YouTube hates ad blockers so much, it's started skipping and muting videos (Update: Statement)

YouTube Premium app on smartphone stock photo (1)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

In short

  • YouTube has started to disable skipping of videos for users trying to access the service with an active ad blocker. If you avoid skipping the video, YouTube also mutes the video.
  • Users report success in bypassing these measures with various ad blockers, but we recommend exploring YouTube Premium as a hassle-free solution.

Update: May 29, 2024 (05:42 am ET): We asked YouTube for a statement in this regard and a YouTube spokesperson provided us with the following:

Ad blockers violate YouTube's Terms of Service, and we've been urging users for some time to support their favorite creators and allow ads to appear on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. An unrelated effort to improve YouTube's performance and reliability may result in a weakened viewing experience for ad blocker users.

According to the statement, YouTube is not intentionally trying to annoy ad blocker users with this new move, but rather these users are facing trouble due to performance-related updates.

Original article: May 28, 2024 (02:37 AM ET): YouTube has been fighting ad blockers for a while now, advising users to either subscribe to YouTube Premium or turn off their ad blocker and make peace with the platform's ever-increasing ads. The platform has employed a variety of tricks to persuade more users to switch to proper means of monetization, such as slowing down, countdown clocks, and more. YouTube's latest move against adblockers is to skip videos altogether and even mute their audio.

Reddit user SDHD4K has shared YouTube's latest tactic against ad blockers. If you have an ad blocker enabled, playing a video will take you straight to the end of it, and skip playback entirely.

As you can see, if you have an ad blocker enabled, YouTube doesn’t allow you to play the video and enjoy the content.

Other users in the Reddit thread mentioned that they too experience audio loss when they use an ad blocker on YouTube. They can adjust the volume slider to bring back the audio, but as soon as you release the slider, it gets muted again. So, if you manage to avoid skipping the video, you will get an audio-less video experience.

Youtube Ad Blocker

Blocking ad blockers is a cat-and-mouse game, although this issue appears to affect Adblock Plus for the most part. Some ad blockers have already implemented workarounds for this problem. Users report that uBlock Origin works well on Firefox and Brave, while others prefer the Opera GX browser or alternative clients like FreeTube.

Are you happy with the state of YouTube in 2024?

13900 votes

Still, we strongly recommend users to try YouTube Premium as an alternative. I admit that the ad experience on YouTube has gotten worse in recent months, with many long, unskippable ads. Given how much my family uses YouTube, we are evaluating whether it makes sense to get a YouTube Premium Family subscription and enjoy YouTube Music with it.

We have asked YouTube for a statement on this issue. We will update this article when we receive a response from them.

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