How To Block YouTube Ads On Android? [3 Effective Tricks]

Ultimate Guide: How to Block YouTube Ads on Android [3 Proven Methods] By [Author Name]


Are you tired of sitting through ads every time you want to watch a YouTube video on your Android phone? You‘re not alone. The average YouTube user sees 11.3 ads per day according to a 2023 study by Tech Jury. That equates to over 4,100 ads per year!

Not only are these pre-roll, mid-roll, and overlay ads annoying, they also waste a lot of your precious time. Assuming each ad is 10 seconds long on average, that‘s nearly 12 hours per year spent watching ads instead of the content you want. It‘s no wonder that YouTube raked in over $29 billion in ad revenue in 2022 alone.

But what if I told you there are ways to eliminate these ads and enjoy uninterrupted YouTube binging on your Android device? In this ultimate guide, I‘ll walk you through three effective methods for blocking YouTube ads:

  1. Using an ad-blocking web browser
  2. Setting up a VPN with ad-filtering capabilities
  3. Subscribing to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience

I‘ll provide detailed steps and screenshots for each method, discuss the pros and cons, and throw in some bonus tips along the way. Whether you‘re a casual viewer or a YouTube addict, this guide will help you reclaim your time and sanity. Let‘s dive in!

Method 1: Use an Ad-Blocking Browser

One of the simplest ways to watch YouTube without ads on Android is to use a web browser with built-in ad blocking capabilities. My top recommendation is Brave Browser, a free, open-source browser known for its privacy-focused features. Here‘s how to set it up:

Step 1: Download and install Brave Browser from the Google Play Store.

Step 2: Open the app and tap the menu icon (three lines) in the top-right corner.

Step 3: Go to Settings > Brave Shields > Shields defaults to set the global ad blocking setting. Make sure "Trackers & ads blocking" is toggled on.

[Include screenshot of the Brave Shields settings page]

Step 4: Now navigate to the YouTube mobile site ( in a new browser tab.

Step 5: Search for and play any video. You should no longer see any ads before or during the video. Enjoy!

[Include screenshot of a YouTube video playing without ads]

How It Works:
Brave uses a built-in ad blocker that filters out ad elements and scripts based on regularly updated lists of known ad serving domains. This is similar to how browser extensions like AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin work. Brave actually uses a fork of uBlock Origin‘s blocking lists.

Other Browsers with Ad Blocking:
Brave isn‘t the only mobile browser with ad-blocking functionality. Other solid options include:

  • Firefox Browser (free) – Supports third-party ad blocking extensions
  • Opera Browser (free) – Built-in ad blocker, tracking protection, data compression features
  • Ghostery Privacy Browser ($5/month subscription) – Blocks ads, trackers, and privacy threats

Pros and Cons of Browser Ad Blocking


  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Free to use
  • Blocks ads on the YouTube mobile site and most other websites
  • Supports background playback (with Brave)


  • Doesn‘t block ads in the official YouTube app (more on that later)
  • Some ad blockers can break certain websites or cause pages to load slower
  • Content creators don‘t get ad revenue when ads are blocked

While a browser ad blocker is great for on-the-go YouTube viewing, you‘ll need a more comprehensive solution to block ads across all your Android apps. That‘s where a trusty VPN comes into play.

Method 2: Use a VPN with Ad Blocking

Did you know that some virtual private network (VPN) services can also block ads and tracking domains across all your apps? By connecting to a VPN, you can not only hide your IP address, encrypt your traffic, and unblock geo-restricted content, but also enjoy system-wide ad blocking on your device.

My personal favorite ad-blocking VPN is NordVPN. They have a feature called CyberSec that blocks ads, malware, and phishing attempts at the DNS level. Here‘s how to set it up on Android:

Step 1: Subscribe to NordVPN and download their Android app from the Play Store.

Step 2: Open the app and log in or create an account.

Step 3: Go to Settings > CyberSec and toggle the switch on.

[Include screenshot of the CyberSec toggle]

Step 4: On the map screen, tap a location to connect to a VPN server. I recommend choosing a nearby server for the best speeds.

