[Windows][PowerShell][Script]psAdBlock - PowerShell AdBlock Script for Windows

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Makorus

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2012
195
169
github.com
@xquuicksilv3rgx: You're welcome. :)
@ashatter: Hmm, I don't know if this is really necessary. It would slow up your boot time for some more seconds I guess, and I'm pretty sure this is not what you want. Also, I guess it is a big deal to run an application or a script with administrative privileges automatically.
@bobbleheadhobo: To whitelist a website you just have to add the domain to the existing "whitelist.ini" file, re-run the script and give it a try.
@Pipsname: Yeah and by the way: You could also whitelist those sites. :p
@Navuhodonosor: Thank you for your great input, I'll add this to the batch file.

To everyone: I'll update the code by the next week. Next update will include:
  • _run_script.bat administrative privileges
  • Error-handling for offline hosts sources (currently, the script just quits with an error)

Thank you for your patience and see you next week!
 

BossToroech

Senior Member
Sep 11, 2012
61
13
Hi everyone, sorry for my very delayed reply! I've been very busy these days. I'll reply to you guys tomorrow as I'm travelling now.

To uninstall, simply delete your existing "hosts" file and rename "hosts.bak" to "hosts", reboot your PC afterwards. Let me know if it works.

Kind regards
- Makorus

I would like to uninstall, but I deleted all those files and don't have this .bak. Is there an another way to unistall this?
 

araxhiel

Member
Mar 5, 2017
35
20
Hi!

First: thanks you for this amazing script/utility, is just awesome!

Now: I'm having a little issue/detail while executing the script as Powershell throws this message

Code:
***************************************************************************************************
Checking whether the script is being executed with administrator privileges...
Administrator privileges found!
Checking automatic 'hosts' backup routine...
Automatic 'hosts' backup is enabled!
Saving original 'hosts'-file...
Copy-Item : Cannot find path 'D:\Downloads\Applications\PS_AdBlock_V1.6.1\hosts.original' because it does not exist.
At C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\Quest Software\PowerGUI\8d4dea56-fd38-4199-b3dd-2979e489fa8a\PS_AdBlock_V1.6.1.ps1:696 char:8
+           Copy-Item -Path $OriginalHostsSource -Destination $Original ...
+           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (D:\Downloads\Ap...\hosts.original:String) [Copy-Item], ItemNotFoundException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PathNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.CopyItemCommand

Saved original 'hosts'-file: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.original
Creating backup of current 'hosts'-file...

This appears regardless if I execute the EXE or the PS1 (both as administrator) and it doesn't create a backup of the original hosts file, just copy and overwrite it. Fortunately I had a backup of the hosts file so it's not a big deal, but I felt that is was worth to report.

My system:
Code:
OS Name      Microsoft Windows 10 Home Single Language
Version      10.0.14393 Build 14393
System Type  x64-based PC

$host.version
Code:
Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
5      1      14393  953

Thanks in advance!

Best regards!
 
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Makorus

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2012
195
169
github.com
Hi everyone

Wow, time passes so quickly - the last release was one year ago. I had to change that today. :p
I'm really sorry, I have been so preoccupied lately.

Anyway, new version 1.6.2 is online. There are some changes, go ahead and check out the change log.

@araxhiel thanks for reporting that, the script now handles this error case. :)
 
Last edited:

saa1618

Member
Aug 7, 2016
30
15
Bengaluru
AWESOME

Hi,

Thank you for this, I have been using Adaway with Android since Lollipop and always wished for a Windows version of Adaway!

Love,
Syed :D
 

Makorus

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2012
195
169
github.com
sorry if i missed this but how is the mal-list in the hosts file updated to include new offenders?
Hi there

Well basically the hosts list isn't updated automatically, so you have to manually re-run the script. Everytime you run this script the hosts files from your chosen source list (hostslist.ini) are being re-downloaded and merged again.

If you want to add an own source, simply add it to the previously mentioned file.

If you want to block a specific site, simply create a new .txt file in your DL_Cache folder and put the sites in that file. Run the script again and you should be fine.

I hope I was able to help. Otherwise just let me know again, I'm happy to help.

