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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 August 2013  

Reduce Banner Ads While Surfing


They are everywhere these days. Those annoying little ads that show up at the top of many web pages, or even worse pop up in their own window. These aren't really desirable, they waste your bandwidth and just do not belong.

What can be done

There is a lot that can be done to stop these, mainly add on programs that proclaim to stop all pop-ups and advertising. Some of these are good, some are downright bad for your computer.

But there is a much simpler solution, telling your computer that a whole heap of known advertisement servers, just do not exist. With this simple system, many web pages will appear with the ads as shown above, just missing images.

To do this, you need to edit your windows hosts. file.

  • Find you hosts. file in:

Windows 95/98/Me    c:\windows\
Windows NT/2000/2003/XP    c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\
(administrator access is required)

The hosts. file doesn't have an extension. Open notepad and navigate to the above location and open the hosts. file.

If a hosts. file doesn't exist, open the hosts.sam file in the same location and save it as hosts. (with the ending . )

  • Once you have the file open, add the entires from this page in below any other entries already there.

  • Close and Save

If you are having trouble finding or editing your hosts file, your can download a ready to go one here (right click and select save as...), save in the appropriate directory as shown in the table above. Note: By default, downloading this file will save it with a .txt extension, you do not want this. In the Save As dialog box, select Save as Type: All Files, then save as hosts. with the ending period. I've slightly modified this file to use instead of, this works better if you run a web server on your computer.

The hosts. file tells your computer where to lookup and find web sites. What you have just done is tell your computer that the ad sites listed are found at: which is your own computer's internal IP address, so the ads cannot be downloaded and displayed.

To verify that your have edited your hosts. file correctly, try browsing to: http://ad.adsmart.net if it does not connect, you have succeeded!



If something goes wrong while following these instructions, you may find your computer system will not longer boot, or otherwise function incorrectly. This can create a very time consuming repair process. Even though I try to make these instructions foolproof and reversible, computers are computers and strange things can happen.

Use  at your own risk!!


Need help, just email me below.



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