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Can't skip ads on YouTube? Here's why

Get to your videos as soon as possible!

Published onMarch 7, 2023

Smartphone showing YouTube logo stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

YouTube is among the top social media platforms out there, with over 2.5 billion monthly active users, second only to Facebook, which has over 2.9 billion monthly active users. Needless to say, it’s one of the best places for online advertising, and Google has capitalized on all these views with video ads. Most of us don’t mind video advertisements, as long as we can skip them. The problem is that sometimes we can’t skip ads on YouTube. Why is this?

Also: Is YouTube not working? Here are some fixes

Why can’t I skip ads on YouTube?

There are a couple of main reasons you may not be able to skip ads on YouTube. Let’s go over them.

Non-skippable ads

Smartphone showing Android Authority YouTube stock photo on a red background.
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

This is the most common reason people can’t skip ads on YouTube. Chances are you’ve encountered a non-skippable ad. Google introduced YouTube non-skippable ads to most creators and advertisers in early 2019. Before then, only a selected few brands had access to these slightly more annoying video ads.

Non-skippable ads were introduced as a solution to help advertisers give their target audience their entire message. Additionally, it allows creators to get more ad revenue, as they generally get paid more if you watch full ads, or at least 30 seconds of longer ones. Advertisers also get charged more if you don’t skip their ads.

YouTube actually makes it possible for content creators to choose whether they want their videos to feature non-skippable ads. This also used to be a feature only a few channels had in the past.

Youtubers can choose whether to turn on non-skippable ads.Edgar Cervantes

This raises another question: should you skip ads? Content creators (Android Authority included) usually offer most of their content for free. This means that an essential part of their earnings is ad revenue. If you feel thankful for free content and find value in what a creator offers, you might want to provide your support by watching a full video ad occasionally.

That said, the line between fair and unfair ads is a bit blurry these days. How much is too much? This is why non-skippable ads have their limitations. For starters, non-skippable ads are limited to lengths of 15 and 20 seconds, depending on the region. Bumper ads are non-skippable and usually play before watching a video. These are limited to six seconds. This ensures that these ads don’t go on for minutes on end.

It could be your browser plug-ins or extensions

Smartphone showing Google logo on a green, red, and yellow background stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Chances are high you’re using Chrome, which has access to plug-ins and extensions. These are excellent tools, but they can sometimes create issues with browsing and specific websites. Some plug-ins and extensions have been known to create issues with YouTube ads, making skippable ads impossible to skip.

Buggy plug-ins are now harder to come by, but they may be why you can’t skip ads on YouTube. You can try to open the same video using another browser to see if you can skip the ads there. If you can, it means your default browser is to blame. Go into your main browser and start disabling the latest extensions or plug-ins you’ve downloaded.

How to disable Chrome extensions:

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
  3. Expand More tools.
  4. Select Extensions.
  5. There will be a toggle under each extension. Turn it off.

Note: These steps were put together using Chrome version 111.0.5563.65 on an HONOR MagicBook 14 running Windows 11. Steps may differ for you, depending on your hardware and software.

Maybe it’s the actual browser

Brave Browser on computer screen stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There are plenty of reports online of people having issues skipping YouTube ads when utilizing certain browsers. We can’t pinpoint the exact issue, but many users claim simply switching to another browser fixes the problem. You can check out our list of the best browsers to see your options.

Are you using the YouTube app?

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 14
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you’re using a YouTube app, there should be no reason why you can’t skip skippable ads. If you’re running into issues skipping ads, go ahead and try force-closing the app and re-opening it. This often puts all the gears in order and gets things working again. It’s a common troubleshooting technique, so it’s worth a try.

How to force close an Android app:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Tap on See all apps.
  4. Find and select YouTube.
  5. Select Force stop.
  6. Confirm by hitting OK.

Note: These steps were put together using a Google Pixel 7 Pro running Android 13. Steps may differ for you, depending on your hardware and software.

How to get rid of YouTube ads

YouTube ads can be annoying, so we can understand why you may want to eliminate them. There are a couple of main ways to do this.

Get rid of YouTube ads with YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium Inside App Logo
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The official way to get rid of YouTube ads is to sign up for YouTube Premium. This subscription plan offers an ad-free YouTube experience, among other benefits. Aside from removing ads, YouTube Premium also gives you access to YouTube Music Premium. It also unlocks a couple of really cool features: video downloads and Background Play.

Video downloads make it possible to save a copy of videos for offline watching. It’s also helpful when you don’t want to use your data when out and about, and would rather download your videos when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Background Play is a feature that allows you to listen to YouTube content while the screen is turned off. This can help save battery when you don’t want to look at the screen to consume YouTube content.

YouTube Premium costs $11.99 per month for an individual plan, and you can save some cash by going for the annual plan for $119. There’s a student plan for $6.99 a month. Another option is to get the family plan, which costs $22.99 a month and allows you to expand all benefits to five family members.

You can also block YouTube ads

YouTube on smartphone stock photo on a red background
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

While ads greatly help content creators, we are here to give you all the details and let you decide. That said, we have a complete guide on blocking YouTube ads that you can check out here. Download another good browser and see if you can skip ads there.

More: How to create a YouTube channel | Getting more YouTube subscribers


Technically speaking, YouTubers won’t get paid for ads you skipped, as advertisers won’t get charged unless specific parameters are met. Generally speaking, viewers need to watch at least 30 seconds of an advertisement for a YouTuber to benefit from that particular ad. If the ad is shorter than 30 seconds, you should watch the full video. All that said, the content creator will still benefit a bit from having extra views. Popular videos get an extra boost from the almighty YouTube algorithm, which means these videos might get pushed to more feeds, and therefore get more ad views.

Even if you decide not to view YouTube ads, YouTubers have other ways of making money. Referral links, partnerships, and private advertising are just a few. This means your views and subscription are helping the content creator achieve other goals outside getting money from YouTube alone.

Because YouTube Premium gets rid of ads, it makes sense to wonder if your favorite content creators are getting a cut of that. You’ll be happy to learn that part of what you pay for YouTube Premium goes to YouTubers. Of course, how much they get depends on the amount of watch time they get from YouTube Premium subscribers.

Yes. Even if you watched it offline, your view will count.

While there’s little information about the matter, we’ve heard of YouTube banning accounts for extensive ad-blocking software use. This could happen to you, so be sure to do your research and be careful when using an ad blocker.