Kind regards
- Makorus
 
Jul 15, 2011
22
0
Hi there
Well basically the hosts list isn't updated automatically, so you have to manually re-run the script. Everytime you run this script the hosts files from your chosen source list (hostslist.ini) are being re-downloaded and merged again.
If you want to add an own source, simply add it to the previously mentioned file.
If you want to block a specific site, simply create a new .txt file in your DL_Cache folder and put the sites in that file. Run the script again and you should be fine.
I hope I was able to help. Otherwise just let me know again, I'm happy to help.
Kind regards
- Makorus

Thats great thx.
Am i right in saying a web browser will 'open' any of the blocked sites with the following message :
"This site can’t be reached
server DNS address could not be found.
Search Google for onlinewebfind
ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED"
 

Makorus

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2012
195
169
github.com
Thats great thx.
Am i right in saying a web browser will 'open' any of the blocked sites with the following message :
"This site can’t be reached
server DNS address could not be found.
Search Google for onlinewebfind
ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED"
Absolutely, you're being redirected to localhost. As there's no http service running on your local computer, you face that error message, which is perfectly fine.

Kind regards
- Makorus
 

criza

Member
Jan 2, 2014
35
1
A late happy new year to everyone! :)

I just released version 1.6.3 with a few small changes.

I'm gradually moving this project completely to GitHub, therefore there's no need for an additional VirusTotal scan. Downloads will be moved to GitHub from now on. Contribution to this project is now even easier. :)

Awesome! :):eek::D
 
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patrickdrd

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2015
735
144
I run the script twice and it got stuck both times in "applying",
the first time it created the file, on the second no,
Code:
Checking whether the script is being executed with administrator privileges...
Administrator privileges found!
Checking automatic 'hosts' backup routine...
Automatic 'hosts' backup is enabled!
Original 'hosts'-file already found!
Creating backup of current 'hosts'-file...
Saved current 'hosts'-file: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.old
Checking automatic 'hosts' apply routine...
Automatic 'hosts' apply is enabled!
Applying new 'hosts'-file...

edit: my bad, I was testing hozz at the same time and I think it was blocking your script

edit2: still doesn't finish, powershell reaches around 800mb in memory,
the hosts file (5mb) is created, but powershell is stuck there

edit3: ok, I'll be running the user script and I'll be doing the "distribution" myself

Code:
Finished the PowerShell AdBlock script!
Elapsed time: 329.9136152 seconds
Press any key to continue . . .
 
Last edited:

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  • 49
    Introduction
    Dear community

    This is my very first XDA: DevDB project. I'm glad to announce my ad-block solution purely based on PowerShell.
    I've been (and I still am) using AdAway on my Android phone. It's a great app, and it inspired me to get a similar solution for Windows computers.

    Version 0.1 was not public because it was slow as hell. It took about 8 minutes to handle ~200'000 hosts.
    With version 1.0, my script got a massive speed improvement. Now its duration has been greatly decreased. I achieved the same amount of hosts in less than 100 seconds now. But of course, these measured values shouldn't mean a lot, as they depend completely on your hardware (and a little bit on your internet connection of course).

    Now version 1.6 has an automatic backup & apply routine, check it out!

    Features
    This script does exactly what you think: It grabs various "hosts" sources from the internet, saves them locally, and merges them to one big file. Enjoy an ad-free Windows experience.

    • Download as many "hosts" files as you want
    • Merge them automatically into one big "hosts" file
    • Remove duplicates from the "hosts" file
    • Remove any comment line starting with # to keep your hosts file as small as possible
    • Apply a custom whitelist or even custom blacklists
    • Log the entire process to a log file (placed within the same directory where you saved this script)

    Downloads & Changelogs

    FAQs

    Disclaimer
    Altough this is normally a safe process, I am not responsible for possible damage to your device if anything should fail.
    I will not take any responsability for bricked Windows installations, other software defects or even lost data.

    License/forks
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License( ).

    This is an open source project, it's a PowerShell script and you're able to see the source code of course. You're allowed to modify this script as you want, as long as you give credits to me. Adaptations of my work shall be shared as well under the same license. Commercial use is allowed, as long as you don't sell my work.

