Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

bay mac's help desk with Steve Paris

Q: I hate ads – I do a search for something on my Mac, and then wherever I go, suddenly, I get bombarded with ads about that thing I searched. Is there an app that stops that from happening?

A: I looked at how a new feature of iOS helps prevent apps from tracking you when you use other apps on your iPhone in my previous article, but you already have a similar concept on your Mac if you use Apple’s own web browser, Safari, on their latest operating system, Big Sur (Mac OS 11).

It’s on by default, and you’ll see a two-toned shield icon to the left of the address bar. Click on it and it’ll tell you how many tracking robots were automatically disabled by Safari without you doing a thing (it’s a bit scary when you see the number sometimes). If you want to check what they are, click on the chevron next to ‘Trackers on this Webpage’.

You’ll also find a little ‘i’, top right of that window. Click on it to get a summary of how busy Safari has been in the background, making sure all those irritating advertising robots had nowhere to go once you left the page you were visiting.

You’ll find that thanks to that built-in feature, web browsing is a lot more serene. It’s not perfect, mind, but it’s a lot better knowing most trackers can’t do their unwelcomed stalking job.


Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.



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