How to Disable Ads on w3m Browser

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How to Disable Ads on w3m Browser

Get SigmaOS Free

It's free and super easy to set up

How to Disable Ads on w3m Browser

Get SigmaOS Free

It's free and super easy to set up

W3m is a text-based web browser that is lightweight, fast, and highly customizable. However, its default configuration may display ads that can be intrusive and distracting. Fortunately, there are several ways to block ads on w3m browser, ranging from simple configuration changes to the use of external ad-blocking tools. In this article, we will guide you through the process of disabling ads on w3m browser and customizing it for a better browsing experience.

Understanding w3m Browser and Ads

Before we dive into the ad-blocking process, let's take a moment to understand what w3m browser is and how it displays ads.

What is w3m Browser?

W3m is a simple and efficient text-based web browser that runs on various platforms, including Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. It allows users to browse the web via a command-line interface (CLI) and supports various features such as tabbed browsing, bookmarks, SSL, and mouse support. W3m is highly customizable, and users can modify its behaviour and appearance through various configuration options.

One of the advantages of using w3m browser is its speed and efficiency. Since it doesn't load images and other multimedia content by default, it can load web pages much faster than graphical web browsers. This makes it an ideal choice for users who want to browse the web quickly and efficiently.

Types of Ads on w3m Browser

By default, w3m browser may display ads in various forms, including banner ads, pop-up ads, and interstitial ads. These ads are usually served by the websites you visit, and w3m has no built-in ad-blocking functionality. However, you can block ads on w3m browser via different methods, as discussed below.

Banner ads are the most common type of ads you'll see on w3m browser. They appear at the top or bottom of a web page and usually contain a message or image promoting a product or service. Pop-up ads, on the other hand, appear in a separate window and can be more intrusive than banner ads. They can also be more difficult to close, as they may not have a visible close button.

Interstitial ads are full-page ads that appear before or after the content you're trying to access. They can be particularly annoying, as they force you to wait a few seconds before you can access the content you want. Some websites may also use autoplay video ads, which can be even more intrusive and distracting.

Fortunately, there are several ways to block ads on w3m browser. One method is to use a third-party ad-blocking extension or tool, such as Adblock Plus or uBlock Origin. These tools work by blocking ads at the network level, so they won't even be downloaded to your browser. Another method is to modify your w3m configuration file to block specific ad domains or URLs. This method requires a bit more technical knowledge, but it can be very effective.

Overall, understanding how w3m browser displays ads and how to block them can help you have a more enjoyable browsing experience. Whether you're using w3m for its speed and efficiency or for its command-line interface, there's no need to put up with annoying and intrusive ads. With the right tools and knowledge, you can browse the web ad-free and focus on the content that matters most to you.

Preparing for the Ad-Blocking Process

Before we proceed with the ad-blocking process, we need to ensure that we have the necessary tools and extensions installed and that w3m browser is up-to-date.

Updating w3m Browser

It's essential to keep your w3m browser up-to-date to ensure that it runs smoothly and securely. To update w3m on Linux, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get install w3m

If you're using other platforms, check your respective package manager or download w3m from the official website.

Installing Necessary Tools and Extensions

For ad-blocking to work effectively on w3m, we need to install some additional tools and extensions. One such tool is the host file, which allows us to block ads by redirecting their URLs to non-existent domains. To install the host file, run the following command on Linux:

sudo wget -O /etc/hosts

Alternatively, you can download the host file from the official website and copy it manually to your system's hosts file location.

Disabling Ads through Configuration Settings

One simple way to disable ads on w3m browser is to modify its configuration settings. This method allows us to block ads without installing external tools or extensions.

Accessing w3m Configuration Settings

To access w3m's configuration settings, launch w3m browser from your terminal and type the following command:

w3m -config

This will open the w3m configuration menu, where you can customize various settings.

Modifying Ad-Related Settings

To disable ads on w3m browser, navigate to the "Option Settings" section and modify the following settings:


This setting disables inline images, which can be a source of ads. Set it to "1" to disable inline images.


This setting enables w3m's built-in ad-blocking functionality. Set it to "1" to enable ad-blocking.


Depending on your preference, you may want to disable all images, including non-ad images. Set this option to "0" to disable all images.

After modifying these settings, save and exit w3m's configuration menu. Now, when you visit a website, w3m should not display any ads.

Using External Ad-Blocking Tools

If you prefer a more robust ad-blocking solution, you can use external ad-blocking tools that work in conjunction with w3m browser.

Popular Ad-Blockers for w3m Browser

There are several ad-blockers that work well with w3m browser, including:

  • Nolife: A highly customizable ad-blocker that uses regular expressions to filter out ads.

  • w3mimgdisplay: A tool that allows w3m to display images and filters out ads by default.

  • w3m-lnum: A fork of w3m that adds line numbers and supports external ad-blocking tools.

Configuring Ad-Blockers for Optimal Performance

Each ad-blocker has its own configuration options and usage guidelines. Consult the respective documentation to configure them for optimal performance. In general, the following best practices can help improve ad-blocking performance:

  • Update the ad-blocker's filter lists regularly to ensure that new ads are blocked.

  • Whitelist legitimate websites that you want to support, such as news sites or blogs.

  • Disable unnecessary features that may slow down w3m, such as JavaScript or cookies.

Customizing w3m Browser for a Better Browsing Experience

Finally, let's explore some ways to customize w3m browser for a better browsing experience, regardless of whether you've disabled ads or not.

Adjusting Display Settings

W3m allows users to adjust various display settings, such as font size, color scheme, and line spacing. To do so, navigate to the "Display Settings" section in w3m's configuration menu and modify the appropriate settings.

Managing Bookmarks and History

W3m supports bookmarks and a browsing history, just like graphical web browsers. To manage bookmarks, type the following command in w3m:


This will bring up the bookmark manager, where you can add, delete, and organize your bookmarks. similarly, to access the browsing history, type:


This will show you a list of the websites you've visited. You can navigate through the list using the up and down arrow keys.


With these techniques, you can easily disable ads on w3m browser and customize it for a better browsing experience. By modifying its configuration settings or using external ad-blocking tools, you can enjoy an ad-free browsing experience on w3m without sacrificing its speed or simplicity.