Adblock for Internet Explorer is not an option · 2007-08-29 15:59 by Wladimir Palant

I already answered that question several times but recently a few people asked me again to create an Adblock Plus version for Internet Explorer. So I thought it would be worth answering in detail in my blog. Fact is, this is extremely unlikely to happen, for various reasons.

Internet Explorer is very different from Firefox. Firefox is extensible, this is one of its very basic features. You can write extensions in XUL and JavaScript, this does not only allow extensions to be built fast but also makes sure that you can change virtually anything the browser does. Internet Explorer on the other hand requires binary plugins meaning that you have to use a compiled language like C++, this already increases the development effort by factor 10 at the very least (that’s the main reason why there are only few really free Internet Explorer extensions). Furthermore, these extensions can only communicate with the browser through predefined interfaces. “New toolbar? Great! Context menu item? Should be doable. Checking everything the browser loads before the browser loads it? Why would you want that? Go build a local proxy server.”

This means that the effort of developing Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer would be very high, as well as nothing can be reused from the existing Adblock Plus for Firefox. Even after working full-time on it for a few months you would only get a rather poor copy — you just cannot have the same user-interface integration in Internet Explorer. And, personally, I don’t see any gain from supporting such an outdated browser. I switched to Mozilla four years ago and never looked back. Here in Germany Internet Explorer is steadily moving into a position of a minority browser — with a good reason.

Of course there are ad blocking solutions for Internet Explorer. But most don’t have a real user interface, you can only use predefined lists and cannot add your own filters (or it is complicated). Some people tried to create Adblock Plus clones — with large effort and less convincing results. But I am not going to waste my time on that.

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Comment [81]

  1. lulz · 2007-08-30 16:19 · #

    Man adblock is great, but you need to work on a spam filter to stop people like him ;)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    A spam filter cannot stop comments submitted manually. But I can always correct this ;)

  2. Tim · 2007-08-30 16:26 · #

    {clap} {clap}
    well said Wladimir, thanks for making it so clear. It doesn’t make any difference to me (obviously) as I’m on sunny Debian.
    The only adblocking thing I ever saw for IE was from sunbelt kerio personal firewall. What it did was post a javascript into every page one visited which atempted to stop all popups and block all ads. as you pointed out, extending it would have been impossible, mainly because it was proprietry, and also because javascript has some limits and writing extensions in javascript is not ideal (though i hear one does that in opera)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    There are certainly more sophisticated solutions. Most ad blockers act as a local proxy and cut out anything matching a filter. This works most of the time but there are many issues – e.g. they tend to break sites using XHTML (by cutting out something they make the webpage use invalid XML, the browser displays an error message then).

  3. Simon · 2007-08-30 18:41 · #

    > Furthermore, these extensions can only communicate with the browser through predefined interfaces.

    Well, technically you could always ignore the interfaces and use core Win32 window/message hooks and subclassing to achieve interactions not available through the API. If you so want, IE’s API corresponds to Gecko’s XPCOM API, whereas the rest corresponds to XUL hacking…

    Anyway, an acceptable and quite easy-to-use adblock solution for IE7 (and IE6) is contained in the Über-package IE7pro, which does what Adblock Plus, Tab Mix Plus, Mouse Gestures, Super DragAndGo, Proxy Switcher, User Agent Switcher, etc. do for Firefox.

    See http://ie7pro.com/ad-blocker.html for screenshots.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    You cannot write an extension with hooks – this is something for one tiny hack, maybe two, but if your entire program relies on that you will find yourself in trouble very soon. Redefining/extending any of Firefox’s JavaScript functions on the other hand is pretty trivial. Extending XPCOM components is a little more trouble but is still easy enough.

  4. Some One · 2007-08-31 00:41 · #

    People still use IE, Oh man

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    So what?

  5. Simon · 2007-08-31 00:58 · #

    > You cannot write an extension with hooks

    Sure you can. It will of course be neither easy nor pretty, but there should be no technical limitation why you couldn’t. I agree that developing for Firefox is far easier (not having to compile anything and having the sources handy really helps – also to attract new developers), but you seem to be looking for a categoric difference between Firefox and IE which IMO doesn’t exist.

    OTOH the main point of my previous post was that Adblock Plus isn’t really required for IE because a similarly capable extension already exists (though currently without a choice of filter subscriptions) – so just point people there and continue developing on your platform of choice.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I wasn’t speaking about technical limitations. You can always hack something together. If nothing else works, you can patch IE code on the fly. Some third-party security patches for IE actually did that. But this is not a maintainable solution, adding features and making changes will be extremely difficult. And each IE update is likely to break what you have done. So while this is technically possible, the effort required is much too high.

    As to IE7Pro – I didn’t try it yet so that I cannot tell whether it is in any way comparable to Adblock Plus. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you can download the source code anywhere.

  6. AM088 · 2007-08-31 06:46 · #

    Will you consider adblock plus for Konqueror? :P

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Nope :)
    I can only consider Gecko-based browsers.

