Turn Off Ads on YouTube Videos

Ads that interrupt videos on YouTube are extremely annoying. But they’re put there for a reason – they make a TON of money for Google and its partners. In this video and text tutorial we’re going to show you how to turn off ads on YouTube videos.

A few things to note:

This is an update of two previous tutorials we did on the same subject; both of which were the number one rated videos on the subject on YouTube garnering hundreds of thousands of views and nearly 1,000 comments. We’re updating the video and text tutorial because Google has changed the YouTube settings over the past few months. While the endpoint is the same, the steps to get there have changed slightly and many of our subscribers have requested an update.

Advertisements can only be turned off on YOUR OWN VIDEOS. That’s right. Only you have the power to control your own videos – not the videos of others. This is the most often misunderstood concept about turning off YouTube advertisements. If you want to turn off ads on the videos of others you’ll need to email them a copy of this article so they can follow the same steps.

There are dozens of third-party apps that claim to turn off ads or block ads from YouTube. None of them are licensed or approved by YouTube and in my experience (an avid user of YouTube since day-1) none of them work for very long. Some are actively maintained, so when they break the developers update them to work again – but those fixe are short-lived; and using those apps tend to be more frustrating than the good they purport to do.

Why Turn Off Ads on YouTube Videos?

So if you can only disable ads on your own videos why turn off ads in YouTube at all?  There are some very good reasons:

  1. If you’re not monetizing your site or your YouTube page there is no reason to let ads run. They’re annoying to your viewers.
  2. Ads served math the viewers search preference – not the video content.

Number 2 on the list probably needs further explanation.  Google is smart and it can tell all kinds of things about the person using the computer. It likely has demographic information, location, and search preferences going back months – maybe even years.

Google shows that person ads related to the things he or she searches for – not ads necessarily related to the page he or she is viewing at moment. It’s the same on YouTube since it’s part of the Google ad network.

That means someone who spends the week researching new cars might see ads for Chevy, Ford, and Mercedes even though he spends the next few days looking at real estate sites. That can cause confusion with certain sensitive material.

Here’s a real example we encountered with one client of ours – a church. They were putting copies of sermons on YouTube for its users to view. One parishioner called the church to say that an ad for an adult product was running over one of the church sermons. It wasn’t anything illegal, but it was nothing the church wanted to be associated with. It was very hard to explain to that person the reason he was seeing adult ads was because he was likely searching for that type of material or viewing those types of pages in the past few days.

It can get worse if someone tries to screen cap your video (because YouTube doesn’t allow downloads) and they accidentally screen cap one of those distasteful ads along with your video. Then they decide to repost it and you look even worse because it looks like it was part of your movie in the first place.

Those are just a few reasons we might want to remove ads from our own YouTube videos.


Video Tutorial Remove Ads on YouTube Videos


Text Tutorial Remove Ads on YouTube Videos

Turning off ads on YouTube is actually pretty easy and requires just a few clicks. No kidding – it’s only a 4 step process.

Step 1 – Go to Creator Studio

To start, make sure you’re logged into your Google/YouTube account and visit your YouTube page. After logging into your YouTube page, navigate to your icon on the top right of the page. Click your profile icon and then click Creator Studio.

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Step 2 – Channel Settings

Once your creator studio loads you’re taken to the overall settings page for your YouTube account. This is where you can edit settings for just about everything related to your account. You can to choose CHANNEL – that will take you to settings specific to videos on your channel.

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Step 3 – Advanced Settings

Clicking Channel opens up a list of other settings you can control within your channel.  Here, you want to select the ADVANCED link. It will take you to the advanced settings integrations which is where you advertisement settings are found.

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Step 4 – Turn off Advertisements

You’ve made it to the last step. Here, you’ll have access to all your advanced settings. There aren’t too many so don’t worry. By default, the “Allow Advertisements to be displayed alongside my videos” check box will be selected. You want to UNCHECK that box if you want to remove ads from your YouTube videos.

MAKE SURE YOU SAVE CHANGES before you leave this page otherwise the settings won’t take.

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Why Are There Still Ads on My YouTube Videos?

You’ve followed all these simple steps but you still see ads on your videos and you want to know why. Great question – and this is a source of frustration and confusion for many people. Remember, YouTube makes money (and alot of it) from advertisements. Previously, if your video contained copyright material Google would flag your video and turn it off. But Google quickly learned that this resulted in less profit. So they cut deals with huge copyright holders to allow its users to continue using these videos without penalty for infringement on YouTube. The only catch is – if your video is deemed to have any copyrighted material in it Google can automatically serve ads on your video – regardless of what your settings may be. What makes it even more confusing is that your account will not register as being in non-compliance – so it’s hard to track down the video that might be causing the issue.

If this happens to you, here are a few things you can do.

Make sure your video does NOT have any copyrighted material in it. A brand logo, a few seconds of a popular song, even your own words reading aloud copyrighted material (like from a popular book). Sometimes clips from video games, movies, television, or screenshots of logos or software can even do it.

Go through all your videos for evidence of these things. If you think you are in the clear but ads are still served you can create a support ticket with google and ask them to review your videos and tell you the offending video. But be warned, google support tickets can take months to resolve.

Turn off Other People’s YouTube Ads

Congratulations, you’ve now eliminated ads from YouTube videos on your channel! Remember – this only works on your own videos. To get others to turn off ads on their videos you need to get them to follow these same steps. Share this post and video tutorial with anyone whom you’d like to turn off ads on their own videos. The more people we send this to the fewer ads we’ll see on YouTube!


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Craig Grella

Founder and Executive Director at OrgSpring
Craig is the founder and executive director or OrgSpring, a nonprofit dedicated to helping other nonprofits achieve their missions online. Through tips and tutorials, Craig's goal is show nonprofits how to use technology to become more efficient, grow their list of supporters, and increase online donations.