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How to block ads in Google Chrome with AdSweep

Whenever a post goes up about Google Chrome on Download Squad, Firefox users that would like to make the switch usually have two gripes. First, the lack of extensions. Second, the lack of one extension in particular: AdBlock Plus.

Chrome users don't have to put up with ads if they don't want to, though. If a proxy-based blocker isn't your thing, then why not install AdSweep - either as a Userscript or a Chrome extension. They're essentially the same thing right now, since extensions are basically Userscripts in a wrapper. Whichever way you want to install AdSweep, here's what to do.

Since it's available as a Userscript, users of other browsers can take advantage of AdSweep, too - just check on the homepage for instructions. Now, let's get it working in Chrome.

As an Extension
To utilize AdSweep as an extension, you need to be running the Beta or Developer version of Chrome. Download it from the nightly builds, or grab the Chrome Channel Changer.

First, download the AdSweep .CRX file and save it to an easy-to-type location (like c:\ for example)

Next, launch Chrome with the following argument: --install-extension="save path\adsweep.crx"
You can do this from the command prompt, or course, but I find making a couple of copies of the Chrome shortcut on my desktop easier.
  • Make two copies of your Chrome shortcut
  • Right click one of your new icons and choose properties
  • Add the install argument to the target field

  • Double click your "install" shortcut
  • Right click the other new icon and choose properties
  • Add --enable-extensions to the target field

  • Double-click your new extension-powered shortcut
  • To verify that AdSweep installed correctly, enter chrome-ui://extensions/ in the address bar

As a Userscript
  • Download the file and extract the script file
  • Rename AdSweep.js to AdSweep.user.js (otherwise Chrome won't recognize it)
  • Check to see if you already have a Chrome User Scripts folder. If you don't, create it.
    • On Vista or Windows 7, look in %LocalAppData%\Chrome (or Chromium)\User Data\Default
    • On Windows XP, look in %AppData%\Chrome (or Chromium)\User Data\Default
    • Chrome 1 users, look for C:\Scripts
  • Cut and paste AdSweep.user.js into the User Scripts folder
  • Right click your Chrome icon and add --enable-user-scripts to the target field

  • Launch Chrome via your updated shortcut and browse to If you see a red notice in the upper-right corner, it's working!

Whatever the reason, I found that installing the extension did a better job at both removing ads and rendering the rest of the page neatly. This is a nice display of how extensions will work in Chrome. Let's hope the install process catches up to Firefox in the coming months.

Tags: freeware, howtos, opensource