  7. Wally B · 2007-09-01 20:52 · #

    Why in the world would anyone want to make any sort of add blocker for IE? making any kind of extension or add-on only encourages people to use it…

  8. Richard Lovaas · 2007-09-03 06:34 · #

    I recently downloaded Adblock Plus and SelectView. I still
    get the same number of ads, including the New York Times, where I just now read about the response to Adblock.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Adblock Plus doesn’t block anything by default. If you don’t want to add you filters – add one of the filter subscriptions from http://adblockplus.org/en/subscriptions

  9. Jackson · 2007-09-03 09:02 · #

    There are many ad filtering and blocking programs for IE already, though most are not free. Before I switched to FF, maybe 18 months ago, I used to use a program called Filtergate (http://www.filtergate.com/). Of course, being filter driven, the filters had to be updated regularly. I think that Zone Alarm Suite also has IE ad blocking.

  10. Wilhelm Steigel · 2007-09-04 04:37 · #

    Wladimir:

    I understand your AdBlock program and here are my comments

    1. Are you a communist?
    2. Are you a Microsoft employee or contractor or are they paying you?
    3. How do you think companies like Google can make money with out ads? (may be you are thinking subscriptions so Microsoft can come and kill who ever is charging subscriptions)
    4. Who do you think is going benefit from your AdBlock? – Microsoft.
    5. I do not work for Google, Yahoo, Ask or any other companies…
    6. Just go ahead and put a blanket on Autobahn and sleep on it for 15 minutes.

    Wil

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    lol

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. No – Google is the first to benefit, see http://adblockplus.org/blog/mozilla-hurting-google-by-recommending-adblock-plus. Why should Microsoft benefit from it?
    5. Ok, neither do I
    6. Thank you, you are very friendly

  11. ptc · 2007-09-04 12:17 · #

    It is definitely a great tool. If a user wants to block ads then then there is problem with the advertisement. People are crying out about failing of a business model with this move but if user-comfort fails a business model then there is problem with that business model design; it is not win-win for everyone and so is destined to fail.

    Great work! Keep the good work up!!

  12. ultravioletu · 2007-09-04 17:15 · #

    Wilhelm:

    I understand your questions and here are my comments:

    1. Are you a communist? Or perhaps an Ostie?
    2. Are you a Google employee or contractor or are they paying you?
    3. How do you think a company like Google can get hurt by Adblock?
    4. Who do you think is going to benefit from killing AdBlock? Shorely not Google?
    5. Do I work for Google, Yahoo, Ask or any other companies??
    6. Welche Autobahn?

    :) uv

  13. atlas · 2007-09-04 18:49 · #

    I read in the NYTimes article it is possible to customize Adblock Plus to allow google ads, and eliminate everything else.
    What is that procedure? (I am not a programmer-type so I hope it is relatively easy)

    Thanks for the great work!!

  14. TruthSeeker · 2007-09-05 06:10 · #

    Who the heck needs an adblocker creeated for Internet Explorer when Norton Internet Security has had one built into it for years? And it works extremely well! Sure I’d like to have another option but if the open-source nuts don’t want to work with IE, that’s just fine.

  15. S.Woods · 2007-09-05 07:14 · #

    Idealogy has little to do with it in most cases, its the fact that open source allows more options and often leads to better programs that people use OSS. Linus Torvalds isn’t some kind of communist.

    Adblock Plus simply put in combination with Flashblock can rid you of every advertisement there is (although I personally don’t), if you want to pay Norton with all the viruses targeting their software to do something that you can get for free elsewhere go ahead and do that..most of us though are smarter with our money.

  16. JohnD · 2007-09-07 23:33 · #

    According to the Adblock Plus statistics, the 4 top sites with blocked advertisements had a total of over 57,000 ads blocked. Adblock Plus is apparently working well and anyone who suggests that I view 57,000 ads needs their blood alcohol level tested.

  17. Sebeto · 2007-09-10 00:20 · #

    Congratulations :)

    These who want solution for Internet Explorer can build it if they can’t stop using their favorite Microsoft browser… :p

  18. Dark Shroud · 2007-09-13 09:17 · #

    Sebeto, there already is an Ad Blocker for IE, it’s called IE7 Pro. It’s been mentioned a few times already. And guess what, it works very well and adds a few other features to IE as well.

    That being said I rather like Ad Block Plus, I use it in Sea Monkey. It’s one of three plug-ins I have/need. Keep up the good work. :)

  19. CeeJay · 2007-09-25 11:36 · #

    Users that have no other option than to use Internet Explorer can use PowerIE to block ads and popups.

    http://www.powerie.com/

    It haven’t been updated in years but still works for the majority of ads on the net, and it’s far better than browsing without an ad-filter.
    It also work fine with all versions of IE , even IE 7.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I wonder, who are the users who “have no other option than to use Internet Explorer”? There are corporate users of course who are not allowed to install anything on their computers – but those will not be able to install plugins for Internet Explorer either. Everybody else has the option to install a modern browser.

