Everyone likes to watch YouTube Videos — we even have a YouTube channel of our own — but no one likes to see ads. I wish there was a way to view youtube without ads. The good news is that there are several ways how to watch YouTube ad free, each with its pros and cons.
The YouTube ad status
Before we get to the specific ways to get an ad-free YouTube experience, it’s worth briefly clarifying what types of ads you’ll find in YouTube content:
- Skippable in-stream ads
- Non-skippable in-stream ads
- Video ads in feed
- Bumper ads
- Out-stream ads
- Header Ads
Not every type of ad blocking solution will block all types of YouTube ads. Still, we’re primarily concerned with ads that you have to manually skip or stop viewing.
When it comes to sponsored content with in-video ads, no solution can do anything about this type of advertising.
1. Pay for YouTube Premium
This is the most direct and effective way to get rid of YouTube ads. When paying for an Individual or Family YouTube Premium plan, you will always get ad-free videos unless the ad is placed there by the video creator.
Not only will the ads disappear, but you’ll also get access to premium video content and YouTube Music. The family plan, in particular, is a fantastic deal. This is a fire and forget solution for every device you watch YouTube on.
The best part about this option is that YouTube creators and YouTube itself still earn revenue from providing the service and content you are enjoying. This also means that you are not subject to the tracking practices that accompany advertising.
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 iPad and iPhone users, it’s the only way to get rid of ads in the native YouTube app outside of a browser.
2. Ad blocking apps
A highly effective way to block YouTube ads on a mobile device is to use an ad blocker app. There are several options, but they are usually only available on Android as sideloaded apps. Unless you jailbreak your iOS device, Sideloading app is impossible.
Strange as it may seem, there are third-party apps for watching YouTube. Google doesn’t exactly endorse this practice, so you won’t find these apps in the Play Store.
The most popular of these apps, YouTube Advanced , has since been shut down by Google. Offering a built-in ad blocker and background play support, it offers the full functionality you can get for free with YouTube Premium.
And while there are still other apps with similar features, they can also face potential legal action. Open source applications that do not use the YouTube API or frameworks have the best chance of remaining functional.
Here, NewPipe and SkyTube are the best options.
NewPipe is a third-party app designed to deliver the “original” YouTube experience before advertising became prominent. It does not ask for permissions on your device that are not strictly necessary and does not show any advertising.
There is no proprietary YouTube code in this app. You don’t need a YouTube account or Gmail address to use features on YouTube that usually require login. All the data needed to boost features, such as your viewing history or subscriptions, is stored on your local device.
This is also an excellent solution for people using devices that are blacklisted from using Google mobile services, such as Huawei phones.
This open source YouTube app alternative lets you control what you see and block videos with views below a certain threshold or with a lot of dislikes. Plus, you can blacklist or whitelist channels, filter videos according to your language preferences, and customize your YouTube experience that the official app doesn’t offer.
Like NewPipe, SkyTube doesn’t rely on any Google API or code, so you can use it without a Google account, and of course, there are no ads.
3. Use an ad-blocking web browser extension
Using a good ad blocker is your best bet if you don’t want to spend on a YouTube Premium subscription. Most people already use ad blockers on their computers to shut down annoying web ads. A YouTube ad blocker operates on a similar principle.
You just need to install a specialized browser extension to block ads on YouTube and keep watching your favorite videos without ads. A good ad blocker can prevent ads from loading on any YouTube channel accessed through that browser, although its effectiveness may vary.
Most ad blocker add-ons are customizable on a site-by-site basis, allowing you to set permissions for each site. This is useful for websites that refuse to open if you are using an adblock. However, YouTube does not yet fall into this category.
You’re probably already familiar with Adblock Plus for general web browsing, but Adblock for YouTube is designed to block ads on the streaming service. With this extension, you can block all types of advertising that YouTube itself places on videos.
Banners, pop-ups, annotations and pre-roll ads are blocked by Adblock for YouTube. This ad blocker extension works with a filter list of external ad sources. Therefore, any ads that do not come from this list of sources will go unnoticed. It usually doesn’t take long to update, though. User reviews still report that this blocker works, but YouTube strikes back from time to time, stopping it for a while.
uBlock Origin is another popular option, but it is substantially different from AdBlock. Rather than just being an ad blocker, uBlock Origin is a broad content blocker including ads.
uBlock Origin is an open source extension supported by the community and depends on various block lists. It not only blocks ads but also malicious websites, so it’s a great plugin to have whether you want to block ads or not.
Here are some of the other leading browser extensions to block YouTube ads:
- Adblock Plus
4. Use a VPN to Block Ads
VPN ( Virtual Private Network ) create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a remote server. This is great for hiding your real location and making sure your ISP doesn’t know what you’re doing on the internet, but it can also be a way to block ads.
To be clear, getting a premium VPN service to block ads alone is not worth it. There are much more convenient options for the same thing. 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 terminate the ads, as they cannot accurately target you.
Some VPNs with good ad blocking features are:
5. Use a YouTube Downloader app or website
One way to avoid YouTube ads is to avoid watching YouTube videos in the first place. Various websites and applications on the Internet can “rip” YouTube video streams and download the files to local storage. You can watch these videos at ease and never worry about advertising.
Some apps, like 4K Video Downloader , can automatically download videos from channels you have subscribed to and batch download the playlist and channel content. However, downloading YouTube videos like this is against the company’s terms of service.
Methods that no longer work
Blocking YouTube advertising is a perpetual game of hitting the mole. As new methods appear, YouTube comes up with new ways to make this method fail.
YouTube Vanced no Android
YouTube Vanced is a third-party app that you can use on mobile devices instead of the official YouTube app. This was the most popular way to get ad-free YouTube on an Android device, but in early 2022, the Vanced project was shut down.
While you can still download the APK file and use the app, it is no longer maintained. This means that it will stop working at some point in the future when YouTube changes things and there is no one to update the software. Therefore, we highly recommend using one of the other apps discussed above.
There are several ways to block YouTube advertising using a custom DNS server or DNS services to block any URL associated with YouTube advertising. For example, Pi-hole offers network-wide ad blocking using a Raspberry Pi or other compatible computer as a personal DNS server.
To combat this, YouTube started serving ad content from the same domain as actual video content. So DNS-based methods cannot tell the difference, blocking everything. This approach is not entirely dead. For example, some Pi-hole users have created a hostname method to get a similar result, but this is one of the more labor-intensive ways to block ads . It’s probably best to avoid it for most users.
Is it worth the hassle?
There are many ways to avoid ads when you watch your favorite YouTube videos, but is it worth it? YouTube is constantly working to stop ad blockers from doing their job.
That means it takes time and energy on your behalf to update or change your ad blocking methods. Not to mention you may need a separate solution for each device or third-party app malware risk. Some ways, like VPNs, cost money. So, if you want the VPN to only block YouTube ads, it makes more 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 YouTube ads would be to get a premium membership. YouTube Premium is affordable, especially since you also get ad-free access to YouTube Music, their music streaming platform.
But if you are looking for a free alternative, adblock extensions or browser plugins are widely available as both free and premium tools.
VPN ‘s are a little more reliable, but a VPN is for privacy protection, not ad blocking, and it’s priced accordingly.
So make your choice and tell us more about your experience with your choice.