How to block ads from Facebook

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family members, find out what they are up to, and share your holiday photos. For many of us, it's become the most important social media tool for staying in touch with people we’ve known for many years but rarely get the chance to see in person. However, it can also be deeply frustrating to use, thanks to the number of adverts it displays, some of which often feel like an intrusion into our privacy. Many of us would love to know how to get rid of all the ads on Facebook altogether. Sadly, that’s not possible. Facebook makes most of its revenue from advertising, and if we could block ads, it would lose much of that revenue. However, you can change your advertising settings so they are less intrusive. You can also try using an ad blocker and make other changes to the way you use your Mac to improve your privacy. We’ll show you how to do all of that.

Tip: Take control of privacy on your Mac

There are lots of ways to improve your privacy when you use your Mac besides managing intrusive Facebook adverts. You can tighten the settings for which apps have access to your Mac’s camera, microphone, screen recording, and folders like Desktop and Documents. You can clear out your Recent Items List and the list of saved Wi-Fi networks. And you can wipe your browser history, searches, downloads, and other data your Mac keeps about your browsing activity. The easiest and quickest way to do all of that is to use the Privacy module in CleanMyMac X — it can do all of that by scanning your Mac and looking for files and settings. You can then choose what to delete and what to keep. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here and try it for yourself.

CleanMyMac X - Application permissions

How to change your advertising settings on Facebook

While you can’t get rid of all the ads on Facebook, you can indicate the types of adverts you want to see.

  1. Go to https://accountscenter.facebook.com in a web browser.
  2. Choose Ad preferences in the sidebar.
  3. Click Activity from Ad Partners.
  4. Select Review Setting.
  5. To prevent advertisers from seeing your activity and showing you adverts based on it, select ‘No, don't make my ads more relevant by using this information.’
  6. Click the back arrow, then click the back arrow again.
  7. Next, choose Categories used to reach you.
  8. To prevent advertisers from seeing your employment, education, and other information about your life and showing you adverts based on it, turn off Employer, Job Title, Education, and Relationship Status.
  9. Close the browser tab.
  10. Next, choose Audience-based advertising.
  11. Choose an advertiser.
  12. Then, click the arrow under 'Why are you included in this advertiser’s audience?’
  13. Choose ‘Don’t allow under each section to prevent the advertiser from showing you adverts based on the information they have about you.’
  14. Close the browser tab.
  15. To determine who can see whether you ‘like’ an advertiser, choose Social interactions and check the box next to Only Me to prevent other people from seeing when you like an advertiser.
  16. Close the tab.
  17. Finally, click Ads shown off Meta.
  18. If the switch is turned on and says ‘Allowed,’ turn it off to prevent advertisers from showing you ads in other apps.
Tip: Stay safe from malware

One of the reasons many people want to block adverts on the internet is that they are worried about malware. That’s not an issue with Facebook adverts, but it is with ads on lots of other websites. To make sure your Mac is always free from malware, you should scan it regularly with a specialist antimalware tool. CleanMyMac X has one built-in. You can use it to scan your Mac on an ad hoc basis, or you can set it up to scan automatically in the background so you can just set it and forget it. However you use it, it scans your Mac and compares what it finds with a database of known malware. If it finds anything, it alerts you and prompts you to delete it, which you can do with one click.

Malware scan in process

Use an ad blocker

You can also use an ad blocker to block Facebook ads. However, you will need to choose carefully. Most ad blockers come in the form of a browser extension, but not all will block Facebook ads. And sadly, ad blockers are a common way of distributing malware. So, it’s a good idea to choose one from a reputable source with a name you recognize. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, you can play around with its settings and configure it so that it blocks Facebook ads. If it doesn’t work, uninstall it and try another one.

Some web browsers, like Brave, have ad blockers built-in, so you could try one of those too.

Tip: Uninstall browsers or ad blockers you don’t need

Once you’ve found the browser and ad blocker combination that allows you to block Facebook ads, it’s a good idea to uninstall those that didn’t fit the bill. Leaving applications and extensions on your Mac when you don’t use them doesn’t just clutter it up — it could leave it more vulnerable to malware. The easiest way to uninstall any is to use the Uninstaller module in CleanMyMac X. Just choose it in the sidebar, select the app you want to uninstall, and click Uninstall.

Uninstaller module in CleanMyMacX

Sadly, it’s not possible to completely get rid of ads on Facebook. But if you follow the steps above, you’ll be in control of which advertisers can display ads on your timeline and who else can see the ones you interact with. You’ll also be able to control what information advertisers can use when they choose which ads to show you. If that doesn’t go far enough, install an ad blocker to block them from appearing in your browser.