I have a macOS desktop application that I am trying to advertise using a Google Ads Search ad. The application does not work on mobile and it does not work on Windows.

After some research, I have made some bid adjustments and have successfully excluded mobile and tablet devices. Now my ads only show on the desktop.

However, despite stating macOS in the ad, my analytics tell me that I am still getting the majority of clicks (and downloads) coming from Windows desktop users. Is there any way to target only Mac users, i.e. excluding Windows users?

  • 1
    Have you already looked over Google's support page? Is it a Display/Video ad campaign? Sep 3 '20 at 2:44
  • 1
    No, it is a Search ad. However, since it looks like I can do this kind of targeting using Display ads, maybe the way forward is to create one of those. I've updated my question to be clear about the ad type. Thanks.
    – fractor
    Sep 3 '20 at 7:50

It is not possible to exclude Windows or target only macOS. You can select operating systems for Display and Video ads, but only mobile operating systems are offered.

I had a 30 minute conversation with, and multiple configuration attempts by, a Google Ads optimization advisor person, and he couldn't do it either.

  • Whyyyy? You can filter on personal information but not on the browser or OS used. Thats ridiculous... Nov 9 '20 at 0:21
  • 1
    Yep, this meant I had to abandon Google Ads for marketing my product.
    – fractor
    Nov 11 '20 at 8:02

Per Google there are types, it does list "you can target specific operating systems":

About device targeting
For Display and Video campaigns, you can target specific device types, operating 
systems, device models, and ad inventory (spaces where publishers allow ads to run), 
as well as carriers and wireless networks. Some of these advanced mobile and tablet 
options aren’t available for other campaign types.

Computers: These are desktop or laptop devices with screens larger than 7" in 
diagonal. Selecting this option will give you access to all ad inventory that runs on 

Mobile: These are hand-held devices that include a phone. 

Tablet: Tablets are mobile devices that don't necessarily include a phone.

TV screens: These are devices that stream TV content such as smart TVs, gaming 
consoles, and connected devices like Chromecast. This targeting option is only 
available for Display and Video campaigns.

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/1722028?hl=en

  • They offer the ability to select mobile operating systems only.
    – fractor
    Sep 16 '20 at 20:07

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