  20. CeeJay · 2007-09-25 18:12 · #

    Yes , they could be corporate users , but they could also be private users whose ISP only allows internet access through a login system that requires a special Internet Explorer plugin (It sounds horrible and it is, but I have encountered this in the past)
    Could also be inexperienced users who are scared to use anything other than “what they use at work” or “learned to use first” , or “official microsoft programs” (Some people seem to have the misguided notion that if Microsoft made it, it must be good because they made the OS it runs on)
    Some people won’t use anything but IE because they use an online banking system or something similar that only supports IE.
    My aunt uses IE because it runs better on her very old and severely memory limited computer.

    My poing is that if you can’t/won’t use Adblock Plus there are other alternatives.
    I use Firefox & Adblock Plus myself – no need to convince me.

  21. ie-fans · 2007-09-29 13:02 · #

    Internet Explorer works faster than firefox, and eats less money, It is much ridiculious if security is an issue, many e-bank support ie exclusively. So I choose Internet Explorer.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I hope you don’t mind if I don’t even try to argue with you? I didn’t understand any of your arguments, maybe I am just too stupid for your wisdom.

  22. Ryan · 2007-11-14 06:19 · #

    I think that there should be a better skin for this website. Maybe more people would download AdBlock then and then switch to FF :D.
    Pretty great idea, eh?/ :)

  23. Huwyngr · 2007-11-27 18:29 · #

    << TruthSeeker · 2007-09-05 05:10 · #

    Who the heck needs an adblocker creeated for Internet Explorer when Norton Internet Security has had one built into it for years? And it works extremely well! ..... >>

    —————————

    Unfortunately Symantec took it out of NIS 2008’s add-on although I believe it may still be in N360. However I have heard from a reliable source that they are going to put it back in with a free update in the next month or two.

    I hope so since IE7Pro does not filter effectively on Compuserve’s new setup and some of us use IE7 because we are doing on-line support work for computer users!

  24. Marc Kupper · 2008-03-17 20:26 · #

    Given that you started out “I already answered that question several times but recently a few people asked me again” this should be in the FAQ as that’s where I looked first and I then found this page via Google.

  25. Joshua · 2008-07-29 21:27 · #

    Thanks for clearing this up. I really wanted this to be more possible than it is, but I understand the reasons. I still am forced to used IE every once in a while, due to a few things I need that, unfortunately, only IE does. For my work, I end up browseing through a LOT of.aspx web pages (Sharepoint pages using the asp framework). These render poorly to not-at-all in Firefox and usually not-at-all in Opera. So (and I realize I’m getting off topic) do you see support for asp in the future for Firefox. Would extensions have the capacity to accomplish this or would it require a more fundamental reworking of Firefox? Thanks.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    ASP is a server-side technology, for the browser it looks like just any other HTML page. So no explicit support for ASP is required. Problem is that these HTML pages have been coded for Internet Explorer, relying on Internet Explorer bugs or using proprietary Internet Explorer features. So the issue won’t go away unless the web sites you are using are fixed. Feel free to complain to whoever is maintaining those, with sufficiently many complains they will hopefully do something.

  26. Mack · 2008-08-10 10:56 · #

    I have used adblock in my FF browser and can only offer praise for how the product works; however, I have to be honest and say that I don’t find you much different from M$ in your attempt to control what software people should use. (ie: if you don’t want ads, don’t use IE) I would remind you that your product reaches outside Germany’s borders and that most people prefer to make their own choices, sometimes despite expert opinions.

    Note that I generally do not use IE7, but find that anyone who sounds like an acolyte tends to irritate me. (When pushing their opinions on others.) This is how your blog entry comes across. <<also, I have to admit that after Googling ‘adblock for internet explorer’ I was annoyed that this is the only legitimate link found, but that’s obviously not your fault :-D >>

    I understand and respect your technical reasons for not writing this code but think you should have left your explanation at that.

    Otherwise, thanks for writing such a great piece of code!

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Sorry about irritating you – but I don’t see what I said that isn’t obvious. IE6 has been released in 2001, IE7 is a version with only minor changes (if you look at the engine). Maybe when IE8 comes out it will be possible to take this browser seriously again. But so far, Internet Explorer is a hazard for the web, and I don’t see why I should invest my time into it.

  27. Bruce G. · 2008-08-11 23:26 · #

    I don’t want to take any camps here (btw, I never understood camps, I just use what is convenient to me, Windows, OS X, Linux, IRIX, I have them all), but there is a stand-alone and FREE and OPEN SOURCE extension for IE6 and IE7 and it is called IE adblock and both the EXE and the SOURCE code can be downloaded from here: http://www.catenalogic.com/products/ieadblock/Download.aspx

    It works quite well, thought not 100%, it is especially bad on flash ads, but it does work, it is small, stand-alone and free. The source code is freely available, and the company is actually encouraging the community to take it an further develop it in any way. So much for developing for IE being hard and not for free :)

    Another thing I don’t understand is Microsoft bashing. MS is just another business, like Apple, IBM, SUN, or anyone else, they are in there to make money, and as much as possible of it. Any other company would act EXACTLY like MS if they were in their place, they would be retarded not to.

