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Best ad blockers for Windows 10 in 2023


Ad blocker for Windows PC is the best way to remove ads from your browser. As ads can be both annoying and dangerous, it’s a matter of time before serious consequences hit you. And yet, among the variety of robust ad blockers, which ones are the best ad blockers for Windows?

After completing thorough tests, we have come to have NordVPN Threat Protection and Surfshark CleanWeb as the two most reliable options. These ad blockers for Windows 10 can remove various ads, including pop-ups, video ads, and banners, while blocking trackers is a much-appreciated extra.

But the list of our tested and reviewed Windows PC ad blockers doesn’t end at just two options. After evaluating providers based on features suite, performance, ease of use, and price, we compiled a list of these top 5 ad blockers for Windows 10:

Top 5 best ad blockers for Windows 10 in 2023

  1. NordVPN Threat Protection – the most reliable ad blocker for Windows PC
  2. Surfshark CleanWeb – well-performing ad blocker and VPN duo
  3. Atlas VPN SafeBrowse – secure and reliable PC ad blocker
  4. Proton VPN NetShield – good cost-effective Windows ad blocker
  5. Adlock – great ad blocker for PC with flexible filtering options

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 54% OFF + 3 months FREE!

How to choose the best ad blocker for Windows?

Security:VPN, antimalware
Features: Whitelisting, tracker blocking, data breach monitoring, secure browser
Types of ads blocked: Social media ads, pop-ups, banners, auto-play ads, etc.
Supported platforms:Windows 10, Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Opera, and Edge

Choosing the best ad blocker for Windows PC can be a daunting task. There’s just so many options, features and other knick-knacks you need to be aware of. To make the process easier, we’re sharing our tips:

  • Security. While an ad blocker can't replace antivirus software on your Windows device, it should have implemented malware protection. This way, you'll be protected against ads, websites, and downloads containing malware and phishing scams.
  • Customization. To make an ad blocker truly useful, customization is a must. The ability to tweak important settings will remove friction between your browser and the ad blocker. Additionally, customization will aid you in certain situations when you want to set specific rules, such as disabling ad blocking on particular sites.
  • Range of features. Some providers offer one simple ad-blocking feature, while others function as a whole security suite – often at a similar price point. Without a doubt, it's better to choose a provider that delivers more value, such as a VPN or malware protection. A feature-rich ad blocker can improve your browsing experience in a way you probably didn't know you needed.
  • Social media ad blocking. Blocking ads and trackers on social media is often a tough challenge, especially for free ad blockers. Make sure that providers have a proven ability to block these types of ads.
  • Price. Generally, ad blockers aren't expensive, although the price can be higher for providers with better security and more features. If you need to determine whether the higher price or the tool is worth it, look for a free trial or money-back guarantee to try it out without risk.

The best Windows ad blockers – our detailed list:

When it comes to picking the best ad blocker for Windows, there are a lot of boxes to tick. We considered test scores, additional features, price, and many other factors to see which providers can block ads on Windows. Continue reading to find the best ones!

1. NordVPN Threat Protection – most efficient ad blocker for Windows devices

nordvpn threat protection banner
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Supported platforms:
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, and Edge
Customer support:
24/7 live chat, email, guides and articles, FAQs
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 54% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥

NordVPN Threat Protection is hands down the best ad blocker for Windows. Not only is it reliable, but it also works similarly to an antivirus. The software scans your downloads for malware and warns about malicious websites. On top of that, Threat Protection can remove third-party cookies, pop-ups, and autoplay videos.

Paired with a leading VPN service, NordVPN Threat Protection is a full-on security suite for your browser. Enjoy an ad-free browsing experience with a reduced risk of cyber threats.

Features. Our favorite is the URL trimming feature. It provides an additional layer of security by removing tracking parameters attached to links. Also, the provider is just as efficient at blocking trackers to prevent targeted advertising. On top of that, it further secures your privacy with the highest level of data encryption.

Test results. During our tests, Threat Protection successfully blocked all YouTube video ads. We were especially impressed with the Can You Block It test results – the ad blocker passed it perfectly. Meanwhile, AdBlock Tester showed minor slip-ups, such as missed flash banners, GIFs, and static images, but you may not even notice them.

Pricing. You can access these benefits by subscribing to a plan starting at $3.29/month. If you have any hesitations, keep in mind that you can try NordVPN Threat Protection out with a 7-day free trial or use a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information about this feature, check out our NordVPN Threat Protection review.

