Tired of seeing ads when watching videos on YouTube? Not to worry! Fortunately, there are simple ways to disable YouTube ads for desktop and mobile devices users.
Adblock extensions generally work on YouTube, and free ad blocking browser extensions can provide an overall smooth browsing experience. Some adblock users may encounter some ad types. The best adblock extensions will disable annoying ads on your web pages, but not all adblockers are recommended.
So if you want to watch YouTube videos without interruptions from ads, here’s what’s important to know.
Getting a YouTube Premium Membership
This is one of the simplest ways to stop getting ads on your YouTube account. It doesn’t require any additional software or plugins, and it doesn’t need you to consider different devices. Just sign in to your Google account, and you can enjoy uninterrupted viewing on your mobile device, desktop, or enabled TV.
Other benefits of YouTube Premium include:
- Download videos and playlists on your mobile device to watch offline.
- Continue playing videos on your mobile device while using other apps or when your screen is off.
- Access all YouTube Original series and movies.
- Get a subscription to YouTube Music Premium at no monetary cost.
- Enjoy your music on your Google Home or Chromecast Audio.
The downside, of course, is that you have to pay for a YouTube premium membership. And even though the price can add up, a family plan that allows you to add up to 5 family members (age 13+) in your household is affordable for the amount of entertainment available on the platform.
If you want an individual membership, that will be less expensive than a family plan. YouTube also provides a student discount, requiring annual verification. Heads up: the student offer expires when you’re no longer a student.
YouTube Ads Provide Revenue for Creators
Depending on your financial situation, the price may be worth it. However, despite the benefits, getting a Youtube Premium membership doesn’t fundamentally change how YouTube works in terms of your experience as a user.
Although, another thing to consider is that signing up for a YouTube premium membership helps YouTube pay your favorite content creators.
A portion of the revenue from monthly membership fees is distributed to video creators based on how many members watch their content. This gives creators a secondary revenue stream in addition to what they already earn through ad revenue. The more videos you watch from your favorite creators, the more money they make.
But if you don’t want to pay to disable YouTube advertising, what about using something like an adblocker? Or maybe you’re already using an adblock extension, but you’re wondering why you’re still seeing ads?
Why Some Adblockers Don’t Work
We’ve written before about the adblockers we recommend and the shady practices some adblockers engage in.
If you’re still seeing ads in YouTube videos with an adblocker enabled, I’m willing to bet you’re using one of the following adblocker browser extensions:
- Adblock Plus
- uBlock (bought by the owner of AdBlock)
- AdBlocker Ultimate
None of the above adblockers are recommended.
For some adblockers, websites and advertisers can apply to be whitelisted (also known as getting your ads allowlisted), which ensures that their ads will be seen by the viewer.
This goes entirely against the intention and purpose of using an adblocker. People download adblockers for what they promise to do: block ads.
But not all adblockers do what they claim, and those adblockers make revenue by advertisers paying them to be whitelisted.
If you search online, there are many complaints about still seeing ads in YouTube videos with AdBlock installed. The best and simplest solution for users is to switch to a more reputable and reliable adblocker. The support page for AdBlock acknowledges that you may still see ads on YouTube with their extension installed. The basic steps that the page offers are more of a formality than a real solution.
Here are my recommendations for blocking ads on YouTube (and sites including this one).
Best Adblockers for YouTube
The following are free and open-source options to block pre- and mid-roll ads.
Hands down the easiest way to block YouTube ads is to switch to the Brave browser. It’s a drop-in replacement for Google’s Chrome and has versions on almost all devices.
We’ve already given you 10 reasons why Brave is the more secure browser for the average user. The company sent a recent email to creators:
Did you know that Brave blocks all video ads on YouTube?
Recently, YouTube tested an increase of pre-roll ads, forcing people to watch up to 10 unskippable ads before they could see their video. More ads before your videos on YouTube means fewer viewers and less engagement, and increasing discontent with YouTube as a platform.
But, your audience and friends can stop seeing YouTube ads today — for free — just by watching YouTube in the Brave browser, on desktop & mobile. … Brave is committed to making the Internet better for all its users. Help your fans stop these aggressive YouTube ads today…
Email: “Block YouTube ads for free…in Brave”
TEN ads? C’mon!?!?