    As to people asking who is still using IE, just check the W3counters report for July 2008, 61% of the web are using IE, while gecko-based browsers (all of them together) are oscillating in the mid to high 20s in the last few years, and this trend doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I don’t do any MS bashing. I use Windows XP because it is a good operating system. I don’t use Internet Explorer because it is a crappy browser. And I really don’t care what the majority of the web is using – most people use what comes with their OS. After having been on the web development side of things for a while I learned to understand that the smaller the number of people using IE, the better for the web. Fortunately, all statistics show that Firefox is slowly gaining market share – see for example http://www.xitimonitor.com/en-us/browsers-barometer/firefox-march-2008/index-1-2-3-127.html

    Thank you for the link to that software, I never heard about it before. The source code is roughly the same size as for Adblock Plus (depending on what you count as source code, and excluding third-party code) while offering barely any functionality. Notable is that this application will only hide ads when the page finishes loading (that’s where Adblock was five years ago) and that is offers effectively no user interface integration – so you cannot add filters by right-clicking an ad and you cannot see the list of all that can be blocked on the current page. Also notable that it uses a series of heuristics to determine what can be hidden. These heuristics will entirely fail for background images or things like behaviors (comparable to XBL in Gecko browsers). And while it is handling scripts, removing scripts after page load is pointless.

    So I would say that this is exactly what my post was about. You disagree?

  28. Bruce G. · 2008-08-12 22:33 · #

    No Wlad, I don’t disagree. My post was merely an answer to the title of this blog page: Adblock for IE is not an option. Well it seems like it is an option after all. Yes, I agree with all your comments, it is in an early stage of development, and not much has been done on it after the initial release (the authors admitted they don’t have the time to work on it, that’s why they released it as an open source), but it is a starting point.

    The biggest hurdle in all programming projects is usually starting from scratch, but here we already have some code that works (to some success), and which can be freely modified and extended and made better.

    Of course I don’t expect you to do it, you’ve already done enough, but I just wanted to spread the word. Adblock Plus is the first plugin I install after installing Firefox, and I was overjoyed when I saw that there is a Safari Adblock, so now all that is missing is a similar thing for IE. I know there are alternatives mentioned above, but they are all bundles, which I dislike, just a discrete small ad-blocking plugin is all I need, I don’t need the extra features.

    Btw some time (year) ago I realized that Adblock and Adblock plus are two different plugins, from two different developers. How come? Is there a plan to merge them? Or is there nothing to be gained by it?

    Also, I did not accuse you of MS bashing, it was pointed to the comments by some people above. ‘Some’ people just enjoy it so much, they don’t even stop to think if it makes sense.

    As for the IE dominance of the web, it is a fact, and it will be for the foreseeable time. Yes, Europe is more open minded (I was born in Europe :) but North America has a lion’s share of the global market, and here people will pretty much always use what comes with the OS. We can either call those people names and ignore them, or, the better way, do something about making those OS bundled browsers better and more secure. Just my 2c :)

    cheers,

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    The Adblock vs. Adblock Plus story is rather complicated: http://adblockplus.org/en/history. I would love to merge both projects to avoid further confusion but Adblock’s project maintainer won’t let me (despite the project being abandoned).

    Main problem with this IE Adblock (and probably with most other Adblock clones for non-Gecko browsers) is that it isn’t really blocking anything. It waits for the page to load and starts looking through it then, trying to find something that can be removed. This is not a good approach – it is neither saving time nor traffic, you are not guaranteed to find everything you might want to block, you are not protected from malware in ads, and you “hang” the browser for a while whenever a page loads. These are all issues that Adblock Plus doesn’t have thanks to content policies mechanism in Gecko. But in Internet Explorer you would need to build a local proxy server for that (as mentioned in the article), handle SSL somehow without triggering certificate errors and try to match requests arriving at your proxy to elements on the page the user is viewing to make blocking easy. These are all very hard problems, and the existing code doesn’t help solving them.

  29. Ben · 2008-08-14 19:38 · #

    I was just reading your last blog regarding AdBlock Plus, however, i will have to disagree with you, i know you dont’ want to hear this however, you can’t as programmer focus on one browser, i mean you could, however, that would be such a great promotional gain for you. Just think about it, you have a great and fantastic AdBlock Plus for FireFox, i think it’s awesome!!!
    But just think about it for a minute, if you take the time and develop one for IE, and make it work, do your best and then charge a norminal fee for it, for your time and effort, i know i would pay for it. I love firefox and also IE, even with firefox advantages over IE, there are still some things that won’t work in firefox, for instance, i can’t browse my bank website with firefox, when i try to login, i get problems, their website is requiring IE over firefox.
    However, you see my point right, just develop the program, give it a good shot and see the outcome, i mean you never know.. if you dont’ gain from it you can always scrap it.
    It’s the old saying be above the rest.