[Include screenshot of the NordVPN server map]

Step 5: Once connected, open the YouTube app and play any video. The VPN will filter out the ad requests and you should have an ad-free viewing experience!

Other VPNs with Ad Blocking:

  • Surfshark – CleanWeb feature blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • Private Internet Access – PIA MACE feature blocks domains used for ads, trackers, and malware
  • Perfect Privacy – Built-in tracking and ad blocker (but expensive at €12.99/month)

Here is a comparison table of the best VPNs with ad blocking:

VPN Provider Blocks Ads? Blocks Malware? Blocks Trackers? Price (monthly)
NordVPN Yes Yes Yes $11.99
Surfshark Yes Yes Yes $12.95
PrivateVPN Yes No No $2.50 (2-year)
Perfect Privacy Yes Yes Yes $16.95

How Ad-Blocking VPNs Work:
VPNs with ad blocking capabilities work by filtering your internet traffic and blocking requests to known ad-serving domains. This process happens on the VPN server before the requests even reach your device.

The VPN maintains a blacklist of domains associated with ads, trackers, malware and other threats. When you try to load a webpage or app containing these blacklisted domains, the VPN will block those requests and prevent the ads from being delivered.

It‘s important to note that VPN ad blocking happens at the DNS level across all your apps, rather than the browser level like the previous method. This means you can block YouTube ads in the actual YouTube app, not just the mobile site.

Limitations of VPN Ad Blocking:
There are a couple potential drawbacks to using a VPN for ad blocking on Android:

  1. Reduced Internet Speeds – Because a VPN routes your traffic through an intermediary server, it will likely slow down your connection a bit. However, premium VPNs like NordVPN are fast enough to have minimal impact on streaming and browsing.

  2. Doesn‘t Block YouTube App-Specific Ads – Even with ad domains blocked, you might still see some YouTube app previews and sponsorships served directly by Google, since they aren‘t third-party ads.

Despite these limitations, a VPN is still the most effective way to comprehensively block ads across all your Android activities. Plus, the privacy and security benefits of a VPN make it a no-brainer.

For those willing to pay for a more seamless and integrated ad-free experience, we‘ll cover the final method: YouTube Premium.

Method 3: Subscribe to YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) is YouTube‘s paid subscription service that offers an ad-free viewing experience along with several other perks. Of course, this isn‘t a free method like the previous two, but it does come with some unique benefits.

What You Get with YouTube Premium:

  • Ad-free viewing across all devices (including smart TVs)
  • Background play (audio continues when you minimize the app)
  • Offline downloads (watch videos without internet)
  • Access to YouTube Originals content
  • YouTube Music Premium included

YouTube Premium costs $11.99/month for a single user. You can also get a family plan for $17.99/month which includes up to 5 other users. Students can get a discounted rate of $6.99/month.

Is It Worth It?
Whether YouTube Premium is worth it depends on your viewing habits and preferences. If you watch a lot of YouTube on multiple devices and hate ads, it could be a good investment. You‘re essentially paying for the convenience and improved user experience.

However, if you‘re only a casual YouTube viewer or don‘t mind using an ad blocker, you can probably skip the subscription. Some quick math:

  • YouTube Premium costs $143.88 per year
  • Assuming 5 minutes of ads per hour of YouTube (according to an analysis by SocialMediaToday), a YouTube Premium subscriber would need to watch 2,878 minutes (48 hours) of YouTube per year to make up for the subscription cost in ad time alone.

How to Get YouTube Premium:

  1. Go to in a web browser or tap your profile picture in the YouTube app and select "Get YouTube Premium".
  2. Follow the prompts to sign up for a free trial or pay for your first month. You‘ll need a credit card or other payment method.
  3. Start enjoying ad-free YouTube across all your signed-in devices!

Tips to Save on YouTube Premium:

  • Get the annual plan for $119.99 (a savings of $24/year)
  • Sign up for a family plan and split the cost with friends or roommates
  • Take advantage of limited-time promotions and discounts
  • Students get 50% off the monthly price

If you‘re going to pay for YouTube Premium, you might as well make the most of it. Download videos for offline viewing, check out some YouTube Originals, and enjoy the ad-free life!

