The Best Ad Blockers for YouTube 2023

Ready to get rid of the ads inundating you while watching YouTube and browsing the web? Check out these ad blockers.
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Best for Personalized Ad Blocking

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On AdGuard Ad Blocker's website

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Offers browser extensions and OS applications
  • Must install on each browser unless using the desktop application

Best for All the Bells and Whistles

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On Ghostery's website

  • Private Browser helps eliminate ads
  • Browser extensions are easily installed if you want to use your current browser
  • Personalization is not as intuitive as other ad blockers

Best for Simplified Ad Blocking

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On uBlock Origin's website

  • Open-source for transparent security
  • Quality content blocker
  • User interface is lackluster

There’s nothing more annoying than pesky ads interrupting your YouTube video-watching experience. Are there actually ad blockers that reduce or eliminate ads on YouTube? Yes, there are effective ad blockers that will remove most, if not all, of the ads you see when browsing or watching YouTube.

We looked at several different ad blockers to find the best options for blocking ads on YouTube and beyond. Overall, AdGuard, Ghostery, and uBlock Origin did a great job at blocking YouTube ads, along with the other ads that pop up during regular internet browsing. What set these ad blockers apart were their customized settings, user experience, and ease of use. So let’s look at the best ad blockers for YouTube.

In this article
The best ad blockers for YouTube
AdGuard: best for personalized ad blocking
Ghostery: Best for all the bells and whistles
uBlock Origin: Best for simplified ad blocking
Ad blockers that didn’t make the cut
Best ad blockers for YouTube FAQs
Bottom line: The best ad blockers for YouTube
How we tested the best ad blockers for YouTube

The best ad blockers for YouTube 2023

  • AdGuard: Best for personalized ad blocking
  • Ghostery: Best for all the bells and whistles
  • uBlock Origin: Best for simplified ad blocking

Top 3 ad blockers for YouTube compared

Ad blocker AdGuard Ghostery uBlock Origin
Compatibility Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera
Features DNS protection, stealth mode, phishing, malware protection Private Browser, private search, whitelist and blacklist functionality Open source, content blocker, advanced privacy filters, EasyList filters
Learn more Get AdGuard Get Ghostery Get uBlock Origin

Unfortunately, all of the ad blockers we found were unable to block ads inside the YouTube mobile app. To minimize ads on a mobile device, you would need to use a browser with an ad-blocker extension enabled.

If you’re using an iPhone, you can download one of these ad blockers from the Apple App Store, and then enable the ad blocker as an extension in Safari. Android users will have a similar setup process to enable ad blocking for their devices.

AdGuard: Best for personalized ad blocking

AdGuard is a great solution for stopping ads when watching your favorite YouTube channel or browsing the internet. It allows you to set up your ad blocker to meet your specialized needs, such as blocking chatbots or removing context-based ads.

Before turning on AdGuard, we were inundated with a variety of YouTube ads. When we tested AdGuard while using YouTube, all of those ads were blocked.

AdGuard offers a Windows and a Mac desktop app, as well as extensions for your favorite browsers. We tested the desktop app, along with the browser extensions in Chrome and Safari, and we saw the same results: no ads.

In addition, we tested AdGuard’s mobile app while browsing YouTube in Safari. The Safari extension was effective in blocking YouTube ads on mobile, but it doesn’t work on the YouTube app.

What we liked

AdGuard offered additional features we appreciated. When you first download the product, you can go through a series of questions to set up things and customize your experience.

An AdGuard pop-up noting that the application has been successfully installed.

We downloaded the AdGuard application on a MacBook Air and the Chrome browser extension. From our testing, it looked like they worked interchangeably. If you turn off the ad blocker from Chrome, it turns it off in the application, too — a nice feature so you don’t have to open multiple things for the same result.

AdGuard’s Chrome extension was effective in removing multiple types of ads, such as pop-up ads and chatbots. We also tested the macOS application when using Safari and saw the same results: no ads. We used AdGuard while watching a few videos on YouTube and were pleasantly surprised not to encounter ads while using the platform. AdGuard was able to remove pop-up ads, video ads, and ads embedded in the sections of videos to watch next.

A YouTube ad embedded in the section of a video to watch next.

The AdGuard app also provides statistics on its effectiveness, which we found both entertaining and enlightening. AdGuard shows you how many ads, trackers, and threats it blocked, as well as how much bandwidth was saved by not downloading those ads.

AdGuard's statistics on the number of ads blocked, trackers blocked, threats blocked, and data saved.