    Thanks,
    BG

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I hope you already complained at your bank?

    As a programmer with limited time, I can and I should focus on one browser, namely the one where I can develop something very useful with that limited time. I could probably develop something of similar quality for Internet Explorer – assuming I would get 10 times more time to work on it. So, given that I already put 2 years of development time into Adblock Plus, in around 20 years I would have something usable for Internet Explorer. Unless of course somebody is willing to pay me full-time to work on that (despite near zero chances for return on investment).

  30. Ben · 2008-08-15 18:42 · #

    Crazy thing is when i complain to them about that issue, their reply was sorry, the site is best viewed by IE, from that, i just said whatevs, move along.
    However, you do have a good point, most people would probably see that AdBlock Plus is free for FireFox and completely ignor the IE version which would have taken you much time and effort to build.
    Thanks for your reply,

    BG

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Heh, you have to love outsourced support – the guy who answered you probably didn’t have any idea about the banking application and just quoted the “minimal requirements”.

  31. James · 2008-08-19 09:41 · #

    I’m working on an IE adblock program and all the author’s comments are true.

    Why continue? I believe there’s a good market for an IE solution.

    Hell, I’m half making this for myself.

  32. Gireesh · 2008-08-29 07:29 · #

    For the person enquiring about konqueror, it can import the filters from the adblock plus project. It works quite well. Download the file http://easylist.adblockplus.org/adblock_rick752.txt and then in Konqueror settings enable adblock and point it to the txt file.

  33. Leetie · 2008-09-02 21:28 · #

    I found this page searching for “adblock for IE” :)

    Just wanted to say thanks for creating adblock for FF. It is awesome.

  34. Amit · 2008-09-03 02:33 · #

    Firefox to me is nothing without Adblock and NoScript. Thanks a ton.

    Does Google Chrome get your blessings? It is an open source but does it mean, it is ok with addons and extensions? Are you planning to support this new browser?

    Thanks for great work,

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    No, open source has nothing to do with it. Gecko browser engine is built with extensions in mind, and it also has a nice mechanism for blocking content that ad blockers can use. From all I know, WebKit has none of it, so the situation isn’t much different from Internet Explorer. Maybe one of the Safari ad blockers can be ported.

  35. ac · 2008-09-03 09:41 · #

    If your objective isn’t to block every ad on earth, just most of them, being able to block or replace requests to the ad serving companies ip networks and or domains should be enough. I estimate this takes around 1k lines of code and requires no proxy because you can instead hook the calls that open tcp connections locally in IE and look at the ip and/or request being made. Similar to using hosts files to resolve to local web server but with more flexibility than that.

    Adding ad servers to the block list could be made by adding a context menu handler that writes the address to a memory mapped file or whatever.

  36. JB · 2008-09-04 02:35 · #

    This is a great website. Keep it up.

  37. Carlos · 2008-09-12 04:14 · #

    AdBlock Pro 2.6 [ Internet Explorer ]

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    And what exactly is this telling us? “Adblock Pro” has all the issues every ad blocker for Internet Explorer has…

  38. Rebekah · 2008-09-14 04:14 · #

    Man, I’d use Mozilla all the time if I could, but for some reason my shockwave won’t work for me on Mozilla, and so a lot of sites I like to use won’t work on it.

    Thanks for your creation, it does wonders. But I can only pray one day something as clever as this will come out for IE.

  39. Raghav · 2008-09-15 18:25 · #

    Does this amazing thing work on Chroma. At times I feel Chroma was created only to counter AdBlock plus over Firefox. Trying to point to business interests.

  40. Karl · 2008-09-30 18:14 · #

    In addition to what you say (that is right) there is the fact that IE sucks and should not be used.

  41. Les · 2008-10-12 22:56 · #

    There is a product for Internet Explorer that is very similar to Adblock. It is called AdShield. Go to http://www.ad-shield.com/ to check it out.

  42. Subi from Free Wordpress themes · 2008-10-16 06:08 · #

    Well said. I just tried adblock for IE. it has features like blocking an element using the id. I used it to block an element. but when I refresh the page it is not blocked :( it displayed again. ha ha

    so no use on using it.

    I am not sure whether we have an option to block an element in adblockplus. if don’t please add it.

    Thanks

  43. Alpha · 2008-11-07 11:47 · #

    May I know if there is any way to have the DIV content replacing / blocking at server level? (such as proxy server- squid)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    In Adblock Plus? No, Adblock Plus is only preventing some requests from happening and allows to hide some DIVs for cases where it doesn’t work. http://adblockplus.org/blog/filtering-html-code-in-adblock-plus is a consideration but right now I’m not even sure we are going there.

    Privoxy, Proxomitron and similar do HTML filtering – if you need that functionality.

