AdGuard v1.11 for Safari: Fight for filtering rule limits

Being able to block ads and protect against trackers well sometimes takes a lot of work: this time we argued with Apple about the filtering rule limit — and succeeded! Now let us tell you how it was.

Why 50,000 is not enough

We once wrote that Apple had banned content blockers from using more than 50,000 filtering rules at a time. This was causing an obvious inconvenience. First of all, 50,000 is really not enough: our Base Filter now has about 30,000 rules. If you wanted to turn on another filter, the limit was exceeded. But this restriction can actually be circumvented: an application can use more than one content blocker. We took advantage of it by grouping the filters into 6 content blockers: General, Privacy, Social, Security, Other, and Custom. There are 50,000 rules in each of them — together it makes 300,000.

But even this division couldn't solve all the problems: users were getting notifications that the rules limit had been exceeded. During that, some rules from the filter didn't work and the filtering process failed.

Besides, some filters contain directives to transfer rules to another content blocker. If you had enabled multiple filters at once, some content blockers would get overrun too.

A small but important achievement

But we did actually succeed. We had written repeatedly to Apple on increasing the limit — and they kept saying no, arguing that the performance would degrade. But it seems that we’ve changed their minds: their tests were successful and the rule limit for each content blocker was increased to 150,000 — for our six content blockers, that’s 900,000 in total. This is three times more than before — which means that we’ll be able to apply the rules more flexibly, the filtering will become better, and users will have fewer chances to get into a situation where nothing works because the limit is exceeded.

What else we’ve changed

You might have noticed that our icon has been changed. Apple asked us to remove the Safari icon from our logo — and we appreciate that. But you definitely won’t get confused by our new one: it’s actually not that new.

New icon

Besides, we’ve updated the rules converter, scriptlets, and the Browser Assistant, and fixed some minor bugs. If you want to know more, there's always a full list of changes in our GitHub repository.

We hope you'll enjoy the new version of AdGuard for Safari. We're always happy to hear what you think of us — share your feedback in the blog comments, on social media, and on GitHub.

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