Adblock Plus corrects typos now

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 1, 2012
Updated • Jul 31, 2013

The popular advertisement blocking extension Adblock Plus has been criticized recently for its acceptable ads feature that enables some ads on the Internet. While ads have to abide to a strict ruleset, like not annoying the hell out of the user with sound and flashing animations, it is something that may have harmed the software's reputation as an "all-ads" blocker.

The feature can be disabled completely, so that all ads are again blocked when you are using the extension in your web browser. To disable it, open the Adblock Plus options and uncheck the "allow some non-intrusive advertising" under Filter lists.

Adblock Plus's new typo correction feature has been controversially discussed on Reddit. It is not really clear why as it seems opt-in which means that Adblock Plus users need to enable it before it becomes available.

The functionality has been ported over from the popular URL Fixer Firefox extension. An option is displayed to turn on the feature the first time you mistype a web address. Please note that it will download an auto-correction list which may take a couple of minutes before it becomes available. The download is handled in the background.

When you mistype an url that is in the filter list you are automatically taken to the selected destination. Adblock Plus displays a notification at the top of the browser that informs you that the address has been corrected. Here you have the option to block this from happening again by clicking on the no button.

adblock plus corrected the address

If you do, the site will be added to the whitelist to prevent future redirects. You are also taken back to the site you originally wanted to access.

The feature has been controversially discussed on Reddit for its monetization inclusion. Affiliate IDs are added when you the auto correction takes you to select online shopping sites such as Amazon. The Adblock Plus team earns commission every time products are purchased on those sites.

If you have enabled the feature by accident and want it disabled again, for instance because it is taking you to the wrong addresses all the time or because you do not like the monetization, do the following:

  • Enter about:addons in the Firefox address bar
  • Locate Adblock Plus and click on the options button next to it.
  • Locate the filter preferences button and click on it.
  • Go to the typo corrections tab in the interface and uncheck "correct mistyped internet addresses".

Please note that the feature is currently only available in Firefox, and not in versions for other browsers. It is however likely that the feature will be implemented in other browsers eventually.

Update: The developers have removed the typo correction from Adblock Plus.


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  1. Jim said on December 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I mentioned this on another thread when this one would have been more appropriate. I installed AdBlocker Plus on my Nexus 7. After that many sites, Facebook in particular, slowed to a crawl or became completely unresponsive. I uninstalled it and everything returned to normal. My previous ad blocking app didn’t have that problem.

    Combine that with the controversial new features and I have to ask; is the world’s most popular ad blocking software headed into a death spiral?

  2. Jojo said on December 2, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Speaking of ad blocking, how about a hardware solution that works for ANY device? See:
    AdTrap – The internet is yours again

  3. George said on December 2, 2012 at 5:53 am

    OpenDNS handles this for me.

  4. Ken Saunders said on December 2, 2012 at 1:47 am

    “The add on is free and the feature is opt-in so I can’t see any reason to complain”

    Yes, both options are optional but the reason to complain is the path that this add-on is on isn’t aligned with what users are used to from it, they maybe wondering where it’s going or what’s next, and they are odd options.
    An ad blocker add-on that if you’d like, will show you some select ads?
    A typo correction feature? Seriously? What does it have to do with the main functionality and purpose of this add-on. Nothing.
    If it were somehow related and added some real usefulness, then ok.

    “Whenever typo correction brings you to the site of a large online shop an affiliate ID will be added to the address.”
    Hmm, does it just so happen that typo correction will send you to those sites?

    I’ve worked with and have been mentored by add-on developers for many years now. I’m an add-on developer but I create basic ones. I don’t have the knowledge and experience yet to do what others do. The point is, I know what’s involved in writing add-ons and maintaining them and trying to keep up with changes to Firefox and so I have immense respect for, and have defended add-on developers since I started using Firefox.
    I have no issues with anyone trying to make a living or some cash for their work, who would, but there are better, more straight forward and honest ways of doing it.

    In this case, the best way would be to go with an Adblock Plus Premium and offer some unique features and/or services without stripping any from the current version.
    That’s how to make money and keep users happy.

    “By enabling the feature you can help donate to the project, a nice option for those who would like to donate but can’t afford it”

    Only -if- you purchase something from a site that Adblock plus is affiliated with.
    It’s more than likely less expensive to make a donation to the developer, and chances are the developer would receive more from the donation than from a tiny affiliate cut.

    1. Gonzo said on December 2, 2012 at 7:57 am

      “they maybe wondering where it’s going or what’s next, and they are odd options.”