2. Surfshark CleanWeb – great ad blocker and VPN duo for Windows

Surfshark cleanweb banner
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Supported platforms:
Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TV
Customer support:
24/7 live chat, email, guides and articles, FAQs
Current deal:🔥84% OFF Surfshark CleanWeb 2.0 + 2 months FREE!🔥

Surfshark may be better known for its first-class VPN service, but its ad blocker, CleanWeb, is just as reliable and efficient. The powerful ad blocker can remove all types of adware, including phishing attempts.

Features. Surfshark provides well-rounded security. It detects malware and can alert you about your personal data leaks and breached websites. The highly secure VPN paired with a strict no-logs policy encrypts your browsing traffic. The provider tops it all off with a private search engine that removes trackers.

Test results. CleanWeb has blocked YouTube ads both in the app and the browser. Its overall performance on the Windows app is just as good. According to AdBlock Tester, it has removed everything except Google Analytics, gif, and static images as well as error monitoring.

It has left some things behind during a Can you block it test too. This includes push notifications, some banner ads, pop-under ads, and direct link ads.

Pricing. Known as the budget-friendly provider, Surfshark CleanWeb costs just $2.30/month. Alternatively, you can try out the ad blocker with a 7-day free trial or 30-day money-back guarantee.

To learn more about this service, check out our Surfshark One review.

3. Atlas VPN SafeBrowse – secure and reliable ad blocker

Atlas VPN SafeBrowse banner 1
Free version:No (Only the VPN has a free version)
Supported platforms:
Chrome, Firefox, Safari,Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows
Customer support:
24/7 live chat, email, guides and articles, FAQs
Current deal:🔥81% OFF Atlas VPN SafeBrowse!🔥

Atlas VPN SafeBrowse is an efficient ad blocker with some added perks, such as VPN and malware protection. Safebrowse effectively blocks all annoyances such as ads, third-party trackers as well as the most irritating video ads.

Features. SafeBrowse is always on the lookout for security threats. It quickly detects malicious activity and blocks access to dangerous ads and websites. It also encrypts your browsing traffic with a secure VPN.

SafeBrowse also cares about your privacy, too. It has plenty of filters to detect trackers and does its best to remove them. You check the list of removed trackers in the dashboard to see how effective it is.

Test results. According to our tests, SafeBrowse is great at blocking YouTube ads. However, it needs some improvement when it comes to Facebook ads trackers. Other than that, SafeBrowse works well. It blocked everything except GIFs, static images, and error monitoring when we tested it with the AdBlock Tester.

Pricing. SafeBrowse comes with a premium subscription that costs $1.82/month. Keep in mind that this plan comes with an unlimited number of devices with a 30-day refund guaranteed.

For more information about the Atlas VPN package, read our Atlas VPN review.

4. Proton VPN NetShield – secure and cost-effective Windows ad blocker

Proton VPN adblocker
Free version:No (Only the VPN has a free version)
Supported platforms:
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows
Customer support:
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base, FAQs
Current deal:🔥Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN NetShield! 🔥

Designed with a VPN at hand, Proton VPN's NetShield is another reliable and low-cost solution for an ad-free Windows experience. It removes ads and trackers, prevents malware threats, and blocks YouTube ads.

The simplistic design makes NetShield an easy-to-use ad blocker. Together with the VPN, NetShield automatically blocks flagged content and secures your browsing traffic, even on public wi-fi.

Features. NetShield uses DNS filtering that speeds up your browsing while protecting you from privacy-invading ads.

The tool also gives you full control over it. You can decide when and what the NetShield blocks. The provider makes it simple to disable the ad blocker, as well as choose to block malware or malware together with ads and trackers.

Test results. With a miss here and there, NetShield blocked most ads on YouTube. There were a few missed ads with other tests too. For example, AdBlock Tester showed that NetShield hadn't blocked GIFs, static images, Google Analytics tools, and error monitoring.

The Can you block it test revealed that the ad blocker struggles with push notification requests, video ads, pop-under ads, and direct link ads.

Pricing. NetShield costs $4.99/month. The ad blocker and VPN duo comes with one simultaneous connection and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information about the features of this service, refer to our Proton VPN review.

5. Adlock – great ad block with a wide range of filtering options

AdLock ad blocker
Free version:Yes (Free 14-day trial)
Supported platforms:
Chrome, Safari, Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows
Customer support:
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base, FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 70% OFF Adlock! 🔥

If all you’re looking for are supreme ad blocking features, Adlock is what you need. This versatile and efficient ad blocker for Windows will eliminate all kinds of ads, such as pop-ups, banners, autoplay video ads, trackers, and cryptocurrency mining ads, among other annoyances.