What we didn’t like

We really enjoyed AdGuard and its user interface. AdGuard doesn’t have a slew of fancy extras, but if you’re just looking for a quality ad blocker for YouTube, AdGuard won’t disappoint.

AdGuard has a desktop app, but if you don’t want to install that, you have to install the AdGuard extension on each browser you’d like to use. If you oscillate between Chrome and Safari, you’ll need the extension on both. You can avoid this by installing the desktop app, which is available on macOS and Windows.

AdGuard on iOS is available only while using Safari. It does not offer a Chrome extension that blocks ads on a mobile device.

AdGuard pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Offers browser extensions and OS applications
  • Simple to customize to your preferences
Cons
  • Must install on each browser unless using the desktop application
  • No Chrome extension for mobile

Get AdGuard | Read Our AdGuard Review

Ghostery: Best for all the bells and whistles

Ghostery is full of features to help you prevent annoying ads, browse the internet safely, and more. To use Ghostery on your favorite web browser, you’ll need to install the extension. We installed it for Google Chrome and also downloaded Ghostery for Safari from the Apple App Store. We found the easiest way to use Ghostery was to download its Private Browser.

When using the Google Chrome extension, we were able to block ads throughout YouTube. We did not have to watch an ad when switching to a new video, and there weren’t any sponsored videos showing up in the feed when browsing. We also tested this with the Private Browser, which also blocked all of the same ads.

What we liked

Ghostery’s Private Browser was the most easy-to-use and intuitive product we tested from Ghostery. It simplified having to install different browser extensions and it gave us greater privacy protection with the Ghostery private search function.

You can click on the Ghostery logo on any webpage and instantly see how many ads have been blocked. From this page, you can also tell Ghostery to either restrict or trust the website you are viewing. When using the Private Browser, we also didn’t have to turn on the ad blocker; it was automatic.

Ghostery's Private Browser noting how many ads were blocked.

The Ghostery tab in your browser has a Simple View with easy-to-understand stats and preference updates. It also includes a Detailed View, which allows you to block or allow certain aspects of a website, such as Google Tag Manager. Although the detailed view seemed to add more functionality, it also seemed to be more than your average user needed.

The Ghostery ad blocker statistics in simple view.

When using the Private Browser, you’re also able to eliminate ads in search engine results pages, which allows us to look at search results more organically to decide which to select.

What we didn’t like

Although Ghostery was easy to install as a Chrome extension, it wasn’t as intuitive as other ad blockers. It was difficult to find the settings to customize the ad blocker to our needs when using the browser extension. We also thought it was confusing that we needed to download the browser extension for Safari and other browsers. A desktop application would help streamline this aspect.

If you search for Ghostery as a Chrome extension, you won’t find it. You have to go to the Ghostery website to download the extension.

Ghostery pros and cons

Pros
  • Private Browser helps eliminate ads
  • Browser extensions are easily installed if you want to use your current browser
  • Private search gives you more organic search results.
Cons
  • You must install Ghostery on each browser you want to use it on
  • Personalization is not as intuitive as other ad blockers

Get Ghostery | Read Our Ghostery Review

uBlock Origin: Best for simplified ad blocking

uBlock Origin is an open-source solution to ad blocking. You won’t find as fancy of a user interface as other ad blockers, but if you’re looking for a simple ad blocker without worrying about extra features, uBlock Origin is a great solution. uBlock also offers an EasyList feature where users can specify filtering options for various sites. Blocking ads can have negative effects on websites that rely on ad revenue to survive, so you may have sites you want to keep ads on to help support the business financially.

What we liked

We appreciated the simplicity of uBlock Origin. It’s easy to turn service on and off when directly in a browser. We also saw great results; no video or pop-up ads were displayed when we used uBlock Origin while streaming YouTube channels, and we didn’t have any issues with ads while browsing the web either.

When watching different YouTube channels in Chrome and Safari, we didn’t see any pop-up ads, in-video ads, or other kinds of ads. It seamlessly removed all the ads as we watched.

We also like that uBlock Origin is an open-source platform. Applications with open-source code often give transparency into vulnerabilities that can be found and fixed quickly. uBlock Origin also has advanced settings that allow users to customize the ad-blocking features. However, these are focused more on power users who understand how to manage and change these settings. These advanced users can find the open-source code for uBlock Origin on GitHub.

What we didn’t like

uBlock Origin was more difficult than other solutions when it comes to customizing your ad blocker. Other ad blockers walk you through setting up your preferences or have an easier user interface for navigating the settings.

uBlock Origin doesn’t have the user interface you’d expect. You can customize uBlock Origin’s ad-blocking behavior, but it is easier if you’re more of an advanced user.

