if you’re having trouble reading Ask a Manager on mobile, do this

I’ve had a handful of reports of people who are getting pop-ups that redirect them away from the site when they’re reading on phones.

I talked to my ad network about this, and they said it’s been happening internet-wide to iPhone and iOS users. Here are two solutions that seem to fix it (these are instructions for Safari but there are ways to do this on other browsers too):

Change your cookie settings
1. Click Settings
2. Select Safari
3. Scroll down and click “Block Cookies”
4. Select “Allow for Current Website Only”

Clear all website data
1. Double-click your home button and close Safari
2. Go to Settings
3. Select Safari
4. Scroll down and click “Clear History and Website Data”
– Note: This will close all of your Safari browser windows

{ 15 comments… read them below }

  1. ThursdaysGeek*

    I don’t use a cell to read this page, nor do I have the problem, but I’d like to say how awesome it is that Alison cares and responds to issues like this. And moreover, that we know it!

    Lots of sites have obtrusive ads, but there’s no evidence the owner cares. Many have ways to provide feedback, but we never know if anyone reads it. Few, perhaps only one that I know of, accepts and listens to the feedback, and then lets the readers know how to deal with issues that can’t be immediately resolved.

    1. Lacey*

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks to Alison for being conscientious about these matters and for working to make it easier for those of us who were having issues!

  2. Meg Murry*

    I’m not having issues with re-directs or pop-ups, but rather with the page taking forever to finish loading (or crahsing before finishing loading) in Chrome on Android.

    This used to only be a problem on things like the open threads, once they started hitting in the multiple hundreds of comments – I think it would choke in between loading the comments and then adding the “collapse/expand” between each comment, and I’d get “Google Chrome has crashed” with the option to wait, retry or report. Usually waiting fixed it.

    But now, on the previous post, for instance, there are only 116 comments – but after loading all the comments, and the collapse/expand option, the loading bar a the top of the screen seems stuck at around 90-95%, like there is one more thing it’s having trouble loading.

    I appreciate all you do here Alison, but it frustrates me every time the answer is “Clear Cookies” or “Clear your history” – because cleaning my cookies also clears all 7 billion sites I have set to save my username and password, and the ones that will fill in the same address info, etc automatically for me (I’ll admit, I don’t have my work zip code or work phone number memorized, and I HATE having to stop and look it up again).

    But basically, I HATE ad networks in general, and I really hope they bring in a crap-ton of money for you given the crap-ton of headaches they seem to cause site operators.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Hmmm, that should have improved in the last week because of a change I made to the ads to significantly limit the number of ads here that can serve video. It should have really cut back on that type of thing. I hate to say it, but the cookies and cache situation might help here!

    2. OldAdmin*

      Firefox (only browser) on my Android phone has a similar problem.
      After loading the AAM page (even with few comments), the chance the browser will crash is about 50%!!
      It is obviously related to the ads – on the same page/blog post, quickly pressing “Stop Loading” (the little x in/next to the URL bar) once the blog is visible will avert the crash in most cases.
      I’ve had this problem on my phone ever since I started reading the blog about six months ago.
      Thus, can only read on normal computer.

  3. Aphrael*

    I tried these steps, but it didn’t fix the problem for me. Every time I load this site, it works for a few seconds, then pops up a notification about winning a prize and redirects me to some site designed to look like Facebook. Anyone else experiencing this one?

      1. Aphrael*

        Never mind – I set it to block all cookies, instead of allowing for this website only, and that seems to have stopped it. I’ll email if it happens again.


  4. Erica B*

    Another situation where I can say my Windows Phone is superior to your phone! lol I have no problems at all look at AAM on my phone!

  5. CreationEdge*

    I’m glad those video ads were changed. They broke my Android + Chrome browsing. It was so bad that it wouldn’t even register my presses on the whole device while the tab was open. This was on a top of the line device and WiFi.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Is it working better for you over the last week? I think it is for most people because I haven’t heard many complaints compared to previously, but any firsthand accounts are welcome!

      1. CreationEdge*

        Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been ill!

        Yes, much better since around that time. Works as well as my PC now, just as before the issue.

    1. lowercase holly*

      the site kept crashing in chrome for me today (on iphone,) but i haven’t tried the steps above yet. so just using chrome is not a fix all.

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