You might be using block lists by
hosts-file.net but you shouldn’t!
One of the default block lists that used to be included with Pi-hole was
https://hosts-file.net/ad_servers.txt but this is not maintained anymore, which is why it’s got excluded from the defaults.
But that doesn’t mean it will get automatically removed with an update. You have to manually remove it and here’s why:
As before mentioned, the block list is not maintained anymore. The problem is that Pi-hole does retain a cache of lists which it will fall back to when it cannot fetch the latest version of a list; which it can’t because “not maintained” in this case means dead. Don’t believe me? Try accessing that list in the browser.
What’s the problem about having a cached copy? Well…
This brings us to the next point:
Block lists by hosts-file.net were generally full of false positives in my experience, which can cause all sorts of issues. And it’s not just this particular list. It’s no surprise to me that the project now seems dead. The lists were of low quality and full of false positives. If you use any of their lists, you probably shouldn’t. You are better off removing them and trying to find maintained alternatives.
How to remove them?
You can easily do this by accessing the web interface through http://pi.hole/admin or http://<IP_ADDRESS_OF_PIHOLE>/admin if the first one doesn’t work for you. Then sign in with your admin password and go to “Settings” (on the left sidebar) and then go to the tab “Blocklists” and then simply click the little trash icon to the right of each list you want to delete (In this case all lists by
hosts-file.net) and then click on “Save and Update” at the bottom.
Alternatively, sign in to your Pi-hole using SSH and edit
/etc/pihole/adlists.list with nano or your favourite editor, and then update the lists with
That’s all there is to it!
Where can I get new, better lists?
I’m glad you asked! You should check out my article with a collection of list and its sources!