How to Watch YouTube Without Ads.
Everyone loves watching YouTube videos—we even have our own YouTube channel—but no one likes watching ads. If only there was a way to watch YouTube without ads!
The good news is that there are many ways to watch YouTube ad-free, each with its own pros and cons.
The YouTube Ad Situation
Before we get into specific ways to use YouTube ad-free, it’s worth briefly explaining the types of ads you’ll see in YouTube content:
skippable in-stream ads non-skippable in-stream ads In-feed video ads Introductory ads Out-stream ads Scale-scale ads
Not every ad blocking solution will block every type of ad on YouTube. However, we are most concerned about the ads that you have to manually skip or otherwise interrupt your browsing experience.
When it comes to sponsored content with in-video ads, no solution can do anything about this type of ad.
1. Pay for YouTube Premium
This is the easiest and most effective way to get rid of YouTube ads. When you pay for a YouTube Premium Individual or Family plan, you’ll always have ad-free videos, unless the ads are placed by the video’s creator.
Not only will the ads disappear, you will also get access to premium video content and YouTube Music. The family plan in particular is a fantastic deal. It’s a one-stop solution for any device you watch YouTube on.
The best part about this option is that YouTube content creators and YouTube itself still get paid for providing the services and content you love. It also means that you are not subject to the tracking that goes hand in hand with ads.
YouTube Premium is our number one recommended method for getting rid of ads, but its main caveat is that you have to pay for the privilege. For iPhone and iPad users, this is the only way to get rid of ads in the native YouTube app outside of the browser.
2. Ad-blocking Apps
One of the very effective ways to block YouTube ads on mobile is to use an ad blocker app. There are several options, but they are usually only available on Android as sideloading apps. Unless you jailbreak your iOS device, app downloads are not possible.
As strange as it may sound, there are third-party apps for watching YouTube. Google discourages this practice, which is why you won’t find these apps in the Play Store.
The most popular of these apps, YouTube Vanced, has already been shut down by Google. Offering a built-in ad blocker and background playback support, it offers the full functionality that you can get for free from YouTube Premium.
And while other apps with similar features still exist, they could also face potential legal action. Open source apps that don’t use YouTube’s APIs or frameworks are more likely to remain functional.
Here SkyTube and NewPipe are the best options.
It is a third-party app designed to offer the “original” YouTube experience before ads become visible. It does not ask for any permissions on your device that are not strictly necessary and does not show any ads.
There is no YouTube proprietary code in this app at all. You don’t need a YouTube account or Gmail address to use features on YouTube that normally require you to sign in. All data required for features such as browsing history or subscriptions to work is stored on your local device.
It is also a great solution for people who use devices blacklisted by Google mobile services, such as Huawei phones.
This open source alternative to the YouTube app lets you control what you see and block videos with views below a certain threshold or a lot of dislikes. In addition, you can blacklist or whitelist channels, filter videos according to your language preferences, and customize the YouTube experience that the official app doesn’t offer.
Like NewPipe, SkyTube doesn’t depend on any Google APIs or code, so you can use it without a Google account, and of course there are no ads at all.
3. Use an Ad-blocking Web Browser Extension
Using a good ad blocker is your best bet if you don’t want to spend money on a YouTube Premium subscription. Most people already use ad blockers on their computers to disable annoying web ads. The YouTube ad blocker works the same way.
You just need to install a specialized browser extension to block ads on YouTube, and then you can continue watching your favorite videos without ads. A good ad blocker can prevent the loading of ads on any YouTube channel accessed through that browser, although its effectiveness may vary.
Most ad blocker add-ons are configured on a per-site basis, allowing you to set permissions on a per-website basis. This is handy for sites that refuse to open if you use an ad blocker. However, YouTube does not yet fall into this category.
YouTube ad blocker
You’re probably already familiar with Adblock Plus for normal web browsing, but Adblock for YouTube is designed to block ads on the streaming service. With this extension, you can block any type of ads that YouTube itself places in videos.
Banners, pop-ups, annotations and ads at the beginning of the video are blocked by Adblock for YouTube. This ad blocker extension works with a filter list of external ad sources. So any ad that doesn’t come from that list of sources will leak. However, the update usually does not take long. User reviews still report that this blocker works, but YouTube has fought back from time to time, temporarily breaking it.
uBlock Origin is an open source, community supported extension that depends on several blacklists. It blocks not only ads but also malicious sites, so it’s a great plugin to use whether you want to block ads or not.
Here are some of the other leading YouTube ad blocking browser extensions:
4. Use a VPN to Block Ads
VPN (virtual private network) services create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a remote server. This is great for hiding your actual location and ensuring your ISP doesn’t know what you’re doing online, but it can also be a way to block ads.
To be clear, getting a premium VPN just to block ads isn’t worth it. There are much more convenient options for the same. But getting a VPN is a good idea if you also want to protect your privacy, hide your IP address, and prevent websites from tracking your online activity.
Using a VPN can hide your location and spending habits, giving advertising algorithms very little to work with. In most cases, this is enough to completely disable ads as they cannot target you accurately.
Some VPNs with good ad blocking features:
5. Use a YouTube Downloader App or Website
One way to avoid YouTube ads is to not watch YouTube videos at all. Several websites and applications on the Internet can “copy” YouTube video streams and upload files to local storage. Then you can watch these videos at your leisure and not worry about ads.
Some applications, such as 4K Video Downloader, can automatically download videos from channels you subscribe to, as well as batch download playlist and channel content. However, downloading such videos from YouTube is against the company’s terms of service.
Methods That Don’t Work Anymore
YouTube ad blocking is the eternal game of kill the mole. As new methods emerge, YouTube comes up with new ways to make this method ineffective.
YouTube Vanced on Android
YouTube Vanced is a third party app that you can use on mobile devices instead of the official YouTube app. It used to be the most popular way to access YouTube without ads on an Android device, but the Vanced project ended in early 2022.
While you can still download the APK file and use the app, it is no longer supported. This means that it will stop working at some point in the future when YouTube changes something and there is no one to update the software. Therefore, we highly recommend using one of the other apps described above.
There are various ways to block ads on YouTube using a dedicated DNS server or DNS services to block any URL associated with YouTube ads. For example, Pi-hole offers web-wide ad blocking using a Raspberry Pi or other compatible computer as a personal DNS server.
To combat this, YouTube has started delivering sponsored content from the same domain as the actual video content. Thus DNS based methods cannot distinguish, blocking everything. This approach is not completely dead. For example, some Pi-hole users have come up with a hostname method to achieve a similar result, but this is one of the most time-consuming ad blocking methods. It’s probably best for most users to avoid this.
Is It Worth the Hassle?
There are many ways to avoid ads while watching your favorite YouTube videos, but should you bother? YouTube is constantly working to make sure ad blockers don’t do their job.
This means that it will take time and effort for you to update or change your ad blocking methods. Not to mention, you may need a separate solution for each device or risk malware from third-party apps. Some methods, like VPNs, cost money. So if you only want a VPN to block ads on YouTube, it makes sense to just pay for a YouTube Premium subscription.
What Is the Best Way to Watch YouTube Videos Without Ads?
For most users, the easiest way to block ads on YouTube is to get a premium subscription. YouTube Premium is affordable, especially since you also get ad-free access to YouTube Music, its music streaming platform.
But if you’re looking for a free alternative, ad-blocking extensions or browser plugins are widely available as free and premium tools.
A VPN is a bit more reliable, but a VPN is designed to protect privacy, not ad blocking, and cost accordingly.
So, make your choice and tell us more about your experience with your choice.
How to Watch YouTube Without Ads
How to Watch YouTube Without Ads