Remember the good old days when YouTube only ran a single ad now and then? Those days are unfortunately behind us, and the platform runs more ads than we care to count. The ad revenue is essential to creators, but pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads can feel like too much on a five-minute video. Here’s how to block YouTube ads and get on with your video.
Some of these methods may work better than others, and YouTube will often do whatever it can to get its ad revenue. If you find that one method doesn’t work, it may be time to try another.
How to block YouTube ads:
Use the URL trick to block YouTube ads
One of the easiest ways to get rid of those pesky YouTube ads can be done with a single keystroke. That’s right, you have to add one character to the URL. We tested this method to success when we originally wrote this article, though it doesn’t seem to work every time in 2021. Here’s what to do if you want to get rid of those ads:
- Open YouTube in your browser of choice.
- Find a video that you want to watch, and the URL should look something like this:
At least, these are the steps to follow when the trick does work. Google has undoubtedly come up with a patch to eliminate our little loophole, so keep reading for other tricks.
Install an adblocker
Another great way to block ads on YouTube and beyond is with an ad blocker. This will take care of not only YouTube but also any other site where you might come across ads. You can either add an ad blocker to Chrome or Firefox by using a handy extension, or you can download an ad-free browser to your phone. There are plenty of options to choose from, so it all comes down to personal preference.
Just remember that if you add some blocking software to your browser, you will have to watch YouTube in that same browser. That shouldn’t be an issue for desktop users, but mobile users will have to bid the app farewell. Here are just a few Android-based options to consider:
See also: The best ad blocker apps on Android
Use a VPN to block YouTube ads
One of the more comprehensive ways to knock out ads is with a VPN. In many ways, it works the same as an ad blocker, though you have some added freedoms to enjoy. VPNs help to safeguard your data and browsing history against prying eyes, so you shouldn’t have to worry about targeted ads either.
See also: What is a VPN, and why do you need one?
If that’s not enough, you can also use a VPN to falsify your location and enjoy geo-restricted content. I just used one to tap into the UK’s All4 platform right from my living room in the US with great results.
You shouldn’t have to worry about too many extra steps if you want to block YouTube ads with a VPN. As long as you keep it active, the VPN service should do the rest.
Upgrade to YouTube Premium
Our last method to block YouTube ads is effective, but it will cost you. If you’re tired of the ads, sign up for YouTube Premium. Now, you get more than just ad-free browsing, but that’s a pretty solid selling point. Here are a few other reasons to splurge on YouTube Premium:
- Download videos and take them on the go without data.
- Play videos in the background while you multitask.
- Enjoy extra features and exclusive videos.
Right now, you can get a three-month free trial of YouTube Premium. The service costs $11.99 per month afterward, so it may help to sign up sooner rather than later. At least some of your membership fees will make their way to creators with YouTube Premium instead of the other ad block options.