We’re always happy to hear from you by email at, on our Mastodon, and on Twitter at @betterblocker.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Is Better dead?

Yes, sadly Better passed away on December 15th, 2021.

What should I use instead?

If you’re looking for an alternative, we recommend 1Blocker by Salavat and Alex.

Salavat has kindly offered 3-months free to anyone switching from Better to 1Blocker and he will be donating 30% of all revenue from those accounts to Small Technology Foundation on a monthly basis to help fund our work.

To take advantage of this offer, please contact Alex via email at or on Twitter at @1BlockerApp.

Will Better stop working on my device?

Not immediately. We have removed the apps from sale but that should not affect you if you have Better installed. It should continue to function using the rules it has. However:

This is why we recommend you switch to using a different blocker (we recommend 1Blocker) at your earliest convenience.

What was Better?

Better was a privacy tool for Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It protected you from behavioural ads and companies that track you on the web. You could download the Better apps from the App Store and Mac App Store.

Better did not block ads in Chrome, Firefox, or other third-party browsers on iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Could my device have run Better?

Better worked on any iOS device with a 64-bit processor running iOS 11 and above. Better for Mac ran on any Mac with a 64-bit processor running macOS 10.11 or later.

The oldest devices that Better ran on were the iPhone 5S, iPod touch 6, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2.

Better did not run on the iPhone 5 or the iPad Mini 1 which were the last of their line to have 32-bit processors.

How could I have gotten Better?

In the past, you could download Better on the App Store and download Better for Mac on the Mac App Store.

Or, if you had the technical knowledge and wanted to play, you could clone the source repository, run the install script, and build it for yourself. (You likely still can. Yay, free and open source.)

How did Better work?

Better was a native content blocker. It worked in Safari and in apps that used the new Safari component to display web content.

Better used our own list of blocking rules, curated and maintained by Small Technology Foundation. We used the principles of Ethical Design to decide what should be blocked. This was our only blocking criteria, advertisers couldn’t pay us to compromise our integrity and unblock them.

Better did not block respectful ads. Respectful ads respect human rights, human effort, and human experience. The Deck network, the winner of our first Cloud of Fame award, exemplified this (and also died tragically a few years ago).

How did people know if Better was working?

Some people said they only noticed how well Better worked when they switched it off! The majority of the trackers that Better blocked did not have a visible presence on a web page, though Better did make web pages load faster.

The quickest way see if Better was working, was to go to If you saw a large advert below the navigation (see below) then Better was disabled. If you don’t see a large advert, then Better was working.

(In all the years that Better was alive, Apple never gave us a better way to do this.)
When Better is disabled on, the ad below the navigation is visible, and its tracking can track you with Better disabled

When Better is enabled on, the ad below the navigation (and its tracking) is blocked with Better enabled

You could also see if Better was blocking trackers on a particular site using Safari’s Developer tools. See How did I know if Better is blocking trackers on a particular site? for details.

How did I get Better’s latest blocking rules?

The blocking rules were frequently updated, and you only needed to open the app to get them. This was why we recommended that people using the Mac app set the app to open at login and keep it open in the background while they were using their Mac.

You did not need to update the app to get the latest blocking rules, but we included the latest blocking rules with every app update.

How did Better’s Do Not Block list work?

Domains (URLs) could be added to Better’s Do Not Block list to disable Better when you were visiting that domain in Safari. If you used Better on multiple devices across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, your Do Not Block list would have synced between all your devices.

Disabling Better on a domain left you vulnerable to being tracked by third-parties on that site. If you were asked to disable Better by a website, or if a site broke with Better, we asked you to let us know so we could fix it for everyone.

Did Better work with VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)?

Yes. Better did work with a VPN. Better’s blocking rules worked on the browser (Safari level), whereas VPNs work on the network level.

A VPN could (and sometimes did) have its own blocking rules alongside Better’s rules. A malicious VPN could probably have worked around Better’s blocking rules, as they have a higher level of access and control. But this was very unlikely.

Did Better work with Safari’s Private Browsing Mode?

Yes. Better did work when private browsing was enabled in Safari.

Apple’s site has more information about how private browsing differs from standard browsing:

How was Better different?

We built Better because we were tired of the deceptive practices of other “ad blockers.”

To find out more about how Better differed from other blockers, please read our introductory blog post.

Why didn’t you make Better for other platforms?

We had plans to make Better for other platforms and browsers, but we didn’t have the resources to do so. However, Better was free and open source and all Better’s content was under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license. So anyone who wanted to port the code or content to other platforms could do so.

We did not make Better for Android. Google is the biggest tracker out there and so it banned content blockers from its Play store. We are a tiny, independent, bootstrapped two-person team, and we must concentrate our energies on where we can have the most impact. However, others were welcome to port the code or content to Android for the F-Droid store, for sideloading, or as part of a third-party browser.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by email at, on our Mastodon and on Twitter at @betterblocker.