Adlock stands as your personal bodyguard on the internet. Built as a complex multitool, it protects against phishing, malware, and malicious ads. It also hides your personal data from advertising companies to ensure privacy.

Features. When it comes to ad blocking, Adlock gives you full control over your browsing experience. Powered with the whitelisting feature, it allows choosing websites where ads are acceptable. It also has filtering options for system applications. So if you get fed up by ads in Skype, uTorrent, or any of the video games you enjoy, with Adlock, you'll be able to block these ads.

Furthermore, Adlock has plenty of filtering options. It can detect and remove notifications, online chats, callback forms, and many others. You can always check blocking, protection, and network statistics in the dashboard to see how well the provider is doing.

Test results. Adlock managed to get rid of YouTube ads and Facebook trackers without breaking a sweat. Its Adlock Tester results were equally glowing – Adlock missed only the flash banner and error trackers. Meanwhile, it passed the Can you block it test with flying colors.

Pricing. You can get all of the benefits Adlock provides for $1.05/month. If you have any doubts, try it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

How we selected and tested these Windows ad blockers

Not all ad blockers work equally well on each platform. That's why we had to test which ad blocker performs best on Windows devices. Let's take a look at the criteria we looked at:

  • Compatibility with Windows. The most important part of our review is to see whether the providers are compatible with Windows devices. We looked at usability, user-friendliness, setup time, and other aspects.
  • Range of features. A mere ad blocking feature may not be enough to provide excellent browsing experience. You can definitely benefit from malware and phishing protection, as well as a VPN, secure storage, and other features.
  • Risk-free guarantee. Committing to a year-long subscription and then realizing that the tool is not suitable for your needs would be a shame, to say the least. That's why we handpicked the providers that let you test the waters with a free trial or money-back guarantee.
  • Security. Even if you try your best to avoid suspicious websites and links, mistakes are bound to happen eventually. To feel safe while browsing online, we recommend choosing Windows ad blockers with malicious websites as well as malware detection. They will block suspicious content before you even realize it.
  • Ad blocking tests. When it comes to ad blocking effectiveness, you can't always count on the provider's word on it. Thus, we run several tests to filter out all of the marketing fluff. First, we tested providers on YouTube ads. For other adware, we used The Can you lock it and AdBlock Tester.

Why do you need to block ads on your Windows device?

All of that adware you face online is not only annoying, but it can also harm your Windows device. But don't worry, an adblocker is here to help. Here's what it is capable of:

  • Remove notifications. Due to regulations, websites have to inform visitors about cookies. However, these consent notifications are often very intrusive and annoying. How else would they make you click on that "accept all' button without a screen-wide notification? The same goes for newsletter pop-ups. The good news is that you no longer have to bear with these annoyances. While not all ad blockers can get around these types of notifications, the best ones certainly do – you’ll find them in our list.
  • Block intrusive ads. Do you know that feeling when you're reading an article and as you scroll down, a screen-wide ad appears, covering all of the text? It's frustrating, to say the least. Ad blockers prevent these ads from loading, solving the problem without you even noticing.
  • Avoid trackers. Pretty much all websites use trackers. These trackers collect data about your browsing habits, such as what sites you visit, what ads you click on and what you purchase. All of this data helps to create an advertising profile for targeted ads. To protect your data and avoid all of these ads, pick an ad blocker with efficient tracker removal.
  • Block malicious ads and websites. It's no secret that some, even safe-looking, ads can contain malware. Cybercriminals are known to inject malicious code into digital ads and websites. These ads can even run through legitimate advertising networks. So there's no way to avoid them on your own. Your best bet is a Windows ad blocker with malware detection.

Best Windows ad blockers based on your browser

There are several ways you can use an ad blocker for Windows. One is using a desktop app. Another is to download an extension that is compatible with the browser of your choice.