    Requirements
    There are some requirements to check.
    • A little bit of PowerShell-knowledge (not necessary of course)
    • At least Windows 7 (theoretically it should work on any Windows)
    • At least PowerShell 3.0 (PowerShell 2.0 may work, but is unsupported)
    • At least 50 MB free space for this script
    • Administrative privileges - required if you want to use the automatic backup & apply routines, not for the script itself, otherwise you'll need to manually copy the "hosts" file into the Windows directory

    Instructions for use with administrator privileges (recommended)
    1. Download the archive and unzip it anywhere
    2. Execute the "_Run_Admin.bat" script via double-click, confirm the UAC window by clicking on the yes button and wait for the console to close itself
    3. Reboot your machine and enjoy an ad-free Windows experience
    4. Note: Instead of the batch script you can use the .ps1 file as well (unblock it first, simply right-click the .ps1 file, choose "Properties", then hit the "Unblock" button), start a new PowerShell console as administrator and manually run the script

    Instructions for use without administrator privileges
    1. Download the archive and unzip it anywhere
    2. Execute the "_Run_User.bat" script via double-click and wait for the console to close itself
    3. Copy the newly created "hosts" file and rename the existing "hosts" file to manually create a backup
      Code:
      C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts
    4. Reboot your machine and enjoy an ad-free Windows experience
    5. Note: Instead of the batch script you can use the .ps1 file as well (unblock it first, simply right-click the .ps1 file, choose "Properties", then hit the "Unblock" button), start a new PowerShell console and manually run the script

    Instructions to customize psAdBlock
    1. To modify the "hosts" sources, simply edit the file "hostslist.ini"
    2. To allow specific hosts, simply edit the file "whitelist.ini"
    3. To block specific hosts, simply create a new .txt file within the "DL_Cache" folder and add the hosts (one per line) you want to block (e.g. "0.0.0.0 place-any-site-here.com")

    Credits & thanks to
    * Makorus: Creator of this PowerShell script
    * Dominik Schuermann: Inspiring me to do this
    * Luca Sturlese: Allowing us to use his awesome logging function library

    Any questions or suggestions? Did you find any bugs? Thanks for your feedbacks in advance! :good:

    XDA:DevDB Information
    psAdBlock, Tool/Utility for the Windows 8 General

    Contributors
    Makorus
    Source Code: https://github.com/makorus/ps-adblock


    Version Information
    Status: Stable
    Current Stable Version: 1.6.5
    Stable Release Date: 2017-07-03

    Created 2015-05-09
    Last Updated 2018-07-13
    40
    News
    I'm moving this project to GitHub for many reasons. Future releases will be available through GitHub only.

    New download link:
    https://github.com/makorus/PS-AdBlock/archive/master.zip


    Current release & changelog
    Code:
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.6.3, 2018-02-03                                                                  ##
    ## - Added logic to handle 'localhost' in whitelist (thanks to antonio-gil)            ##
    ## - Removed script version from filename                                              ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##

    Notes
    Code:
    #########################################################################################
    ## Notes:                                                                              ##
    ## - PowerShell 3.0 or newer is recommended to run this script without any errors      ##
    ## - PowerShell 2.0 may work as well, but is unsupported                               ##
    ## - If you disable the backup/apply mode you have to manually copy the final          ##
    ##   'hosts'-file to the Windows etc directory (please manually backup the old file:   ##
    ##   C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc                                                   ##
    ## - To apply a custom blacklist, simply create a text file containing your desired    ##
    ##   hosts and save it in the download cache folder 'DL_Cache' (run the script once)   ##
    ## - To manually add your custom hosts list, create a new text file called             ##
    ##   'hostslist.ini' and add your hosts sources (one site per line without the www)    ##
    ## - To automatically remove specific sites from the hosts list, create a new text     ##
    ##   file called 'whitelist.ini" and add your sites you want to whitelist              ##
    ## - If you experience performance issues like extremely slow Windows startup time,    ##
    ##   Try to disable the client DNS Cache service via CMD:                              ##
    ##     sc config dnscache start= disabled                                              ##
    #########################################################################################