UBlock Origin's customization settings.

uBlock Origin also only offers browser extensions, so you will not be able to download an app for your desktop or mobile device.

uBlock Origin pros and cons

Pros
  • Open-source for transparent security
  • Quality content blocker
  • Easy to turn the ad blocker on and off
Cons
  • User interface is lackluster
  • Only has browser extensions, no desktop or mobile apps

Get uBlock OriginRead Our uBlock Origin Review

Ad blockers that didn’t make the cut

If you’re still looking for an ad blocker, here are a couple of options we found that didn’t quite make the cut.

AdBlock

AdBlock is another popular ad blocker. The user experience is a bit lackluster, and we preferred the ease of use of the other ad blockers. Also, it offers only browser extensions for desktop, so you would have to add AdBlock to each browser you use.

After downloading the AdBlock extension, you’re greeted with a screen asking for money as a donation. It even says you can get a refund for your donation if you don’t like the service. We get the idea — pay what you think it's worth — but the design of the page made us want to click out of it before even reading it. It gave “you’ve been scammed” vibes.

AdBlock's optional payment/donation system.

Clario

Clario is another option to help minimize ads while using YouTube. However, Clario offers ad blocking as part of its virtual private network (VPN) service. However, an ad blocker being part of a VPN doesn’t mean it will work on blocking YouTube ads. The ad blockers included in VPNs are there to help reduce malware and other malicious content that can be shared by clicking on an ad unsuspectingly.

Also, Clario has an iPhone app that can also help block ads when browsing from your phone, but only while inside a mobile browser.

Best ad blockers for YouTube FAQs


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Will an ad blocker work on YouTube?

Yes, an ad blocker will work on YouTube to minimize or remove all ads. Good ad blockers, such as AdGuard and Ghostery, work to eliminate YouTube ads.


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Is there a YouTube ad blocker that works with Chrome?

Yes, there are many ad blockers with a Google Chrome extension, including Ghostery, AdGuard, and uBlock Origin.


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Does AdBlock still work on YouTube?

Yes, AdBlock still works on YouTube. To use AdBlock, watch YouTube from inside a browser with the ad blocker installed.

Bottom line: The best ad blockers for YouTube

There are several options for ad blockers if you’re looking to eliminate YouTube ads. We loved the ease of use and additional features offered by AdGuard and Ghostery. If you’re not sure what you want to block, AdGuard does a great job of walking you through different privacy settings so you can customize your ad blocking to your liking. Ghostery also has a Private Browser you can use to eliminate ads and keep your search activity private. Finally, uBlock Origin is another great option to block YouTube ads. It doesn’t have as many features but still does the job.

You can also learn more about other ways to obtain an ad-free YouTube experience, such as investing in a YouTube Premium subscription.

3 best ad blockers for YouTube 2023

Best for Compatibility Learn more
AdGuard Best for personalized ad blocking Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge Get AdGuard
Ghostery Best for all the bells and whistles Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsft Edge, Opera, Safari Get Ghostery
uBlock Origin Best for simplified ad blocking Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera Get uBlock Origin

How we tested the best ad blockers for YouTube

We tested ad blocker browser extensions as well as any macOS or iOS applications that the ad blocker offered. We tested them on a MacBook Air and an iPhone 13. We turned the ad blocker on and off while watching various YouTube channels and we also looked at websites such as Forbes to see how effectively they blocked ads on other platforms. We focused on the following when determining the best ad blockers for YouTube:

  • Ease of installation: How easy was it to add the ad blocker to our browser? How easy was it to install any desktop or mobile apps?
  • Setup and customization: Was the setup process easy? Did the ad blocker allow you to customize how it performed and what ads it blocked?
  • Effectiveness in blocking browser ads: How successful was the ad blocker in limiting or removing ads while browsing the internet?
  • Effectiveness in blocking YouTube ads: Was the ad blocker able to block ads while watching YouTube in a browser? Was it able to block ads while using the YouTube app?
  • Additional features: What additional features did the ad blocker offer on top of ad blocking?
Author Details
Andrew Strom Adams is a freelance writer focused on online privacy and digital security. He writes on various topics to help individuals protect themselves on the internet. Andrew has worked in legal marketing, technology, and startups. He has more than 12 years of experience in marketing and communications. He holds an M.B.A. from Westminster College and a B.A. in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University. When he’s not writing, he’s playing with his two kids or watching reality TV.