While a desktop app is a convenient solution for cross-browser support, an extension will give you control over an ad blocker without switching between windows. Here are your options:

  • Ad blockers for Microsoft Edge. Edge is a default browser that comes with your Windows device. Since it's always at hand, Edge can be suitable for blocking trackers. On the other hand, it doesn't offer a full-scale ad blocker to remove every type of adware. For that, you'll need a dedicated ad blocker for Microsoft Edge.
  • Ad blockers for Google Chrome. Chrome is the most used browser across the web. It comes with a built-in ad blocker. However, it doesn't block advanced adware, including trackers, pop-ups, and notifications – for that, you'll need a third-party ad blocker. Our best ad blockers for Google Chrome list will help you find exactly what you need.
  • Ad blockers for Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is known as one of the most privacy-minded browsers out there. It’s capable of effectively removing trackers as well as cookies. But for blocking ads, check out our list: best ad blockers for Mozilla Firefox. It will help you find the most suitable ad blocker that works well with Firefox.

Why does my Windows 10 have ads?

These days, ad-cluttered websites are nothing new. We've all seen them, and plenty of us decided to eliminate these annoyances with ad blockers. Yet, some of us are experiencing even a worse option – advertising directly on our Windows 10 devices. However, there's no need to panic, there is a simple explanation and a solution.

The reason why your Windows 10 has ads could be website notifications. That's right. If you ever accept any of those sneaky requests, you may end up with notifications in the form of ads. They typically appear at the bottom right-hand side of your screen.

Now the best way to avoid website notifications is to use an ad blocker. We recommend using NordVPN Threat Protection. It effectively blocks website notification requests as well as other annoyances and privacy threats, such as ads, pop-ups, trackers, and others. The software also has a fast and efficient VPN to encrypt your browser traffic.

Now, what do you do if you have already accepted a notification request? In this case, you need to turn them off.

Here's how to turn off website notifications on Chrome

  • 1. Find Settings by clicking on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  • 2. Now, select “Privacy and Security" and go to “Site Settings”.
  • 3. Scroll down until you find "Permissions" and click “Notifications”.
  • 4. Now you should be able to see sites that have notification permissions and remove them by clicking on the three vertical dots.

Here's how to turn off website notifications on Firefox:

  • 1. Click on three vertical lines in the upper right corner and go to “Settings”.
  • 2. Now, select the “Privacy & Security” tab. Then, scroll down to “Permissions” and click the settings button next to “Notifications”.
  • 3. In the popup window, you'll see all websites with permissions and be able to remove them.

Is it possible to avoid Microsoft Windows injected ads?

Ads on the websites you visit are inconvenient enough, but can you imagine your OS ridden with them too? Apparently, that's something Windows developers are testing.

Users have noticed several pop-up ads in Windows 11 Insider build (22572). The ads appear in File Explorer with a "Learn more" button. Once clicked, the user is taken to a promotional page displaying services, such as Microsoft Editor. Similar ads, for example, promoting OneDrive service, were reported even in the Start menu.

As of yet, it's unclear whether Microsoft is planning to launch a new update for Windows 11 featuring injected ads. However, one thing is clear: if that happens, top ad block providers will need to upgrade their service to help users avoid Microsoft Windows injected ads.

Are free ad blockers for Windows safe?

Yes, free ad blockers for Windows can be safe. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend choosing free security tools over paid ones. This is because forever-free ad blockers often offer only a couple of features without additional ones. This type of service is also less capable of blocking all sorts of ads.

Meanwhile, premium Windows PC ad blockers come with extra security features, like a VPN or antivirus. They remove various types of adware. And most importantly, they ensure end-to-end protection.

All things considered, free ad blockers for PC are only suitable for short-time use. On the other hand, premium ad blockers ensure a better browsing experience due to more advanced suites of features. Keen on finding out what are the best free ad blockers? Here are our top 3:

  • NordVPN Threat Protection – the best free ad blocker for Windows 10, which comes with a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee on the side. Afterwards, the pricing starts at $2.29/month.
  • Surfshark CleanWeb – PC ad blocker with numerous extra features and is available for free with a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Subscriptions are available from $2.05/month.
  • Atlas VPN SafeBrowse – beginner-friendly ad blocker offers a 7-day free trial that you combine with a 30-day money-back guarantee to have 37 days of free use. After the trial ends, the pricing starts at only $2.05/month.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, ad blockers are the best solution to protect your privacy. They can remove annoyances and cover your tracks online. Once installed, you can say goodbye to pop-ups, banners, newsletter notifications, and all of the other adware.

However, to ensure that you get all of the possible benefits an ad blocker can provide, you need to choose a reliable provider. Our test results show that NordVPN Threat Protection is the best ad blocker for Windows. After all, the test scores don't lie – Threat Protection can block the most concerning ads. For $2.29/month it comes with many additional features. VPN, Malware detection, URL trimming, and others.

4.9 /5
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