      True, but there has been a fork without these options available for quite sometime. It was started when the “allow some non-instrusive…” feature was implemented. Why not use that if you’re so vehemently opposed to their questionable direction?

      “An ad blocker add-on that if you’d like, will show you some select ads?”

      Their attempt to encourage non intrusive advertising is commendable, even if it may be a fools errand. They’re realize that many if not most of the great websites today rely on adverts. Without these sites we’d be left with only portals like Facebook, yuk!

      “the best way would be to go with an Adblock Plus Premium and offer some unique features”

      You don’t mean charge a fee for a premium version, do you? The source is licensed under Mozilla Public License Version 2.0.

      Some perspective; years ago your web browser would display an error page when it encountered an invalid DNS lookup. Currently, Mozilla profits by redirecting these same lookups to Google by default. In many cases Google then gets an affiliate payment. Many people regard this as a nice feature because they no longer get error pages. ADP offers you another option in which they get the payments and who knows maybe some people will like it better.

  5. Gonzo said on December 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    The add on is free and the feature is opt-in so I can’t see any reason to complain. It appears as if those complaining somehow how feel entitled. I wonder, have they ever donated? This kind of unwarranted backlash is what drives developers to abandon projects. They have bills to pay and mouths to feed just like the rest of us. They’ve worked hard on this and have given back by releasing the source, please try to show some respect and even a little gratitude.

    By enabling the feature you can help donate to the project, a nice option for those who would like to donate but can’t afford it. If it had been enabled by default and couldn’t be disabled then I’d complain and seek alternatives.

  6. sade said on December 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    What next? will they make me coffe?

  7. Ken Saunders said on December 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    This is absurd, unnecessary, and for an add-on that is meant to provide some sense of protection for users from ads, it’s actually sending them to commercial partner sites?
    Is that a contradiction or irony?

    Look, it’s without a doubt an awesome and the most popular add-on and has been for years. For the longest time, the developer refused to make it for others browsers despite monetary offers.
    Everyone needs to and should get paid especially with something so good. I believe in and support capitalism but there’s a right way and a wrong way.
    Taking advantage of the trust and confidence that has been given to you is not the way to do it. Whether this, and the other option is on or off by default isn’t the point.

    Web developers and site owners could argue that what is being done here is controlling/blocking their ads and means of revenue but allowing/controlling ways for the developer to make money in a very similar way.

    I could live without this add-on and work on my owns means of dealing with ads and I will if I see Adblock Plus take one more step away from being what it was and what made it worth a damn in the first place.

    That typo rules list (as far as I could tell) is updated every 3 days (“Only download rules every three days” loadRulesFrom( so it must be phoning home somehow which is also unacceptable.

  8. bastik said on December 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I’m fine with the “acceptable ads”, since lot’s of sites can only operate through their ad revenue. I still disable AdblockPlus on websites (like ghacks) to support the sites.

    The typo-correction, may only work for well known sites, but it could go wrong when I register (does already exist, parking domain). I’d like to see:
    “You may had a typo. Adblock Plus would like to redirect you to xyz. Is that correct?” because I don’t want to end up on a domain I might misspelled. (I know clicking “no” takes me were I wanted)

    You can’t add exceptions to redirect mechanism in the settings, at least not on your own. “Add exception” would be nice. Maybe that comes later.

    There’s at least one addon that checks for typos, too. I don’t know if it operates in the same fashion, but if it does and people use AdblockPlus and such addon, they can get rid of the latter one.

    I don’t know how the Affiliate ID thing works and hope they don’t replace existing IDs with their own. I’m fine if they add an option “Support AdblockPlus by using its Affiliate ID” and don’t overwrite existing IDs (I’m not saying they do this and I don’t expect it to be the case). So people can decide.

  9. Dan said on December 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    That’s just wrong. It’s no different from Verisign redirecting misspelled domains, or Linux Mint changing the default search strings for Firefox so that they could monetize Amazon searches. That’s definitely one feature I will never use.

    I allow non-intrusive ads, though. I’ve softened my hardline stance against all online ads. BTW, you should try to get ads that are whitelisted by ABP, Martin.

    1. Ngan Tengyuen said on December 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      I guess they have to find ways to make some money, most probably the donation they are receiving is not enough.

      Reminds me of the Gator Software in 1998, it was meant to be a web toolbar or something like that but it replaces advertisement on webpages by re-rendering the code in stealth mode.

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