  44. Firebug · 2008-11-24 20:35 · #

    I still have IE6 (as I use Firefox) so don’t know IE7Pro very well. As someone wrote, Konqueror can import AdBlock Plus-formatted filter text files from their sites so the same should be made possible, at least in a mediated way, in case IE7Pro has an import/export capability for its internal blocklist. It shouldn’t be so difficult for an average (or even a beginner?) programmer to create a tiny rule-converting utility between the AdBlock filter text file and IE7pro import text file (using, say, a table of transformation rules in an auxiliary text file which would be editable), and either run it manually upon/after manual download of filter files – or as a service/app running in the background, doing the same automatically time after time. Such an app should fit in just a few kB when compiled or perhaps even could be scripted.
    As IE7Pro AFAIK can handle asterisk convention, converting that 1:1 could be without problems. But can’t tell about the other forms – like regular expressions, or section blocking (#) from AdBlock filters…but if nothing else, these could be just omitted from the conversion and the rest still would be of good use.

    Just a thought. I haven’t coded for years but it may be a tip for a high school student bored to death – on how to spend a winter weekend ;)

  45. Naveen · 2008-12-11 02:51 · #

    Love this Ad block plus on firefox. Sincerely, thank you for the tool

  46. Adi K. · 2009-01-13 04:30 · #

    Hell… Why are so many people complaining about the lack of an ad blocker for IE? I don’t want to initiate a browser war, but:

    - Advanced addons need advanced technology, which IE isn’t. It’s like … demanding to solve integrals from someone who missed school. (If somebody finds a better analogy, PLEASE post it) :-)
    I use Adblock Plus since version 0.6 (which was the first by Wladimir, right?) and continuously saw new features coming. It’s really impressive, what now can be done with ABP! (A nice and suitable opportunity to say THANK YOU Wladimir once again!)

    - <!—[if lte IE 7]>The number you have dialed is currently unavailable. Please try again with another browser.<![endif]—>
    IE should be banned from web. Designing nice and complex web pages for IE take twice as much time as for other browsers. But you have go through the troubles, otherwise half of your customers/visitors don’t see it the way it is intended (depending on the field of interest even more).
    Not to mention the factor for JavaScript…

    - Firefox has so many nice features you will love! (I already have “converted” many inexperienced computer users.)

    - What strange bank are you a customer of? I think serious banks can’t afford it to provide such a limited service (“IE only”). In Switzerland, I think, every bank officially supports Firefox (since version 1) — regardless how small it is.

    - For secure concerns, secure tools should be used, which IE isn’t, either.

    Grüessli us, ebe de Schwiiz ;-)

  47. Eric D. · 2009-01-18 01:01 · #

    Unfortunately, my kids love web sites like NickJr.com, which requires IE for many of the games. Personally I use Firefox, but it’s just not an option for my kids. I wonder if they did that on purpose so the ads could not be blocked… hmmm.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I don’t see any issues with Firefox on NickJr.com (though I found an EasyList false positive there, will report it so it is gets fixed).

  48. rick752 · 2009-01-19 03:47 · #

    @Eric:
    The EasyList has been fixed for that. If you use the EasyList, update it and try again.

  49. Phil · 2009-01-25 22:55 · #

    I just read your adblock / adblock plus history and I found it very interesting. Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this extension, it’s really too bad the Adblock developer ignored your suggestions. Keep up the good work!

  50. steve · 2009-01-31 13:33 · #

    I might add another IE adverts blocking tool to this thread for those desparate enough: Quero Toolbar http://quero.at/

  51. reinerotto · 2009-02-05 11:49 · #

    Is there a possibility to use Adblock Plus rules/lists in a proxy server ?
    This would partly solve the problem of NOT having AdBlock Plus directly for IE, at least for me :-)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Not really, Adblock Plus is tied to the browser too much. There is a bunch of proxy-based ad filtering solutions however.

  52. Andrew D · 2009-02-07 23:21 · #

    linking them all to 127.0.0.1 of course

  53. Andrew D · 2009-02-07 23:23 · #

    If your hooked on IE then couldnt you import the ad-site list from adblock plus and put it in your hosts file, linking each one to 127.0.0.1?
    That would block all the sites on every internet browser.

  54. Igor Levicki · 2009-02-17 23:56 · #

    Vladimir,

    I can hear you about the complexity of developing IE plugins.

    But I disagree about IE being a minority browser.

    The Firefox is becoming more and more annoying for advanced users who once praised it for its simplicity. Open source community introduces major breaking changes with each new version with “AwesomeBar” being a latest example of how NOT to develop applications.

    Their developers have become arrogant as if they are the only ones who know what is it that we users need/want, they introduce new behavior and new defaults with each new browser version which cannot be reverted, they are constantly breaking our browsing habits, and forcing us to waste time adapting to their unsuccessfull GUI experiments.

