Problems using Google Docs? It could be your adblocker

Google Docs
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’ve found Google Docs to be completely out of whack in the past few days, you’re not alone, and we now know what’s causing the problem. Luckily, the solution could be as simple as switching off your adblocker.

Several users of Google Docs and Google Slides have had significant issues – ranging from botched text wrapping, where words seemingly ran off the document, to text overlapping, which left Docs and Slides illegible.

Google Drive’s product manager, Remy Burger, confirmed on Twitter that the problem was due to changes made by AdBlock and EasyList, adding that “unfortunately it’s out of our control”.

If you’re using the AdBlock browser extension, or one that uses its blocklists, an easy workaround is to either whitelist Drive, Docs and Slides, or simply disable your ad blocker until a more permanent fix arrives.

AdBlock later wrote on Twitter that it looked as though the problem stemmed from one of the primary filter lists on its service and that it was working on a fix.

Later, it asked users to update their filter lists as a solution. On the company’s Twitter account, AdBlock wrote “filter lists update automatically, but you can force it by going to filter lists > update now in the AdBlock menu.” This can be found in the Advanced section of the adblocker's setting's pane.

Other users have reported that using Docs and Slides in Incognito mode also solves the problem, though this is likely because the ad-blocking browser extension doesn’t work while incognito.

The issue also appears to mostly affect those using Chrome, so you can also try opening Google Docs or Slides in another web browser as a quick fix.

Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce Editor

Jasmine Gearie was previously an Ecommerce Editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers find the best mobile and NBN plans. During her time with TechRadar, she also reported on important telco news in Australia, and helped track down tech deals to help readers save money.