The Best Ad Blockers for YouTube 2024

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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Our Top Pick

4.5
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On Total Adblock's website

Total Adblock
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Featured Partner

4.8
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On Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking's website

Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking
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Featured Partner

4.6
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On NordVPN Threat Protection's website

NordVPN Threat Protection
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There’s nothing more annoying than pesky ads interrupting your YouTube video-watching experience. Even if you use an ad blocker, YouTube has started displaying pop-ups before videos warning users that ad blockers violate YouTube's terms of service. You’re prompted to either view the YouTube ads or pay for a YouTube Premium subscription.

But what if you didn’t have to watch those annoying ads or buy YouTube Premium? Based on our testing, we’ve found that Total Adblock, Surfshark CleanWeb, NordVPN Threat ProtectionAdGuard, and uBlock Origin all blocked YouTube’s ad blocker detection as well as the usual YouTube ads. We’ll cover these best ad blockers for YouTube based on their customizable settings, user experience, and ease of use. 

In this article
The best ad blockers for YouTube
Total Adblock: best for ease of use
Surfshark CleanWeb: best for multiple devices
NordVPN Threat Protection: best for blocking malicious ads
AdGuard: best for personalized ad blocking
uBlock Origin: Best for simplified ad blocking
Honorable mentions
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 2024

Top 5 ad blockers for YouTube compared

Ad blocker
Total Adblock

Surfshark CleanWeb

NordVPN Threat Protection

AdGuard

uBlock Origin
Compatibility Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, iOS, Android Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, FireTV Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera
Features Whitelist functionality, malicious website blocking, third-party tracker blocking VPN, data breach alert, malware alert VPN, malware scans, blocks infected files DNS protection, stealth mode, phishing, malware protection Open source, content blocker, advanced privacy filters, EasyList filters
Learn more Get Total Adblock

Read Total Adblock Review

Get Surfshark CleanWeb

Read Surfshark CleanWeb Review

Get NordVPN Threat Protection

Read NordVPN Threat Protection Review

Read AdGuard Review Read uBlock Origin Review

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 web browser with an ad-blocker extension enabled. Total Adblock also allows you to open YouTube ads within its own mobile app to watch them ad-free.

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. If you're using an Android device, you'll need to download an ad blocker add-on for Mozilla Firefox.

Total Adblock: best for ease of use

4.5
Limited-time offer: 80% off
Learn More
On Total Adblock's website

Total Adblock
  • Remove ads & trackers on YouTube, Facebook, and most websites
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Easy to set up
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites

Total Adblock is a top-performing, easy-to-use ad blocker from the makers of TotalAV Antivirus. It took us less than five minutes to complete the setup process and once it was installed, we found that we didn’t need to do anything else with the app. The extension provides a counter with how many adverts and tracker it’s blocked for you, so you can check in on how well it’s working.

From our most recent round of testing, Total Adblock received an AdBlock Tester score of 100/100. With Total Adblock, you can rest assured that you have a hands-free application that blocks all kinds of ads in the background as you surf the web.

Total Adblock's dropdown browser extension with statistics on total ads blocked, trackers blocked, load times and data saved.

What we liked

When testing Total Adblock with YouTube, we liked that all we had to do was turn the toggle on from the browser extension. Even with Total Adblock toggled on, YouTube didn’t warn us about using the ad blocker, which was reassuring.

You can open the extension on your browser and see how many ads you’ve blocked, trackers you’ve blocked, and even how much data you saved. Ad blockers like Total Adblock can not only give you back time from watching ads but also by blocking those ads from taking up valuable page loading time during your browsing.

With Total Adblock turned on, we were able to watch our YouTube video without ad interruptions.

To block YouTube ads on Total Adblock’s mobile app, all you need to do is open the YouTube video you wish to watch, hit Share, then share the link with the Total Adblock app. From there, you’ll open the YouTube video in the app away from YouTube’s relentless autoplay video ads.

We also like that Total Adblock has whitelist functionality, so you can allow ads on websites if you want to support your favorite content creators. In the Settings menu, you just need to select Acceptable Ads and enter the websites you wish to whitelist.

What we didn’t like

Although Total Adblock’s free version is a powerful tool, it excludes the top 15,000 ads as listed on Alexa.com. This could be frustrating if you’re looking for a comprehensive ad-blocking experience. The free version also prompted us to upgrade to premium with multiple pop-ups, which is ironic considering it’s an ad blocker.

Total Adblock pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy setup process
  • Blocks YouTube ads and YouTube anti-ad blocker
  • Allows for blocking YouTube ads on mobile
Cons
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 ads
  • Annoying pop-ups prompt you to upgrade to premium

Get Total Adblock | Read Our Total Adblock Review

Surfshark CleanWeb: best for multiple devices

4.8
Learn More
On Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking's website

Surfshark CleanWeb Ad Blocking
  • CleanWeb 2.0 blocks all ads, including YouTube ads
  • Unlimited devices to use simultaneously
  • Does not completely hide your digital fingerprint

Surfshark is one of the newer virtual private networks (VPNs) on the market, but it's quickly become one of the top contenders. It's affordable, allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, and it comes with lots of features like CleanWeb.

CleanWeb can block ads, trackers, and malware with a toggle from Surfshark's dashboard.  The upgraded version, CleanWeb 2.0, can also block YouTube ads and cookie pop-ups, and it provides alerts for data breaches and malware. 

What we liked

Surfshark CleanWeb is yet another ad blocker that netted us a 100/100 with Adblock Tester. It boasts blocking intrusive ads, pop-ups, and cookie requests, so we're glad our testing backed up these claims. 