    I for one am sick of it, and after three years of using and advocating Firefox I would like to go back to IE never to use this junk again, and the only thing I am missing is a proper Adblock plugin.

    Now to the point of IE Adblock — check this link out:
    http://www.catenalogic.com/products/ieadblock/209.aspx

    Particulary note the news update from January 14th, 2008:

    “Due to some performance problems (IE AdBlock is too slow for real usage) and lack of time, IE AdBlock is donated to the community as open-source under the GPL license.”

    And also:

    “Feel free to download the source and modify it to your own needs. Keeping the copyright notice would be nice, but not neccessary.”

    On this page:
    http://www.catenalogic.com/products/ieadblock/download.aspx

    You can get the file ieadblock_src_0.7.zip and use it as a starting point for your own plugin, of course if you have any interest in doing it.

    Regards,
    Igor

  55. fordee11 · 2009-02-20 00:54 · #

    Why would you want IE on your computer slowing it up anyway??
    just download FF and quit complaining
    its at least 10 times better

  56. Twidget · 2009-03-16 04:54 · #

    One thing I don’t understand…The Military blocks ALL adds on Hotmail and Yahoo. I can check my POP3 mail from the internet on NIPR (The Military’s “Non secure Internet Protocol Routine”) and not get any ads what so ever. Not one. EVER. So, this is impossible—or just people wouldn’t pay what it’s worth to write this code? Someone has written it, obviously. I’m to the point to where I’d almost be willing to pay for it.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    It’s a proxy-based solution, without any sort of user-interface in the browser. There are a bunch of those – Ad Muncher for example. But that approach doesn’t let you build something that is as configurable (and especially as easily configurable) as Adblock Plus.

  57. Twidget · 2009-03-16 04:58 · #

    Oh yeah…and the Military’s systems all use I.E. Nothing else is authorized.

  58. Twidget · 2009-03-16 05:04 · #

    One last one before I go…Wladimir Palant, no need to comment on mine. thanks

  59. Twidget · 2009-03-19 22:04 · #

    Well ok, since you INSIST…what do you mean? I sit behind my computer at work, and my compter at home and see absolutely no difference whatsoever when I open I.E. and start to surf the web—except that absolutely no junk comes through at work. I don’t undersdtand what you mean by “user-interface in the browser”. If there is a way to make my home PC match the same thing that I have in the Military—short of breaking the law of course, I’ll do it in a heart beat—just walk me through it please.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I mean that you cannot change the behavior. The filters are defined by whoever created that software and the blocking is probably done at the computer that connects your company with the Internet, not even the computer you are sitting at. If these filters turn out to block too much – there is absolutely nothing you can do. With Adblock Plus you are in control, you can change everything and Adblock Plus tries to make it easy for you.

  60. Twidget · 2009-03-19 22:13 · #

    I owe you an apology too…I was tired the other night, and got the names mixed up on this thing…I actually thought you were the one being the smart donkey, not the one getting the other end of the stick. I thought your reply to that was kind too. Wow..I’m sorry I was an idiot.

  61. Twidget · 2009-03-19 23:55 · #

    Ok, so I’m a 50 year old radio tech who grew up on D.O.S. and am now trying to make a transition from glass (tubes) to sand (chips). I don’t do well with making changes, but once I’ve transitioned I’m pretty cool with it. Beleive it or not, I’m actually working as a help desk, and am studying to get my Net+ cert, which means I’m not incapabable of learning, and am actually willing to do so. So, with that said, your best advice to me for gett rid of those annoying ads?

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    You are seriously asking for my best advise? Of course I recommend throwing out IE (already because of continuing security issues that are fixed way too late), installing Firefox and then Adblock Plus. Check out the video on http://adblockplus.org/en/ for an overview. Installing a different browser is probably not something you can do at work but I certainly recommend doing it at home.

  62. Pranesh Bhargava · 2009-03-27 23:41 · #

    You know what’s the best adblock plus for IE? It is firefox.

  63. Ramesh · 2009-03-29 23:27 · #

    Yes Dude,
    I strongly agree. I am one the fan for your great plugin Adblock Plus. My internet explorer is almost obsolete. Because of your plugin its really promoting Firefox.

    All the best Dude. Hope we will se more great things from you.

    -Ramesh

  64. scott downey · 2009-03-30 20:42 · #

    arora is a nice fast browser based on qt webkit
    any ideas about an adblock on it?

    http://code.google.com/p/arora/

    I run ubuntu and use adblock plus with firefox

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    You better ask the authors of ad blocking extensions for Safari (Safari Adblock and SafariBlock) since Safari is also based on Webkit.

  65. dug · 2009-04-03 17:20 · #

    Wladimir –

    your program is awesome. thanks so much!

