Opera noAds Extension

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 9, 2010
Updated • Mar 20, 2012

I do not like ad blockers as I make my living from those ads. The more users install ad blockers, the less money I make. It is that simple. My hope is that regular visitors of my sites turn off their ad blockers or NoScript add-ons when they visit my sites. But enough about that.

I do however understand the need for ways to protect the browser and computer from script based attacks, and there is nothing better for that than the Firefox NoScript extension or an equivalent for other browsers. The NoAds extension for the Opera 11 browser combines both ad blocking with NoScript functionality.

Opera 11 users can install Noads by visiting the add-on's page over at the Opera extensions site. The installation is quick and without a browser restart. NoAds works right after installation on most sites.

The extension places an icon in the Opera address bar that opens the configuration menu.

Probably most interesting is the Preferences link that opens the extensive tabbed configuration page. It loads the site preferences by default listing all blocked external scripts as well as css filters and user css filters.

Here it is possible to add external scripts to a whitelist, or allow all scripts on the website.

site preferences

The global Preferences tab lists the whitelisted scripts, as well as user css filters and css filters. The subscriptions tab can be used to subscribe to an ad blocking list which is then used to automatically block the ads on the listing. Available are lists for the United States, Germany, France, Russia, a general list and a custom option to add an url to another listing.

Elements on a page can be blocked as well. This is done with the following shortcut keys:

  • Block ads - Alt+Shift+A
  • Block element - Alt+Shift+B
  • Unblock - Alt+Shift+U
  • Unblock latest element - Alt+Shift+L

Pressing the Block Element hotkey for instance opens highlights all element blocks on the page. A left-click can then be used to block the current element on the page permanently, or at least for as long as it is not unblocked again. This is excellent for removing elements on a website that are not ads but not needed or distracting.

NoAds is an excellent add-on for the Opera web browser. The extension has its quirks though which need to be sorted out. It is for instance sometimes necessary to switch tabs back and forth before the icon in the address bar becomes active.


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  1. Dotan Cohen said on November 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Martin, have you notified your ad serving partner that you are concerned with exploits and that you don’t want to put your viewers are risk? If you have, then you should definitely write about that experience, and what the ad serving partner responded. I use only Flashblock, no Adblock, but on systems that I install for others I do install it.

    It reduces to the fact that users’ distrust in the ad-serving networks causes them to install adblockers, and this affects your bottom line. Let them know that this fact concerns you.

  2. kalmly said on November 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Actually, I don’t mind ads EXCEPT for the ones that jump around. They create something akin to road rage. If I can’t scroll them out of sight, I get off the page. But, I’m thinking a good flash blocker is what is needed to get rid of them. A plain old ad blocker doesn’t do it. Unfortunately, I had to disable Flashblock in FF because of its unpredictable behavior. I never knew when it was going to disallow watching a video or cut one off in the middle.

  3. Mike Chu said on November 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    For the record, I only block flashy ads that make it hard for me to focus on reading the page content.

    That said, I am trying out the Opera 11 alpha right now, and one of the new features is to make plug-ins “on-demand”. So far that seems to mean that I get a big gray “play” button that I have to click on before any Flash content works. I’m wondering how that affects your ad hits.

  4. Mistel said on November 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Yep, some problems with menu…
    But according to Opera blog – its extensions api and User JS problems.
    Hope they fix print, format copy and JS bugs in next beta version.
    And google has mercy on them… Im still using firefox…

  5. ah said on November 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Ah crap! It looks like Opera has follow Chrome on its addon engine as its NoAds look completely like the one from Chrome. This shit fucking suck then, I’ll stick with FF where it actually BLOCK ads instead of hiding it.

    1. Astrophizz said on November 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm

      Opera can block ads from downloading pretty easily…

  6. Sujit said on November 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Don’t worry I will but Ghacks as an exception ;D

    1. yeahso said on November 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      I really don’t get the sick obsession some people have with ad blocking. I don’t mind ads. I just want to block the intrusive ones.

      Those crazy people who use AdBlock and block every single ad on earth are bad for the web.

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