How to Block Ads on a PC

Advertisements are everywhere. Whether you’re watching your favorite television show, browsing the Internet or listening to the radio in your car, you’re likely to see or hear an ad. Just how many ads do you see?

A lot of people want to know how to block ads, but they’re unaware of how many ads they’re seeing daily.

If you’re not sitting down, you may want to before reading this figure.

The New York Times found that in 2007, people were subjected to 5,000 ads per day. Today, in 2020, it’s estimated that we see 10,000 ads daily. These ads can be anything from videos or images on your smartphone to billboards, ads on magazines and even small listings on a pen that you picked up at the doctor’s office.

While you can’t do much to block the physical ads that you see, there’s a lot that you can do to block ads on your personal computer or smartphone.

How to Block Ads Using 5 Proven Techniques on Windows 10

Ads riddle personal computers, and while you may find them on Mac and smartphones, too, we’re going to focus on the PC in this article.

1. Remove Ads on Chrome and Firefox

Most ads are good, but there are some ads that are malicious. These ads can install adware or malware and greatly impact your system’s performance. And unless you know how to identify a virus, these ads may be wreaking havoc in the background of your computer. If you’re using Chrome or Firefox, there are a lot of ad blockers (additional options listed in the last section), that can help eliminate advertisements.


Search through your desired browser’s add-ons or extensions to find one that you’re confident will block ads. If you block the ads on your browser, you’ll be reducing the vast majority of ads that you see on your PC.

2. Remove Ads on Cortana

Cortana’s search took a lot of getting used to, but it’s a powerful digital assistant that can often show a sort of advertisement in taskbar tidbits. You can easily block these tidbits and stop receiving unwanted tidbits in just three easy steps:

  • Navigate to your taskbar and click in the search box
  • Go to the bottom left, and click on the Settings gear
  • Find “Taskbar tidbits” and shut it off

You’ll still be able to use the powerful search offered through Cortana to ask your personal assistant questions. While you’re on the settings page, you can also disable the sync options that alert you to a low battery or missed call on your PC.

Of course, if you don’t mind these alerts or notifications, you can always leave your settings in their default settings.

3. Remove Ads on the Notification Center

The notifications you receive are very powerful in Windows 10 and a lot of people find them useful. Offering an easy placement to see all notifications on the right side of the screen when opened, Microsoft has also decided that this prime placement is ideal for adverts.

Disabling this function will require you to do the following

  • Click on the Windows button
  • Navigate and double click on Settings
  • Click on Notifications & actions
  • Navigate to “Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows”
  • Toggle this section off

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to take full control over your notification center once more.

4. Remove Start Menu Ads

The Windows Start Menu is also filled with advertisements that you can get rid of in a few seconds. These “ads” are more or less “suggestions” that seemingly get in the way and really have no place on your personal computer.

These suggestions are typically for apps that you can download and begin using on your computer.

Removing these suggestions requires you to follow a few key steps:

  • Click the “Windows” button
  • Navigate to and open Settings
  • Select Personalization
  • Find and click on Start on the left side
  • Navigate to the section that says “Occasionally show suggestions in Start”
  • Toggle this setting off

You can now close the settings page to be able to use your computer without any recommendations in the start menu.

5. Install the Best Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are a great option to remove ads, but you do want to be cautious of a few things:

Blocking ads means less revenue for your favorite sites, which may run them out of business or require them to raise prices or charge fees for use.

Some sites and applications can tell if you’re blocking ads and may block you from usage when running an ad blocker.

You can often whitelist your favorite sites to allow their ads to be displayed.

If you’re sure that you want to install an ad blocker, consider the following options:

You’ll find a handful of additional blockers that work for your operating system and browser. If you plan on using uBlock Origin, keep in mind there’s a learning curve and it can be a bit complicated to get up and running. The other options are easier for the non-expert to get running.

Now that you know numerous methods of how to block ads, begin implementing them today. Even without using an ad blocker, you can begin to reduce the number of ads you see daily.

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