iOS. Apple products may not be infallible, but at least we know there are products committed to keeping them safe.

5 best ad blockers for Mac and Safari 2024

Best for Compatibility Learn more
Total Adblock Ease of use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Android, iOS Get Total Adblock

Read Total Adblock Review

Surfshark CleanWeb Multiple devices Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV Get Surfshark CleanWeb

Read Surfshark CleanWeb Review

NordVPN Threat Protection All-in-one protection Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS Get NordVPN Threat Protection

Read NordVPN Threat Protection Review

1Blocker Apple compatibility Safari, macOS, iOS Read 1Blocker Review
AdLock iOS Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Read AdLock Review

How we tested the best ad blockers for Mac and Safari

Security and ad blockers for Apple products are notoriously lacking. Some of the products we looked at, such as uBlock Origin, didn’t support Safari and didn’t offer an iOS app. We looked at security, features, compatibility, and how well the products worked to decide what blockers to include here.

Features we decided were relevant:

  • Compatibility: It had to work on macOS and iOS as well as Safari.
  • Actual ad blocking: it had to block ads successfully.
  • Security: Were there additional security features?
  • Extras: Did the product include extra features such as allowlisting or parental controls?

How to choose the best ad blocker for Mac and Safari

There are plenty of products out there claiming to block ads. When you’re looking for a product, many of the features and services depend on what’s important to you. However, there are some non-negotiable features you should consider in all ad blockers.

  • Removes most or all ads: Free products should remove most if not all ads, whereas paid products should remove all ads.
  • Lag-free video streaming: It shouldn’t slow down your video.
  • Compatibility: It has to work with your operating system.
  • Privacy: It cannot sell your data.
  • Price: There are good free products out there, and the paid ones should be even better.
  • Security: A good ad blocker will keep you safe from tracking ads and other malicious scripts or executables.

Limited-time offer: 80% off
4.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Total Adblock's website
Total Adblock
  • Remove ads & trackers on YouTube, Facebook, and most websites
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Easy to set up
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites
Author Details
Mary lives in Los Angeles and has been a cybersecurity writer for over five years. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, her career in online security began in sales and content creation for a private cybersecurity firm.