FAQ - Basic functionality
- How do I block a banner?
- I sometimes want Adblock Plus to be disabled. How can I do this most easily?
- How can I update my filterlist manually?
- The banner is an object (Flash or Java) and doesn't have a context menu. What now?
- The list of blockable items shows many addresses. How do I know which one is the banner?
- Is the order of filters relevant for performance?
- Are regular expressions faster than "normal" filters?
How do I block a banner?
You can right-click on any image or frame and choose "Adblock" from the context menu. This will open a dialog where you can tweak the new filter before adding. Feel free to replace parts of the banner's address by wildcards (* — the star symbol) to make the filter block other banners with similar addresses as well. For more information you can read Writing Adblock Plus filters.
I sometimes want Adblock Plus to be disabled. How can I do this most easily?
You can click on the arrow of the Adblock Plus icon in the toolbar to bring up the menu. There you have the option to disable/reenable Adblock Plus. If this isn't fast enough, simply press the middle mouse button on this icon, it will also disable or reenable Adblock Plus.
In the menu you also have the option to disable Adblock Plus on a certain page. It will add an exception rule like
@@||adblockplus.org^$document to your list of filters. You can find more information on exception rules in Writing Adblock Plus filters.
How can I update my filterlist manually?
- Select Firefox >> Add-ons (for Mac OS X / Linux, select "Tools" from the menubar >> "Add-Ons"), this will open your Firefox Add-ons Manager.
- Click on "Extensions", find Adblock Plus there, go to "Options" and then click on "Filter preferences...".
- Press this shortcut key to update all filter susbcription at once: Ctrl+Shift+T or right-click a filter subscription and choose "Update filters".
- Click the Chrome menu button, then go to "Tools" and choose "Extensions".
- Find Adblock Plus there and click on "Options" under its description.
- Click the "Update now" button.
- Click the "Menu" button (for Mac OS X / Linux, "Tools"), select "Extensions" >> "Manage Extensions".
- Find Adblock Plus there and click its small tool-icon on the right side and choose "Preferences".
- Click the "Update now" button.
The banner is an object (Flash or Java) and doesn't have a context menu. What now?
Adblock Plus has an option called "Show tabs on Flash and Java". When activated (the default) it will display a button saying "Block" at the upper right (lower right if there isn't enough space) corner of every object. Clicking this button will block the object.
Alternatively you can open the list of blockable items (press Ctrl+Shift+V or click the dropdown arrow next to the ABP toolbar icon and choose Open blockable items) and look for an object there.
You can click the Type column header — this will sort the list by type and make finding objects easier.
The list of blockable items shows many addresses. How do I know which one is the banner?
You can look for addresses that start differently than the address of the page you are viewing. Banners also typically have keywords like "banner" or "ad" in their address. Click an address to make the corresponding element(s) blink on the page (unfortunately this doesn't work for all types of objects). If you are still unsure, press the middle mouse button on the address to open it in a new tab — there you will definitely see whether it is a banner.
Is the order of filters relevant for performance?
No. When Adblock Plus tests an address against your list of filters it determines the best order in which filters should be tested automatically, in fact most of the filters won't be considered at all. The order of filters you can change in the Preferences dialog is for your convenience only, it has no impact on the performance.
Are regular expressions faster than "normal" filters?
Usually this is not the case. Adblock Plus will transform any "normal" filter into a regular expression, and internally it will work only with regular expressions — there is no difference between the filters
Regular expressions are often used to "compress" the filters list and replace several filters by one regular expression. The rule of thumb says "fewer filters means faster" but it isn't always correct in this case. Complicated regular expressions require much time to be evaluated, it might be faster to use several simple ones.
Regular expression give you more flexibility however, that's where their use is always justified. For example the regular expression
/adv(?!ice)/ will block
advertisement but not
advice — something you couldn't have done with simple wildcards.