    Release history & changelogs
    Code:
    #########################################################################################
    ## Release history (yyyy-MM-dd):                                                       ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V0.0.1 - V0.0.9, 2015-05-02                                                         ##
    ## - Non-public test versions only                                                     ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.0.0, 2015-05-09                                                                  ##
    ## - First public and stable release                                                   ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.1.0, 2015-05-10                                                                  ##
    ## - Added release history to the script                                               ##
    ## - Merged Log Functions to the main script file (no more two separate files)         ##
    ## - Added XDA:DevDB link                                                              ##
    ## - Added script version to name (easy identification)                                ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.2.0, 2015-05-13                                                                  ##
    ## - Fixed issue with old 'New-Item' command in function 'Log-Start':                  ##
    ## --> OLD: New-Item -Path $LogPath -Value $LogName -ItemType File                     ##
    ## --> NEW: New-Item -Path "$sFullPath" -ItemType File                                 ##
    ## - Changed the 'Log-Start' invoking command to use $PSScriptRoot:                    ##
    ## --> OLD: Log-Start -LogPath ".\" [...]                                              ##
    ## --> NEW: Log-Start -LogPath "$PSScriptRoot" [...]                                   ##
    ## - Added #region and #endregion codes to fold the code                               ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.3.0, 2015-05-13                                                                  ##
    ## - Completely reworked the 'release history', huge improvement to readability        ##
    ## - The 'Patch Table' uses now '-ireplace' instead '-replace' for better results      ##
    ## - Changed the 'Patch Table' to use regex expressions for my default list            ##
    ## - Added Spotify to 'Patch Table':                                                   ##
    ## --> $DefaultPatchTable.Add('\w+.spotify.com', 'localhost')                          ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.4.0, 2015-07-26                                                                  ##
    ## - Reworked whitelist method (check notes for more information)                      ##
    ## - Reworked hosts source list (check notes for more information)                     ##
    ## - Reworked the 'Patch Table', doesn't require regex expressions anymore             ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.0, 2015-08-10                                                                  ##
    ## - The file now checks for the client DNS Cache service and logs a warning if it's   ##
    ##   enabled to ensure you don't run into troubles                                     ##
    ## - Removed the note about the DNS Cache service: It's not recommended to set the     ##
    ##   startup type to "demand" (manual), it will cause issues sooner or later           ##
    ## - Starting from now on, I'll create an executable file (to be found in the ZIP)     ##
    ## - I'll also attach a VirusTotal.com scan to every new release                       ##
    ## --> Please report any Anti-Virus false positive alarms to me                        ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.1, 2015-08-11                                                                  ##
    ## - Fixed issue with wrong $PSScriptRoot variable when using the EXE variant          ##
    ## - Changed the 'release history' to allow better versioning (e.g. version 1.5.1)     ##
    ## --> Note: Older versions still contain two numbers only (e.g. version 1.2 etc.)     ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.2, 2015-09-13                                                                  ##
    ## - Remove every empty line in the hosts file                                         ##
    ## - Changed the Log-Write function to use Write-Host instead of Write-Debug, now      ##
    ##   the entire log will be shown during the script execution (live)                   ##
    ## - Changed replacement method to insert 0.0.0.0 instead of 127.0.0.1 in the final    ##
    ##   hosts file which leads to a much better and faster DNS resolution                 ##
    ## - Future releases will be delivered with additional hosts files, for example to     ##
    ##   block Google ad servers and some Windows 10 hosts to stop this privacy nightmare  ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.3, 2015-10-08                                                                  ##
    ## - Fixed ugly encoding issue, new 'hosts' file will be created correctly now, means  ##
    ##   no BOM (Byte Order Mark) and no UCS-2 encoding anymore, should fix many issues    ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.4, 2015-10-09                                                                  ##
    ## - Fixed duplicate hostname issue, cmdlet Get-Unique allows by default hostnames     ##
    ##   with capital letters (Get-Unique is a case sensitive search)                      ##
    ##   e.g. 'test.com' and 'Test.com' are being handled correctly now                    ##
    ## - Reverted warning about DNS cache service, there should be no issue with the DNS   ##
    ##   cache service because the 'hosts' file is being encoded as a typical UTF8 file    ##
    ## - Added new debug mode, set $DebugMode to $true to activate it                      ##