We were also impressed that CleanWeb 2.0 can block ads not just on YouTube but on streaming services as well, even from a FireTV. Once we had Surfshark's browser extension installed, all we had to do was hit a button to turn on its blocking capabilities. It even works without a Surfshark VPN connection. 

We love Surfshark because it's budget-friendly, with its starting price at $2.49/mo for a two-year plan. It also allows for unlimited device connections, so you can block ads and encrypt your connection on as many devices as you like.

What we didn’t like

Although Surfshark has apps for macOS and iOS, we were bummed to find that it doesn't have an extension for Safari. Apple users will need to either use a different browser or stick with the original CleanWeb's capabilities, which unfortunately can't block YouTube ads. 

We're also wary of Surfshark's headquarters in The Netherlands, which is part of the 9 Eyes alliance. Although Surfshark has no-logs policy that's been audited by a third party, being based in the Eyes alliances means it could be forced to cooperate with its global surveillance programs. 

Surfshark CleanWeb pros and cons

Pros
  • Blocks video ads on YouTube and streaming services
  • Perfect ad-blocking score
  • Works without Surfshark VPN connection
Cons
  • No Safari extension
  • Based in a 9 Eyes alliance country

Get Surfshark CleanWeb | Read Our Surfshark CleanWeb Review

NordVPN Threat Protection: best for blocking malicious ads

4.6
NordVPN Threat Protection Ad Blocker
Learn More
On NordVPN Threat Protection's website

NordVPN Threat Protection
  • Threat protection - Block ads, trackers, and malicious downloads
  • Works on multiple devices and browsers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall

NordVPN frequently tops lists of the best VPNs for numerous reasons, one of them being its plentiful bonus features. One of those features is NordVPN Threat Protection, formerly known as Cybersec.

On top of blocking YouTube ads, Threat Protection can block trackers, infected files, malicious websites, and tracking URLs, so you can keep your devices safe from all types of cyberthreats all with one app.

What we liked

NordVPN Threat Protection is more than just an ad blocker; it also blocks trackers and malware. After performing an EICAR test, we were pleased to see Threat Protection pass malware detection and phishing detection tests. It also received impressive ad blocking and tracker blocking test scores. If you’re looking for a product that can tackle multiple cybersecurity needs, then NordVPN with Threat Protection may be the choice for you.

Beyond blocking ads, we like that NordVPN combined with the Threat Protection feature is a good option for a comprehensive cybersecurity suite. With a VPN, you can encrypt your internet connection to make yourself anonymous online, protecting you from hackers and other cyberthreats. Threat Protection scans downloaded files for malware and blocks malicious websites.

What we didn’t like

Threat Protection is great for some antivirus needs, but it's not the most comprehensive. It lacks a standalone firewall, so you'll probably need to buy a firewall separately or even opt for a full antivirus program.  

NordVPN can also be expensive, depending on your personal budget. Plans range from $3.39–$14.99/mo based on which plan tier you choose and how long you want to pay for a subscription. If you’re looking for just an ad blocker, you may be better off with something like Total Adblock.

NordVPN Threat Protection pros and cons

Pros
  • Blocks malware as well as ads and trackers
  • Part of NordVPN
Cons
  • Subscriptions can be expensive
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall

Get NordVPN Threat Protection | Read Our NordVPN Threat Protection Review

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

Read Our AdGuard 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 pre-roll, mid-roll 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

Read Our uBlock Origin Review

Honorable mentions

If our top options didn't draw your attention, then you can consider one of the following ad blocker alternatives:

  • Adblock Plus: AdBlock is a user-friendly free tool that received solid ad-blocking scores during our testing. It also offers a Premium subscription that can block additional nuisances like site notifications, survey requests, and floating videos.

    Read Our Adblock Plus Review

  • AdLock: AdLock blocks most ads with just its free extension, which doesn't sell your data. It also checks potentially harmful links, hides your data, and tracks spyware and bugs to protect your device.

    Read Our AdLock Review

  • Adblocker Ultimate: Adblocker Ultimate is great option for blocking all types of ads. It can block text ads, banner ads, overlay ads, and more.  

Best ad blockers for YouTube FAQs


+

Will an ad blocker work on YouTube?

Yes, an ad blocker like Total Adblock will work on YouTube to minimize or remove all ads, including pre-roll ads, banner ads, and more. 


+

Is there a YouTube ad blocker that works with Chrome?

Yes, there are many ad blockers with a Google Chrome extension, including Total Adblock, AdGuard, and uBlock Origin. NordVPN and Surfshark also have Chrome extensions that allow you to use their ad-blocking features. 


+

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

If you're looking for the best YouTube ad blockers, we've found five great options that can improve your overall browsing experience. We loved the ease of use offered by Total Adblock. Surfshark CleanWeb allows for unlimited device connections, so you can block ads on every device you own. NordVPN Threat Protection provides comprehensive cybersecurity by tackling ads, trackers, and malware with ease. 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. 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.

5 best ad blockers for YouTube 2024

Best for Compatibility Learn more

Total Adblock
Best for ease of use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, iOS, Android Get Total Adblock

Read Total Adblock Review


Surfshark CleanWeb
Best for multiple devices Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, FireTV Get Surfshark CleanWeb

Read Surfshark CleanWeb Review


NordVPN Threat Protection
Best for blocking malicious ads Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux Get NordVPN Threat Protection

Read NordVPN Threat Protection Review


AdGuard
Best for personalized ad blocking Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge Read AdGuard Review

uBlock Origin
Best for simplified ad blocking Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera Read uBlock Origin Review

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?
4.5
Limited-time offer: 80% off
Learn More
On Total Adblock's website

Total Adblock
  • Remove ads & trackers on YouTube, Facebook, and most websites
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Easy to set up
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites
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.