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Can you still see ads if you have YouTube Premium? Here's what Google says

Google says you might still see some ads with a Premium membership but there's a reason for it.
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Published onNovember 13, 2023

YouTube’s recent sweeping ban on ad blockers is a hot topic of debate these days. On one hand, there are folks who refuse to break under Google’s pressure and sign up for an ad-free YouTube experience, and on the other, there are people who swear by YouTube Premium and recommend getting a subscription for the best experience on the platform. But what if you sign up for YouTube Premium and still see ads? Well, let us tell you that this is very much possible.

Why do you see ads on YouTube Premium?

As reported by this recent Reddit post and many others over the years, there might be times you see ads on YouTube Premium. Yes, it defeats the purpose of paying for a completely ad-free experience, but YouTube has a reason for why this may be happening to you.

YouTube says a Premium account offers an interruption-free experience from ads before and during a video, including video overlay ads, third-party banner ads, and search ads. However, there are still some ads you may end up seeing with a Premium plan.

“You may still see branding or promotions embedded in the content by the creator, as well as promotional links, shelves, and features in and around the content that are added or enabled by the creator. These links, shelves, and features could be for their website, merchandise, membership to their channel, event tickets, or other related destinations that they are promoting,” YouTube notes on its support page.

Sometimes, you may also see info cards or annotations in a video and mistake them for an ad. YouTube says creators can include these cards in their videos, but they are not ads.

What should you do if you see ads on YouTube Premium?

If you still see genuine ads on YouTube Premium that are not embedded by creators or are not cards and annotations, you might be experiencing a glitch. Multiple users have noted this behavior in YouTube Premium, and it apparently resolves on its own. YouTube has its own set of recommendations to resolve the problem.

Check if you’re using an incognito window:

YouTube Premium only works when you’re signed into the platform. If you’re using or watching a video outside of the YouTube app, you may not be signed in and, as a result, may see ads.

Check if you’ve blocked YouTube cookies

If you’re watching a YouTube video embedded on a website, you must ensure you’re not blocking YouTube cookies. You can follow the steps below to unblock YouTube cookies.

  • On a computer, open Google Chrome.
  • At the top right, select Menu > Settings.
  • Under the “Privacy and Security” section, select Site Settings.
  • Under “Permissions,” select Cookies and Site Data.
  • Under “Sites that can always use cookies,” click Add.
  • Create an exception for “[*.]youtube.com.”
  • To the right, select Close.

Check that your membership hasn’t expired

Another common and obvious reason for getting ads on YouTube Premium is if your membership has expired. In the YouTube app, tap your profile photo and then Paid memberships and scroll down to Manage.

Try to sign in to YouTube Premium again

Like we said before, sometimes seeing ads in YouTube Premium could just be a glitch. You can try signing out and signing back into your account to resolve the problem. Check for the YouTube Premium logo (instead of the YouTube logo) in YouTube. Note that if you’re watching YouTube in another app, you may see ads. Google says some apps display YouTube videos in a lightweight browser rather than the YouTube app. To avoid seeing ads, log into the account associated with your YouTube Premium membership in the lightweight browser.