Support

We’re always happy to hear from you on the Better support forum, by email at hello@ind.ie and on Twitter at @betterbyindie.

What is Better?

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

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

Can my device run Better?

It can if it has a 64-bit processor.

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

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

Full list of iOS devices Better runs on: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro, and iPod touch (6th generation).

Full list of macOS devices Better runs on: Any Mac running OS X 10.11 or later, 64-bit processor.

How can I get the Better apps?

The easy way: download Better on the App Store and download Better for Mac on the Mac App Store.

Or: if you have the technical knowledge and want to play: clone the source repository, run the install script, and build it for yourself.

How does Better work?

Better is a native content blocker. It works in Safari and in apps that use the new Safari component to display web content.

Better uses a list of blocking rules that we at Ind.ie maintain, and anyone can contribute to. We use the principles of Ethical Design to decide what should be blocked.

I’ve downloaded Better. How do I enable it?

On iPhone and iPad

  1. Open Settings app
  2. Go to Safari >
  3. Go to Content Blockers >
  4. Switch the Better content blocker on
  5. Return to the Better app and it will confirm that it’s been activated

On Mac

  1. Open Safari
  2. Go to Safari menubar Preferences
  3. Select the Extensions tab
  4. Check the box next to the Better extension

Both apps provide instructions on how to enable Better when you first open them.

How do I know if Better is working?

Some people have said they only notice how well Better works when they switch it off! The majority of the trackers that Better blocks do not have a visible presence on a web page, though Better will make web pages load faster.

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

When Better is disabled on macworld.com, the ad below the navigation is visible, and its tracking can track you

macworld.com with Better disabled

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

macworld.com with Better enabled

You can see if Better is blocking trackers on a particular site using Safari’s Developer tools. See this topic on the forum for instructions and further information.

How do I get Better’s latest content and blocking rules?

The blocking rules are frequently updated, and you only need to open the app to get them. This is why we recommend that people using the Mac app set the app to open at login, keep it open in the background while they’re using their Mac.

You do not need to update the app to get the latest content and blocking rules, but we include the latest content and blocking rules with every app update.

How does Better’s Exceptions work?

Domains (URLs) can be added to Better’s Exceptions to disable Better when you’re visiting that domain in Safari. If you use both Better for iPhone and iPad, and Better for Mac, your Exceptions will be synced between your devices.

Disabling Better on a domain will leave 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 breaks with Better, please let us know so we can fix it for everyone.

Does Better work with VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)?

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

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

Does Better work with Safari’s Private Browsing Mode?

Yes. Better will work when private browsing is enabled in Safari.

Apple’s site has more information about how private browsing differs from standard browsing: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21413?locale=en_GB

How’s Better different?

Better…

To learn more, read our introductory blog post.

Troubleshooting

What should I do if a site seems broken when I’m using Better?

If a site breaks with Better, or you were asked to disable Better by a website, let us know and we will fix it for everyone. For an immediate fix you can do the following:

I have two Better Safari Extensions, which should I use?

You might end up with two Better Safari Extensions if you downloaded the Better extension from the Extensions Gallery, and you also bought Better for Mac. You can safely uninstall the extension you downloaded from the Extensions Gallery:

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions
  2. Select the Better extension that is called “Better 1.0 by Ind.ie” (see screenshot below)
  3. Select the “Uninstall” button to safely uninstall the extension
  4. Ensure the checkbox alongside the other Better extension is checked to enable Better

Why does the Better extension say it does not have permission to read or transmit content?

Better doesn’t need to read or transmit content from your webpages. It doesn’t need to see any of your traffic, and that is by design. Better just passes Better’s block list on to Safari so Safari knows what to block for you. We can’t see any of your traffic, and we don’t want to!

Why can’t I uninstall the Better Safari Extension?

The Better Safari Extension comes bundled with Better for Mac. This means you can’t uninstall it without uninstalling the app itself.

Will you make Better for other platforms?

We have plans to make Better for other platforms and browsers, but we don’t have the resources to do so at the moment. However, Better is free and open source and all Better’s content is under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license. So anyone who wants to port the code or content to other platforms can do so.

We will 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 are welcome to port the code or content to Android for the F-Droid store, for sideloading, or as part of a third-party browser.

The Better Safari Extension comes bundled with Better for Mac. This means you can’t uninstall it without uninstalling the app itself.

If you want to experience the Better web for yourself, download Better from the App Store or build it from source.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on the Better support forum, by email at hello@ind.ie and on Twitter at @betterbyindie.