    ##   This skips the download process, useful if you want to test something without     ##
    ##   re-downloading the whole host source lists                                        ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.5, 2015-10-10                                                                  ##
    ## - Fixed issue with method ToLower (should work with PowerShell 2.0 now), ToLower    ##
    ##   is a method to work with strings only, work around with a ForEach-Object cmdlet   ##
    ## - Added a PowerShell version check, unsupported versions are PowerShell v1 and v2,  ##
    ##   if you start this script with an unsupported PowerShell version, you'll find      ##
    ##   some hints in the log file to inform you about that                               ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.6, 2015-10-11                                                                  ##
    ## - Added again regex patterns to patch table, whitelist should work now correctly    ##
    ## - Debug mode now skips the patch process as well                                    ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.7, 2015-10-17                                                                  ##
    ## - Completely replaced previous regex patterns with one more complex pattern to      ##
    ##   handle hostnames with subdomains, performance increased significantly             ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.8, 2016-01-03                                                                  ##
    ## - Non-public test version only (skipped)                                            ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.5.9, 2016-01-24                                                                  ##
    ## - Non-public test version only (skipped)                                            ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.6.0, 2016-02-29                                                                  ##
    ## - Added function to check for admin privileges                                      ##
    ## - Added routine for automatic apply of 'hosts'-file (admin privileges required)     ##
    ## - Added routine for backup of 'hosts'-file (admin privileges required)              ##
    ## - Added some Skype and YouTube hostnames to the whitelist for proper functionality  ##
    ## - Added new icon for the executable file                                            ##
    ## - Updated the notes (see below)                                                     ##
    ## - Overall cleanup, added region codes for the main script                           ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.6.1, 2016-04-19                                                                  ##
    ## - Fixed wrong script number                                                         ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    ## V1.6.2, 2017-04-25                                                                  ##
    ## - Added Goo.gl to 'Patch Table' and to the default whitelist.ini:                   ##
    ## --> $DefaultPatchTable.Add('\w+.goo.gl', 'localhost')                               ##
    ## - Changed the foreach loop to avoid recreating the object System.Net.WebClient      ##
    ## - Added error handling for the download process                                     ##
    ## - Added routine to correctly check the existence of the original 'hosts'-file       ##
    ## - Removed EXE file because of false positive alarms from many AntiVirus engines     ##
    ## - Added instead two new batch files: '_Run_Admin.bat' and '_Run_User.bat'           ##
    ## - Overall rework, changes many comments and updated some notes                      ##
    ##-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
    9
    FAQs
    • How to execute this PowerShell script?
      Option 1: Run the script using one of the included batch scripts, either the "_Run_Admin.bat" or the "_Run_User.bat" batch script.
      Option 2: Manually run the PowerShell script. But at first, you have to unblock the PowerShell script because it is a script you downloaded from the internet. Once you unzipped the file, do a right click on the PS1 file and open its file properties. Click on the "Unblock" button and you're done. Right click the file and click on "Run with PowerShell".
    • Why do I get an message warning me about an execution policy?
      Microsoft implemented this security feature when they published PowerShell. By default, the execution policy is set to "restricted", which means no scripts can be executed directly. You're able to configure the execution policy as you want. There are several execution policies, you can check them out here: Microsoft TechNet, Set-ExecutionPolicy.
      I personally recommend to change the execution policy to "unrestricted", this means you can execute scripts you created and even those you downloaded from the internet (though you have to be careful what you download and what you execute).
    • How to uninstall this PowerShell script?
      Basically, you just have to navigate to this folder:
      C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
      Delete the new hosts file and restore the original one by renaming "hosts.original" to "hosts" without any extension. After that, simply delete the files you downloaded from this thread.
    4
    A late happy new year to everyone! :)

    I just released version 1.6.3 with a few small changes.

    I'm gradually moving this project completely to GitHub, therefore there's no need for an additional VirusTotal scan. Downloads will be moved to GitHub from now on. Contribution to this project is now even easier. :)
    3
    Thanks for this great tool. Works great but can someone make an .exe out of it? It would be more convenient.


    Hi there, thank you for your reply. I can compile an EXE file out of it, but I expect a lot of false reports from anti-virus applications. I'll upload the EXE file tomorrow.

    Kind regards
    Makorus