I (as many others do) use an ad blocker.

Recently I visited a website that detected I was using an ad blocker and hid the content from me.

Slightly annoying (if not expected) but as I discovered this is simply done with JavaScript and with some quick disabling of the JavaScript I was able to read the article.


However, it did interest me as to how it was achieved and as it transpires the technique is quite simple.

Firstly create a file called advert.js

In advert.js:

;var __sneaky_adverts = true;

In your html file then you could have something like;

<!doctype html>
    <script src="advert.js" async></script>
        window.onload = function(){
            if (typeof __sneaky_adverts == 'undefined') {
                // content is blocked

The technique is simple.

Load advert.js. If it does load then __sneaky_adverts will be true (!undefined). If it fails then the if will fire.


You may ask why I am using a window.onload event though.

Good question.

I advocate speed. I don’t want advert.js to render block so I am loading it asynchronously. That means I have to give the browser enough time to load the file before I check for __sneaky_adverts :)

  • javascript

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