Added Benefits: Brave will also block ads on websites (including the one you see here) which will:
- Reduce the clutter on the screen
- Increase your privacy
- Give you a little more battery life
I know some people don’t want to switch browsers just to block YouTube ads. In that case, there are a couple of extensions that can help.
One of the best all-around adblockers is uBlock Origin (not to be confused with uBlock, which was bought by the owner of AdBlock).
uBlock Origin is lightweight (meaning it won’t slow down your web browsing) and practical (blocks ads without bias). Be careful not to confuse uBlock Origin with the similar-sounding uBlock, or any other copycat adblocker software.
We mentioned earlier how some adblockers have a practice of whitelisting sites and allowing advertisements to be shown, regardless of user preference. Reputable adblockers, like uBlock Origin, do not engage in this practice.
They also maintain an active blog about their product development and their views on ads and digital safety. They also release informative articles about the advertising industry and remind visitors what they can do to practice good digital hygiene.
Other Browser Extensions
Suppose you’re using a popular web browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome and looking at their available add-ons. In that case, you might be wondering about all the different extensions that purport to block ads for YouTube.
How do they stack up? Can you trust them?
Most extensions are created by individual developers who aren’t well known. While some extensions are made by trustworthy third-party developers, malicious actors may put your security and privacy at risk by using extensions to expose your browsing history.
Here are some tips for assessing the safety of an extension:
- Is the extension from a brand or developer I trust? If not, is the developer’s website, blog, or social media activity consistent with the extension’s features?
- Does the extension have a good rating and positive reviews? Although you can see what users are saying about the extension, it can also be worthwhile doing some third-party research.
- Are the permissions requests consistent with the features of the extension? Does the extension’s website or description include an explanation of why the extension is requesting these permissions?
If you follow these tips and practice caution, you’re less likely to unknowingly download an extension or third-party software that might compromise your digital safety.
I recommend sticking to a proven adblocker, like uBlock Origin or AdGuard Adblocker.
If you do, you’ll be able to safely and effectively block video ads when accessing YouTube through your browser.
Blocking YouTube Ads On Mobile
Adblockers for mobile devices are a slightly different situation.
While you can still install adblocker extensions on your phone for some browsers, it’s not the case for Google Chrome, the default browser for most Android users. Google doesn’t provide a simple way to add Chrome extensions to its mobile browser.
There is a workaround: Chrome uses the open-source Chromium platform for its browsers and other browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Opera. So one way to access Chrome extensions on mobile is to use a Chromium-based Android browser that supports extensions.
But a better solution is to use a more-privacy respecting browser on your mobile device, like the Brave browser (as I mentioned earlier) or the Bromite browser. Both come with built-in adblocking which helps block webpage and YouTube ads.
Blocking Ads On The YouTube App
So if you watch to watch YouTube without ads on your mobile device, you have a few options. We already mentioned that you can pay for YouTube Premium or watch through your mobile browser with an adblocker.
You can also use an alternative mobile player, which allows you to watch YouTube content on your mobile devices without using the mobile website or the official mobile app.
Both NewPipe and SkyTube are free and open-source video players that stream YouTube video content without pre-roll ads or in-video adverts. Unfortunately, these mobile app alternatives are only available to Android device owners.
Nick from The Linux Experiment has some excellent suggestions along the same lines.
Finally, you can also find and support your favorite creators on alternative platforms.
While YouTube may be the dominant video-sharing platform, it’s not the only one. Other platforms provide many of the same features without heavy advertising and data collection.
If you’re curious and looking for further reading, feel free to check out some YouTube alternatives such as:
- LBRY: Allows you to watch your favorite creators without advertisements. You can use LBRY in your browser by visiting odysee.com. LBRY also offers a downloadable application for your desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.
- PeerTube: Another free and open-source video platform. PeerTube uses peer-to-peer technology to reduce the load on individual servers when viewing videos. It also does not rely on ads and does not track you.
This article originally appeared on Data Overhaulers. Read on to learn more tips to help you control your digital life.