  66. Abhishek · 2009-04-08 19:24 · #

    Adblock Plus is amazing and is definitely one of the very first FF plugins I install on any machine. Thanks a ton! :D

    For those clamouring for a good IE Ad Blocker for whatever reason, I recommend Adblock Pro. It works well with IE8 (though the statusbar icon is partially hidden). It does its job satisfactorily and works well with both normal and flash ads. It’s very easy to define new filters using the statusbar icon and “select element to hide” feature. It might be an Adblock Plus rip-off, but I guess if one has to copy, copy from the very best, eh? :)

  67. Hamburger · 2009-04-10 08:09 · #

    Adblock is the only reason I use Firefox. And now that Firefox 3.0.6 introduced the fucking “can’t store cookies/auto log in” it is the sole reason I don’t scrap the thing.

    Shame you can’t do this for IE or another browser because I’m quite literally irritated as shit by this “little bug” not only being backwards compatible, but apparently irreversible.

  68. Nicolas · 2009-04-17 17:25 · #

    FF is becoming serious shit while ie 8 is fine. Not to mention the good but not compatible with many websites opera.

  69. Nara · 2009-04-29 01:13 · #

    Wladimir, Thanks a lot for this amazing effort. I found your Add-On today and my browsing life has changed. I mostly like free stuff, but when it comes to Ads, i like it Ad-free. :)

  70. Raphael · 2009-05-17 11:56 · #

    http://www.ghacks.net/2009/04/08/internet-explorer-8-ad-blocking/ has a very interesting up to date method for blocking ads on IE using the filters from adblock plus.

  71. Ken · 2009-07-11 19:21 · #

    I guess I don’t understand why people are so passionate about wanting to use IE over FF (or even vice versa). For the majority of users it performs the essential same functions. I’ll concede that there are certain types of sites which require IE for a specific type of functionality (Exchange’s OWA and some corporate intranets come to mind), but otherwise Firefox is no lesser of a browser and Internet Explorer is no better a browser. The former just allows no- or low-cost, decent ad-blocking utilities to be written, whereas the latter does not. I guess I’m not sure why people waste time and server space wearing their browser as a sword and shield as they unsuccessfully try to convince others why their choice is better. Then again, I’m not sure why people waste time and server space commenting on why other people do what they do. I should probably stop typing now.

  72. doug · 2009-07-30 02:11 · #

    I would prefer FF anytime just like I prefer Linux and OS X but some workplaces only allow Windows and IE. If others are in the same situation as me I can recommend this IE ad blocker:

    http://simple-adblock.com/

    Works fine even if it seems to block a bit less than ABP. It is still beta so I guess it will have some upgrades to make my IE life a bit more bearable :)

    Doug

  73. IEadblock · 2009-08-01 02:21 · #

    Even though adblock to IE would be a pain, it’s not really needed if you just drop in a filter list.
    No automatic updates, but it gets the job done well enough.

  74. MK · 2009-08-04 05:23 · #

    thank you for making such a marvellous ad on for firefox. awsome job

  75. Martin · 2009-08-15 02:53 · #

    @Doug: Thanks for the simple-adblock.com link for IE. Works excellent!

    The Simple Adblock guys just made an update with improvements.

    Martin

  76. Silly IE User · 2009-10-09 06:25 · #

    The only reason most of us use IE is because we haven’t found the addon for Firefox yet that allows “Right-click to save target as”

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    You mean an add-on that will rename “Save Link As” in the context menu into “Save Target As”?

  77. Silly IE User · 2009-10-09 06:27 · #

    Also: IE 8 hates your computer and can never be truly removed without a system restore. another reason to use FF

  78. RM · 2009-10-14 14:23 · #

    Yet another reason why IE sucks! Adblocker is such a great app and makes browsing the internet a much more pleasant experience.

  79. Djlatino · 2009-10-25 20:45 · #

    Ff is good but actually google chrome is kicking its ass

  80. Afzes · 2009-10-27 23:57 · #

    @Djlatino:

    I honestly don’t see how that’s true. I have Chrome installed on my windows partition and I find it to be quite annoying most of the time. It loads websites fast, but when you have many tabs open at the same time (around ten, so not really that many) it hangs for a significant amount of time every time you try to switch tabs. It doesn’t natively support extensions so you can’t block ads or flash as easily as you can do it on Firefox or Opera. And it doesn’t even support turning off Javascript as an option on the browser’s settings!

    So far, the only thing I don’t like about FF is how it eats RAM up whilst browsing. In some cases it’s gone all the way to 720Mb. But I’m willing to cope with this because of all the functionalities, and I occasionally use Opera or Chrome when I want to browse light (five tabs at most, although Opera isn’t too far behind on RAM consumption).

  81. Cjay · 2009-10-29 03:11 · #

    IE is a powerful browser, as a matter of fact its the most powerful browser on the web to date. Just because you dont know how to control IE’s features effectivly is not your fault, your just part of that 85% who are stupid. All I hear is people complaining about how bad IE is, well I have never had any problems with it, and I really mean that, nothing, nottah, zero,zip… IE is the best browser on the planet. IF you dont like that well boo hoo hoo. If your running linux or mac then I rest my case, but if your running windows then IE is the best.

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