Alternative Ad-Blocking Methods

While we covered the three main methods to get rid of YouTube ads on Android, there are a couple other techniques worth mentioning:

  1. Pi-hole
    A Pi-hole is a network-wide ad blocker that runs on a Raspberry Pi mini-computer. By changing your router‘s DNS settings to use the Pi-hole, you can block ads across your entire WiFi network on any connected device. However, this requires some technical know-how to set up.

  2. YouTube Vanced (Discontinued)
    YouTube Vanced was a popular modded version of the YouTube Android app that blocked all ads. Unfortunately, Vanced was forced to shut down in March 2022 after a cease and desist letter from Google. While you may still find APKs floating around the internet, we don‘t recommend sideloading them due to security and functionality concerns.

  3. AdGuard/DNS66
    These are local VPN and ad-blocking apps for Android that filter ad traffic and DNS requests. They essentially create a VPN server on your own device instead of routing traffic elsewhere. The downside is that they don‘t work with other VPNs and can be tricky to set up properly.

Unless you‘re tech-savvy and don‘t mind tinkering, we recommend sticking with one of the three main methods covered in depth above. They are the simplest and most reliable ways to block YouTube ads.


To recap, the three best ways to block YouTube ads on Android are:

  1. Using an ad-blocking browser like Brave (free)
  2. Setting up a VPN with ad-filtering like NordVPN ($11.99/month)
  3. Subscribing to YouTube Premium ($11.99/month)

Each method has its own strengths and limitations. Browser ad blockers are free and easy to use but don‘t work in the YouTube app. VPNs can block ads across all your apps but may slightly slow down your internet speeds. YouTube Premium offers the best ad-free experience but costs a monthly fee.

Ultimately, the best method for you depends on your needs, budget, and how much YouTube you watch. Blocking YouTube ads can save you time, reduce annoyances, and even protect your privacy from intrusive trackers. But it‘s also important to remember that ads support your favorite creators and keep YouTube running as a free platform.

If you do choose to block ads, consider supporting creators in other ways like buying their merchandise, donating through Patreon, or simply liking and sharing their videos. You can also whitelist channels you want to support in Brave browser or most VPNs.

No matter which ad blocking method you use, we hope this guide has helped you take control of your YouTube experience on Android. If you have any other tips or tricks for blocking ads, let us know in the comments!


  1. Will blocking YouTube ads hurt my favorite creators?
    When you block ads on a creator‘s videos, they don‘t earn revenue from your views. However, creators also earn money through other methods like sponsorships, merchandise, and crowdfunding. If you want to support a creator while blocking ads, consider contributing in one of those other ways.

  2. Can I block ads in the YouTube mobile app?
    Browser-based ad blockers like Brave won‘t work in the official YouTube app. To block in-app ads, you‘ll need to use a VPN with ad-blocking or get YouTube Premium.

  3. Are ad blockers legal?
    Ad blocking itself is legal in most countries. However, it may violate the terms of service of certain websites or platforms. YouTube‘s terms of service don‘t expressly prohibit ad blockers, but they do prohibit "interrupting, disrupting, or inhibiting any aspect of the Service."

  4. Can YouTube detect if I‘m using an ad blocker?
    YouTube can usually detect when an ad has been blocked, either by a browser extension or VPN. In some cases, YouTube may show a message asking you to disable your ad blocker. However, they rarely block or ban users for ad blocking.

  5. Do I need a VPN if I‘m only using it for ad blocking?
    While VPNs are primarily used for privacy and security, many premium VPNs include ad blocking as an extra feature. If you‘re considering a VPN, it‘s worth choosing one that can block ads too. But an ad-blocking VPN isn‘t absolutely necessary if you only care about blocking YouTube ads.

Endnotes and References

  • YouTube ad revenue data from Business of Apps
  • Average ads per day data from Tech Jury
  • YouTube Premium cost info from YouTube Help
  • Brave browser features from
  • NordVPN CyberSec details from
  • YouTube Vanced shutdown coverage from The Verge
  • DNS66 explainer from XDA Developers
  • Pi-hole setup guide from Pi-hole docs