Blocking Ads in IE 8 (and IE 9 Beta) with InPrivate Filtering

There is no need for a 3rd-party add-in to block annoying advertisements in Internet Explorer now that “InPrivate Filtering” is included.   This post will describe the procedures for getting the best ad-blocking performance from this new feature.

First, InPrivate Filtering is available under the “Tools/Safety” menu.  It should not be confused with “InPrivate Browsing” which is a completely different operation.  InPrivate Filtering addresses potential tracking of your web use via advertisements – according to Microsoft:

When you visit a website with third-party content, some information about you is sent to the content provider. If a content provider offers content to a large number of the websites you visit, the content provider could develop a profile of your browsing preferences. Profiles of browsing preferences can be used in a variety of ways, including for analysis and serving targeted advertisements.

I tried it and it works OK, but there were some issues:

  • only a few ads were blocked
  • Microsoft does not supply any list of ad sites to block as an importable HTML file. 
  • the default setting was not “Always block”
  • InPrivate Filtering defaults to off for each new browser session

After a bit of research, all of these issues were solved by a few simple procedures, which I will share below.

Block more Ads

Download the current ad block list from this site.  Unzip the list.  In IE go to the Tools/Safety/InPrivate Filtering Settings menu.  Click “Advanced Settings” (lower left corner of the settings window).  In Advanced Settings click the “Import” button and locate the unzipped list file (should be a .xml file).

Always On and “Always block”

A simple registry edit is needed to both turn on InPrivate Filtering by default and set it to “Always block”.  At the same site linked to above in Block more Ads, you will also find the files “InPrivate Filtering Always On” and “InPrivate Filtering Always on IE9”.   These are registry patches for IE8 and IE9, respectively.  Choose the one correct for your browser version, download and unzip the file.  Double-click the .reg file to make the necessary change to your registry.

Updating Adblock Lists

If you have set up as described above and later find a more recent ad blocking list you want to use, go to “Advanced Settings” again and remove your current list before importing the newer list.

2 thoughts on “Blocking Ads in IE 8 (and IE 9 Beta) with InPrivate Filtering

  1. The Release Candidate (RC) version of IE9 has an improved system of adblocking (now called “Tracking Protection” instead of “InPrivate Filtering”). It works well and it appears that MS will offer links to Adblock subscriber lists as well. The new system also can block java ads with “ActiveX Filtering”. Both tracking and ActiveX blocking can be turned on and off per web site or “as needed” from an icon on the URL/Search bar.

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