How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

I recently switched from Safari to Chrome on iOS. Chrome is fast, syncs my personal information smoothly, and has a user-friendly interface. However, I dislike Chrome’s inability to block ads. I often have to switch back to Safari when visiting ad-heavy sites that don’t work well without an ad blocker.

Just the other day, I got tired of switching browsers. I searched the App Store for Chrome-ad blockers. Sadly, there aren’t any (let’s be honest). But I didn’t give up. I scoured forums for workarounds, and to my surprise — I found a solution! What you’ll learn isn’t the most convenient way to block ads, but I’ll share it with you so you can decide.

AdGuard DNS to the Rescue

My workaround involves using the domain name system (DNS) servers of AdGuard, a popular ad blocking service. Simply set up the AdGuard DNS with your internet connection to filter IP addresses and trackers associated with major ad serving platforms. AdGuard welcomes users to utilize their DNS servers, so you have nothing to worry about.

Setting up AdGuard DNS servers on your iPhone or iPad blocks ads on all apps, not just Chrome. It’s like a system-wide adblocker. Some apps, like free-to-play games, may not work properly because they can’t serve ads. If this happens, you may need to reset the DNS servers.

There’s another issue: iOS only allows you to configure DNS servers for Wi-Fi. You have to do it manually for each Wi-Fi connection, but not repeatedly for the same hotspot. So, how can you block ads while using cellular data?

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“IOS only lets you configure DNS servers for Wi-Fi connections.”

To overcome the limitation, I tried a paid app that claimed to override default DNS settings for cellular data. I also found an app called DNSCloak that supposedly protects against DNS spoofing. To my surprise, it has a built-in AdGuard DNS server profile that eliminates ads on both Wi-Fi and cellular.

However, I still prefer manually changing Wi-Fi DNS servers because it is safer. DNSCloak may have some security concerns that I will discuss later.

Blocking Ads on Wi-Fi

iOS allows you to easily change the DNS servers for any Wi-Fi connection. However, you must apply this change each time you connect to a new Wi-Fi hotspot. Once you have configured the DNS servers, your device will use those settings whenever you reconnect to the same hotspot.

In my case, I have set up the AdGuard DNS servers for my home Wi-Fi connection and also for public networks that I frequently use. If I encounter annoying ads on random networks, I either tolerate them or use DNSCloak.

Follow these steps to block ads on a Wi-Fi connection:

1. Open the iOS Settings app and go to Wi-Fi. Tap the i-shaped symbol next to the connected Wi-Fi network.

2. Select the Configure DNS option.

Step 3: Tap Manual and remove the current DNS servers for your Wi-Fi connection.

How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

Note:

Step 4: Insert the AdGuard DNS servers into two slots and save.

That’s it. Head over to Chrome, load any site, and enjoy an ad-free experience. I faced no issues using the AdGuard DNS servers — they blocked nearly every ad I encountered, except for a few sites with pop-up tabs. But for the most part, it felt refreshing to find ads gone from my favorite browser on iOS.

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Blocking Ads with DNSCloak

I was lucky to find DNSCloak, a free app that protects against DNS spoofing. This app verifies that server responses are not tampered with by using a VPN profile. However, free VPNs may pose privacy risks. DNSCloak uses a dummy VPN that redirects connection requests to your device and resolves them locally, ensuring security. Still, it’s advisable to avoid using DNSCloak for sensitive data.

DNSCloak uses a dummy VPN to loop back and resolve connection requests locally on your iPhone or iPad. What sets DNSCloak apart is its pre-built AdGuard DNS profile that allows for system-wide adblocking. By funneling all connection requests through the dummy VPN profile, the app can block ads on both Wi-Fi and cellular data, which is beneficial for Chrome users. Follow these steps to block ads using the AdGuard DNS servers with DNSCloak:

1. Download and install DNSCloak from the App Store.

2. Launch DNSCloak and select the adguard-dns filter from the main screen. Then, choose “Use This Server.”

How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

Step 3: On the pop-up menu, tap Allow.

How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

Step 4: Authenticate the new VPN configuration using Touch ID or Face ID.

How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

Surf on Chrome without encountering any advertisements on cellular data and Wi-Fi. Note that this applies to other apps too.

If you want to confirm that you’re using DNSCloak while surfing, enable the Show VPN Icon in the DNSCloak Settings panel. This will display the VPN icon on your iPhone or iPad’s status bar. Neat!

How to Block Ads in Chrome for iOS

While DNSCloak can be used to block ads, consider using the manual workaround for cases where privacy is crucial. Ultimately, you can’t trust a free app completely, regardless of its claims. When it comes to cellular data, it’s DNSCloak or nothing.

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Freedom from Ads

An ad-free experience on Chrome for iOS feels liberating. I’m not against advertisements, as they provide revenue for online content creators. However, the problem lies with annoying pop-up ads that ruin the browsing experience. Fortunately, there are alternatives like AdGuard DNS and DNSCloak that can help. What are your thoughts on these workarounds? Please share any suggestions in the comments section below. Also, check out this video on how to block ads on iPhone for free.

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