5 Ways How To Watch YouTube Advert Free (Videos Without Ads)


About 65% of YouTube viewers click the skip button whenever skippable ads appear. Since advertisements typically delay or interrupt a video, it’s understandable that so many viewers want an ad-free experience. But, what are the best ways to watch YouTube advert-free?

  1. Subscribe to YouTube Premium Lite
  2. Use an alternative mobile player
  3. Use an alternative desktop player
  4. Install a browser extension or alternative browser
  5. Find your favorite creators on alternative platforms

As you read through these methods to watch YouTube without ads, remember that many creators depend on advertising revenue to continue bringing you new content to enjoy. Consider how to support these presenters ideally through a paid subscription. (Hint: you’ll save your battery and your annoyance with the subscription service.)

Teenager using a laptop watching youtube advert-free

Subscribe to YouTube Premium Lite

The easiest and fastest way to start watching YouTube videos advert-free is to become a paid subscriber. The video-sharing juggernaut does not promote it much, but their Premium Lite subscription is for viewers who simply want ad-free access.

This lower tier only includes access to YouTube Kids. The remainder of the genuinely excellent benefits are available at the next service tier.

Quick History: Launched in 2005, YouTube disrupted “old media” changing the way creators presented their content and ideas to the world. On-screen talent spent a significant amount of time making a name for themselves first. With luck, a content creator might be discovered. YouTube created a shortcut in the process, giving anyone the ability to find their audience and develop a reputation directly.

To financially support independent creators in their video journey, YouTube introduced their advertising-supported model in 2007. Then in 2014, the company introduced the YouTube Red subscription, allowing viewers to watch ad-free videos.

The full YouTube Premium subscription provides a ton of value to subscribers with benefits like

  • ad-free YouTube Music Premium
  • the ability to download and watch videos offline
  • sharing YouTube Premium with family members

Students can get the full YouTube Premium subscription for a reduced price with annual verification, including the standard free trial period.

Getting a YouTube Premium subscription is the best way to support YouTube creators while watching advert-free content. I’ve been a happy subscriber despite using alternative methods to watch YouTube content.

Teenager in the dark holding a smartphone watching youtube advert-free

Use An Alternative Mobile Player

Alternative mobile app players are available to those who want to watch YouTube content on their mobile devices without using the mobile website or the official mobile app.

Both NewPipe and SkyTube are free and open-source (FOSS) players that stream YouTube video content without pre-roll ads or in-video adverts. Viewers have full access to YouTube with a higher level of privacy.

These two apps also allow you to

  • download videos to watch while you’re offline
  • choose the downloaded format or version, e.g., audio-only or low resolution, to save storage space
  • playback videos at more than 2x (I watch at 2.6-2.8 speed)
  • keep your search and watch history private and off the YouTube platform

When you watch YouTube, the videos and genres you watch the most are recorded and used to determine what your recommended page will look like. Google will also track anything that can be used to decide what videos you’re most likely to consume and put them on your YouTube recommended page. The company collects your watching habits to better model your interests for advert targeting.

Unfortunately, these mobile app alternatives are only offered to Android device owners. iOS device users and those viewers wanting to watch YouTube advert-free on their laptop or desktop device have other options.

Use An Alternative Desktop Player

Most desktop or laptop users watch YouTube on a web browser. But if you’re privacy-conscious, you have options other than going to youtube.com.

Best Web-Based YouTube Alternative

The best alternative web app to watch YouTube videos is Invidious. This FOSS project aims to keep your search and watching history private by federating the software. Volunteers host and run instances of the Invidious software.

Users can

  • select host
  • create an account
  • watch videos ad-free
  • subscribed to their favorite creators
  • make playlists
  • review their watching history

…all without the privacy concerns of the official YouTube platform.

For watchers that aren’t a fan of a browser-based experience and want more functionality, check out a desktop client to watch YouTube videos.

Best Free Desktop YouTube App

YouTube does not offer a dedicated application for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is where FreeTube fills a market gap.

FreeTube offers, in addition to watching videos without adverts, a great way to:

  • Protect your privacy
  • Import your YouTube subscriptions
  • Store your data locally

FreeTube doesn’t track your viewing habits. However, it does allow you to import your YouTube subscriptions to the application, so you don’t need to subscribe to your favorite YouTube channels again. You can subscribe to any new channels you find on FreeTube without needing an account.

Unlike YouTube, the data that FreeTube does maintain is stored locally on your laptop or desktop computer, preserving your privacy.

Install a Browser Extension or Alternative Browser

Most users are now familiar with ad-blocking options baked into new, privacy-centric web browsers or available by installing a browser extension.

These browser-based tools not only help protect users’ data privacy but also allow for advert-free viewing on YouTube,

One of the best extensions for the task is uBlock Origin, which is a free download. It’sIt’s available as a chrome extension for Chromium-based browsers and as an add-on for Firefox. In fact, the developers make uBlock Origin available on most popular browsers except Safari.

This extension gives users control over the numerous background connections webpages make to limit data leaks and restore privacy browsing. This filtering has the side benefit of limiting the display of adverts on most pages, including while using YouTube.

While YouTube is the largest video streaming service, viewers who really want to avoid Google may wish to simply switch to streaming from alternative video-sharing platforms.

Youtube creator using a selfie stick to record video to post on an alternative youtube advert-free platform

Find Your Favorite Creators on Alternative Platforms

Open-source, community-developed platforms have started springing up to challenge the power of YouTube. They provide users with many of the same features without the privacy, data collection, and advertiser-based features that plague the original.

LBRY

One of the most popular of these platforms is called LBRY. This challenger offers both a downloadable application for your desktop computer or laptop and the web viewer, Odysee, allowing you to watch your favorite creators without adverts.

The service has garnered so much attention that many YouTube creatives also publish their content on LBRY. In fact, the project makes it easy to automate the synchronization of video publication between the platforms.

PeerTube

Another popular alternative to YouTube is a federated and decentralized video platform called PeerTube.

Much like Invidious, many instances of PeerTube are hosted by volunteer administrators. But that is where the similarity ends.

Each instance of PeerTube helps store and track where video content is located on a network of other host servers or peers. When a viewer plays a video, the instance uses a web torrent to find full or partial copies of the video file around the network of PeerTube instances. The playback is reassembled for the user on their browser.

While YouTube may be the dominant video-sharing platform, it is not the only one. You can also look for your favorite creators on other video-sharing sites and be able to watch their content with less concern over Google and YouTube’sYouTube’s data collection practices and without viewing adverts. Please remember to support your favorite YouTube channel creators.

Mike Chu

Mike is a web developer and content writer living as a digital nomad. With more than 20 years of devops experience, he brings his "programmer with people skills" approach to help explain technology to the average user. Check out his full author bio by clicking here.