Create Custom IE Tracking Protection List

In case one does not have some third party tracking protection tool installed, there is an easy way to create a custom list.

  • First step is to download an existing tracking protection list. Just open IE and go to Tools / Tracking Protection / Get a Tracking Protection List online…
  • Select one list, probably from a vendor you do trust, i.e. Fraunhofer SIT. Why from a trusted vendor? Because it is possible to add a whitelist to tracking lists too. Means if you load the list from someone you do not know, it might happen that tracking is enabled for someone you don’t like to get tracking information.
  • Install another list that might be a little bit more complete. You can see the content by selecting the list in the Tracking Protection management dialog (Tools / Tracking Protection) and click “More information” underneath the address of the list (in the lower third of the dialog).
  • From that dialog, one can copy the list and paste it into a file. Before proceeding, check whether the list contains any “allow rule” – having a +d in front of a domain instead of -d.
  • Remove that list in the IE management dialog.
  • When done, open the folder Users/username/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Tracking Protection. It should only contain one file, having a .tpl suffix.
  • Open that file with an editor and paste your list into it. Make sure no :expires entry is contained. Otherwise your changes might be overridden by IE automatically. Also only one msFilterList should be contained in the file. Then save the file and close the editor.
  • Re-open IE and have a look at the new list. It should contain your settings too now.
  • For more details, see Create and Host Tracking Protection Lists.

    You might ask why not use the sample from the MS description. My answer: it did not work on my machine.

    Drawbacks of this approach: From now on, you have to take care of this list yourself. You won’t receive updates any more (as far as I understand the docs). So maybe you want to enable the personalized list too.