How to Block YouTube Ads on Android

Three ways to ditch ads on YouTube for Android

What to Know

  • Block ads by visiting the YouTube website using an ad-blocking browser app.
  • An ad-blocking VPN can block ads from any browser, allowing you to keep your current browser app.
  • For a smoother experience and access to more content, YouTube premium also removes ads.

This article explains how to block YouTube ads on Android, with three different methods you can use to avoid watching ads during YouTube videos on your Android phone or tablet.

How to Block YouTube Ads on Android

There are three main ways to block YouTube ads on Android, including one method requires a special browser app, one requires a VPN app, and one which works with the YouTube app itself.

If you don’t mind installing a second web browser, then the best way to block YouTube ads on Android is to install an ad-blocking web browser. These browsers are available directly from the Google Play Store, and there are a lot of options to choose from. You can either use the ad-blocking web browser just with YouTube, or completely switch over for all your web browsing needs if you want to block ads on all websites.

If you prefer to keep your existing browser, then you can use an ad-blocking VPN app. These apps connect you to a VPN that removes ads from whatever browser you use, so you can continue using the default Chrome browser, or whatever other browser you like. The downside is all of your network data passes through the VPN, which is less than ideal if you’re concerned about security.

If you want to block ads directly in the YouTube app, the best option is to sign up for YouTube Premium. There are ways to block ads directly in the YouTube app, but they require you to download and install third party software and change a setting to allow installations from unknown sources.

At one point, you could block YouTube ads by inserting a . into the URL. This no longer works.

How to Block Ads on YouTube With an Ad-blocking Browser App

The easiest and least invasive way to block YouTube ads on Android is to install an ad-blocking browser app. You can keep your original browser and use it for everything else, but you’ll need to visit the YouTube website using the ad-blocking browser, and view videos using the web player in the browser, if you don’t want to see ads.

Here’s how to block ads on YouTube with an ad-blocking browser:

  1. Download and install an ad-blocking browser.

    There are multiple ad-blocking browsers for Android. This tutorial uses Brave as an example.

  2. Launch your ad-blocking browser.

  3. Navigate to m.youtube.com, and start watching videos.

    YouTube on Android without ads on Brave.
  4. If you see ads, tap the lion icon.

    This will look different in different apps, in Brave it’s the browser icon located in the URL bar.

  5. Tap the slider to turn on ad blocking.

  6. When the slider is turned on, ads on YouTube will be blocked.

    The "Shields Up" feature on the Brave browser for Android.

How to Block Ads on YouTube in Any Android Web Browser

If you don’t want to install a separate browser just to block ads in YouTube on your phone, you can instead install an ad-blocking VPN. This will effectively block ads in whatever browser you’re using, so there’s no need to switch. It will also block most or all ads on other sites you visit with your browser.

This method enables a VPN on your phone. While the VPN is active, all of your data will pass through it, including email, apps, and websites. If you’re concerned about safety, either don’t use this method, or make sure you trust the operator of the VPN you choose.

Here’s how to block ads on YouTube with a VPN:

  1. Install an ad-blocking VPN.

    There are multiple ad-blocking VPNs available. This tutorial uses AdBlock as an example.

  2. Launch the AdBlock app, and tap the shield icon.

  3. Read the warning, and tap GOT IT if you agree.

    Using a VPN to block ads on Android.
  4. Tap OK.

  5. Wait until you see AdBlock is working.

  6. Open YouTube in the web browser of your choice, and watch videos ad-free.

    Steps to take to watch YouTube on Android with ads blocked by a VPN.

How Do I Block Ads on YouTube Android App?

There are a couple ways to block ads in the YouTube Android app, but most of them require you to download and install an APK file from a third party source. To do this, you need to first enable the installation of apps from unknown sources. This is fine if you trust the source of the APK file, but it can open you up to the loss or theft of data, malware, and other problems if you install an .apk from a malicious source.

Without installing a third party .apk to blocks ads at a network-wide level, the only way to remove ads from the YouTube app on Android is to subscribe to YouTube Premium. This service removes all ads from YouTube, gives you ad-free access to YouTube Music, lets you download videos and songs to your phone, and also enables the background play feature.

When you sign up for YouTube Premium, ads are automatically removed from YouTube videos. You don't need to install any special app or change any settings. If you continue to see ads, make sure you're signed into your phone and the YouTube app using the same Google account you used to sign up for YouTube Premium.

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