Adblock Plus and (a little) more

How Adblock Plus is Getting Ready for Manifest V3 · 2022-11-17 17:00 by Stephanie Holliday

Our mission is to block all ads, pop-ups, and distractions so you can focus on a stress-free internet experience. We spend thousands of hours each year ensuring that Adblock Plus works in the web browsers our users rely on: specifically Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari browser, Microsoft’s Edge browser, and Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

Usually this work happens behind the scenes, with little fanfare. Occasionally, however, we need to make substantial changes to ensure Adblock Plus keeps up with the browser ecosystem. We’re on the cusp of one such change, which is the result of changes Google is making to how browser extensions work in Chrome. Called Manifest V3, the name refers to a new version of Google’s browser extension platform. This evolution of the browser ecosystem will change how all browser extensions work, and bring some challenges along with it.

Our goal is to navigate all of these changes so that you never notice a difference in the high-quality ad blocking you’ve come to expect from us. Some eagle-eyed users may notice a few changes, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a bit of the unglamorous—but vitally important—work our team is doing behind the scenes to ensure Adblock Plus works seamlessly for you now and in the future.

What Does This Mean for You?

While the specific rollout plan for Manifest V3 is still being finalized, we know that starting in mid-2023 all browser extensions will need to be updated to meet new browser requirements. Our goal is to make this process completely seamless for you, you may notice some changes going forward. We’ve highlighted these changes below:

Filter List Availability

Adblock Plus, like all ad blockers, relies on predefined rules to know what to block and hide on the web pages you visit. These rules are collected into lists, also called, “filter lists.”

When you think of filter lists, it helps to think of a coffee filter. Coffee filters trap coffee grounds while letting the liquid coffee flow through. Ad blocking filter lists do the same thing, only they let the content you want to see flow through to your browser while keeping annoying ads away.

With Manifest V3, Adblock Plus is required to limit how many filter lists we have available to users. To comply with this new rule, we’ll now offer 50 pre-installed filter lists that you can turn on and off depending on your preferences. From these available filter lists, users will be able to choose 10 that they can keep turned on at any given time.

We’re working to ensure that popular filter lists our users love are supported by us, and that any updates to these lists are brought to you by frequent new releases of the extension. This does mean that our users will no longer be able to subscribe to any filter lists outside of what is provided in the extension. Of course, we are open to hearing your thoughts if there’s a filter list that you want us to support. You’re always welcome to reach out to us so that we can gather that feedback!

A Change to How We Address Ad Circumvention

Currently, our filter lists are updated automatically—often on a daily basis. So if you see an ad that has managed to get around the ad blocking filter, it’s typically taken care of right away because of these updates. Moving forward, we’ll no longer be able to enable automatic daily updates to filter lists. Instead, our developers will be frequently releasing new versions of the extension to address any ads that are circumventing our filters and still showing to users. Our goal is to ensure most users won’t notice a difference, as we plan to increase how much we release the extension to keep up with changing ads and filter lists.

When Should You Expect to See Changes?

Keep an eye out for news from us, as we’ll let you know when the official release for the Manifest V3 version of the Adblock Plus extension happens. We’ll make sure to announce it on this blog and our social media channels.

Of course, we’ll always be working to iterate and improve Adblock Plus, and we remain dedicated to providing everyone with a distraction-free and worry-free internet experience. We plan on bringing even more value to our products in 2023!

We’ll also continue to advocate for improvement to the Manifest V3 platform for our users and the extension community as a whole. In the meantime, if you have any questions for our team, feel free to reach out to us at support@adblockplus.org.

Comment [3]

  1. Spiff · 2022-11-18 13:38 · #

    Will this change only apply to Adblock Plus for Chromium based browsers, or to Adblock Plus for Firefox as well?

  2. Spiff · 2022-11-23 20:23 · #

    Was I silly that I thought I’d get a response to my November 18 question?
    Let me guess: the change will not only apply to Adblock Plus for Chromium based browsers, but to Adblock Plus for Firefox as well. I’m not going to wait for that. I switched to uBlock Origin. So long and thanks for all the fish.

    Reply from Stephanie Holliday:

    Hi Spiff,

    Sorry for the delayed response! These changes for Manifest V3 only apply to Chromium based browsers. They won’t impact Adblock Plus for Firefox. If you’re ever in need of a quick response, feel welcome to send questions or concerns to our support team at support@adblockplus.org.

  3. Spiff · 2022-12-01 22:33 · #

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you for your reply.
    Good to know the mentioned changes only apply to Chromium based browsers and won’t impact Adblock Plus for Firefox.
    As the article did not distinguish between Chromium based browsers and Firefox, I hope you understand that gave me the impression the change would apply to both. Good that you straightened that up, thanks again.

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