How to block ads in Windows with just Notepad

Ads are annoying on the web. Besides they lower your internet bandwidth and can be particularly offensive for minors. If you share your PC with your kids, I’m sure you will see how helpful my advice is. There are different ways to screen advertising with use of free and paid DNS providers, firewalls, and special software. I propose to use light and effective method of modifying hosts file. It is a manual hack, but if you browse approximately the same list of websites every day, it will not be very tedious to implement. I’ll explain in plain and simple language. This method is not risky and very easy to revert, if for whatever reason something goes wrong. I tried it in Windows 7, 8, and 10 Technical Preview. It does not matter whether you use 32 or 64 bit version, it will work anyway.

1. Get the HOSTS file

First look for the following path in the Windows Explorer:



To be on a safe side, make a backup of this file, save a copy of it in a different folder. This file has no extension ‘naturally’, so don’t worry. So, you can copy it to your Document folder, for instance, and make another copy with extension .bak. Then leave the file hosts.bak intact. And double click the file hosts in this new location. We will edit this file here, and once you are done, you will copy the edited new file back to the target place (C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc) to replace the original file. It is because we cannot edit this file directly in its original place.

When you double click the file, you have to choose which program to use to edit it. Pick NOTEPAD. Then you will see something similar:


Everything except the last line ( localhost) is simply a commented description. You need to extend the list to assign the web addresses you want to block to this IP address For example:

What it does, it tells to the system, if that exact address is requested (e.g. then instead of getting the real IP address from the root server (DNS), it will immediately short cut it to the, which is zero content. It applies to every web browser you can use — Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, you name it.

Mind the syntax though: don’t put http:// or https:// — not needed.

2. How to block the ads.

So, how to hit particular ads you see every time you visit certain websites?


Weird installation of IE9 RC in Windows 7

ie9-rc-aboutI have not seen before such a weird installation. So I was going to install newly released Internet Explorer 9 RC 32-bit (build 9.0.8080.16413) for Windows 7. So what happened after I hit the executable IE9-Windows7-x86-enu.exe—I was asked a permission to close a bunch of running programs: uTorrent, Skype, etc. I agreed. But IE9 installer closed not only those, but also stopped Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE was shouting like almost caught a virus) and … Explorer.exe. Which meant I had to stare at status window on the top of the wallpaper — nothing else (please see the screenshot below):


Beauty of Internet Explorer 9 beta — not for Windows XP majority

Microsoft has released a public beta version of Internet Explorer 9 on the website Beauty of the Web. New Internet Explorer is featured with hardware-accelerated text, video, and graphics thru Direct2D and DirectWrite, HTML5 support, CSS3 support, fast new JavaScript engine Chakra based on “power of modern multicore processors.”  Question is: should you care? Of course, you should, but probably not now. First of all, it is a pre-release version, not final. What I found IE9 beta is not compatible with WordPress 3.0.1 control panel, buttons for post editing do not function. So, to me it is a broken toy so far. I don’t like how controls are organized: why home button is so tiny and hidden? Opera did it right, I think.

Whatever Paul Thurrott is saying about big advantage of Microsoft as the Windows OS maker over all over web-browers makers (which I take more as a religious point actually), let’s face the facts. IE9 will not run on Windows XP. Great. You know the share of Windows XP today? 61%! Let me repeat: sixty one percent. The source is Netmarketshare. Here’s full statistics: Top Operating System Share Trend. As you can see Windows 7 and Windows Vista are just 16% and 14% accordingly. So, what about browsers share? Top Browser Share Trend tells you all: Internet Explorer 6 (six) is still 16%! IE7 — 11%, IE8 — 28%. So, that is my prediction: biggest trouble for IE9 is actually users of previous versions of Internet Explorer and Windows XP. That’s the beast for the beauty.

My screenshot:

Internet Explorer 9 beta