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For most music lovers, there is one serious drawback to free streaming services like Spotify: the ads.
We all know how annoying ads are, and many of us are willing to pay good money to make them go away. In fact, most subscription services today rely on our collective hatred of ads to earn a profit — even Netflix announced plans to introduce advertising on its platform to help boost revenue.
But not everybody can afford to pay premium prices for ad-free streaming experiences.
So, is blocking ads on Spotify the answer? To find out, let's take a look at some of the best VPNs and other ad-blocking methods for a Spotify Free account.
How to block Spotify ads with an ad blocker
How to mute Spotify ads with an ad silencer
Other methods for blocking ads on Spotify
Remove ads with Spotify Premium
How to block Spotify ads with a VPN
Virtual private networks (VPNs) establish a secure, encrypted internet connection and protect your online identity by hiding IP addresses. Using a VPN, Spotify listeners might be able to significantly reduce the number of Spotify ads they hear by setting their device’s location to a different country.
Essentially, VPNs trick Spotify into thinking you’re in another country by hiding your location data behind a VPN server that’s located in another country. And some geographic locations may have fewer Spotify ads.
VPNs may also be helpful if you live in a country where Spotify is unavailable, including China, Ethiopia, and Sudan, or if you’re trying to listen on a network where Spotify is blocked, such as at school or work.
VPN apps typically work across all platforms, from Android and iOS to Mac and Windows. And, VPNs come with some unexpected benefits, such as keeping you safe on public Wi-Fi connections, anonymizing online activities, and protecting your data from theft.
Popular VPNs for Spotify
Here are three of the most popular VPN services that also include ad blockers.
We recommend NordVPN as one of the best VPNs available. It comes with thousands of servers to choose from and a handful of security features. NordVPN also comes with built-in ad-blocking capabilities, and it maintains fast connection speeds.
- Loads of servers for multiple connection options
- Works with popular streaming services, including Netflix
- From $3.19/mo
- Limited-time deal on 2-year plan
- Too many confusing plans
Surfshark is a safe and secure VPN that includes an ad-blocking feature called CleanWeb. Surfshark is also quite affordable — it starts at $2.49 per month. So you have access to a full-featured VPN service and an ad blocker with a single subscription.
Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN
Private Internet Access VPN is best known for its affordable pricing, but it also includes an ad-blocking service called PIA MACE. For a reasonable subscription price, you can access both a VPN service and an online ad blocker that could improve your Spotify experience.
How to block Spotify ads with an ad blocker
Many of the best ad blockers on the market today maintain their own rules about which content to block so you don’t have to set them up manually, and many of them offer a variety of categories that you can activate or deactivate for additional customization.
As an added bonus, ad blockers can also help you surf the web more securely by protecting you against malware.
Does Spotify allow ad blockers?
Spotify doesn't recommend ad blockers, so use them to block ads at your own risk.
The company published a policy denouncing ad blockers in 2018, after roughly two million people were discovered using ad blockers on Spotify Free. Since then, Spotify has taken a hard stance against ad blockers, threatening termination of any accounts suspected of using them.
Spotify’s user guidelines note that “circumventing or blocking advertisements or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements” could result in the termination or suspension of your account.
Additionally, Spotify continually releases updates patching any flaws in the code that allow ad blockers to work. So for anyone currently flying under the radar with an ad blocker today, it may not work tomorrow.
How to use ad blockers with Spotify
Still want to try an ad blocker to get rid of those pesky Spotify commercials? Before we introduce some of the most well-known ad blockers on the market today, we should first clarify an important point: how you listen to Spotify may determine which ad blockers you can use.
Here's how to use an ad blocker with the Spotify web player, desktop app, and mobile app:
How to use ad blockers with Spotify’s web player
If you regularly listen to Spotify’s web player on a computer, pick an ad-blocking extension that works with your preferred browser — Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, or whatever you prefer.
However, if you listen to Spotify’s web player on a mobile device, browser extensions only work with Apple Safari and Apple’s iOS 15.
How to use ad blockers with Spotify’s desktop application
If you listen to Spotify’s desktop application on a computer, make sure to install ad-blocking software that works with your operating system.
How to use ad blockers with Spotify’s mobile application
If you listen to the Spotify app on a mobile device, which ad-blocking applications are available will depend on whether you use an Android or iPhone. Today, most mobile ad-blockers only work with mobile browsers, so make sure you know what to expect before you commit — especially if you have to pay.
Popular ad blockers for Spotify
Once you determine which type of ad blocker will likely work best with your listening device, the next step is finding an ad blocker with a good reputation. To help, here’s a list of the most popular ad blockers for Spotify:
Total Adblock works with Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac devices and was developed by the award-winning antivirus company TotalAV. However, Total Adblock only blocks ads on web browsers, which means it only works if you listen to Spotify’s web player.
One final note on Spotify ad blockers: they’re risky. There are plenty of fake ad blockers out there, many of them pretending to be popular ad blockers for the sole purpose of spreading malware. Plus, most of the most popular ad blockers currently available aren’t really ad blockers — they’re ad muters, which we’ll get to next.
A free ad-blocking browser extension with over 60 million users, AdBlock is compatible with Google Chrome, Apple Safari (desktop and mobile), Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Opera.
Because AdBlock works by preventing advertisements from being displayed on web pages, it’s best suited for listeners using Spotify’s web player on a computer. (Or for mobile listeners using Spotify’s web player on Apple Safari or Google Chrome.) As an added bonus, AdBlock is also great for blocking YouTube ads, as long as you’re accessing YouTube via a browser.
For Spotify’s Windows Desktop player only, SpotX blocks all banner, video, and audio ads on Spotify Free. It also unlocks the skip function and has the option to block Spotify's automatic updates.
How to mute Spotify ads with an ad silencer
Because most ad blockers are no longer compatible with Spotify, some listeners have found a clever way around this rule: ad silencers or muters. Ad silencers may be the answer if you’re the type of listener who doesn’t mind long pauses in between tracks. However, it’s important to note that muting ads with an ad silencer may also result in the termination of your Spotify account.
Popular ad muters for Spotify
Here’s a quick list covering some of the most popular ad muters for Spotify:
Touted as one of the best Spotify ad-silencing apps on the market, Mutify is completely free. It works by detecting an ad and reducing the volume on your device to zero.
However, this means you’re still using the bandwidth while the ad plays, and you have to sit in silence as opposed to listening to a 30-second ad. This option is best for iPhones or Androids.
Unlike Mutify, StopAd actually speeds up your browsing experience while silencing ads on Spotify. It’s also free and works on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices. However, as mentioned above, using an ad silencer as opposed to an ad blocker won’t protect you from being blocked by Spotify.
This ad blocker is known for its simplicity, as both an ad blocker and an ad muter. Unlike other ad silencers which can only mute ads, EZBlocker actually attempts to block Spotify ads from loading. However, if unsuccessful, it also mutes the ad until it’s over.
Other methods for blocking ads on Spotify
So far, none of the methods we’ve covered will block ads on Spotify with 100% accuracy.
But before we introduce the best method for blocking ads on Spotify, here are a few other things you might want to try. Though keep in mind some of these might be more advanced, so please proceed with caution.
Changing proxy settings to stop Spotify ads
Similarly to a VPN, a proxy gives the illusion that you’re in a country where Spotify isn’t available. This is another clever, yet complicated, method for blocking ads on Spotify, and there are a variety of free proxy servers available online. If you’re a Mac user, you can simply change your proxy settings in System Preferences.
Modifying your hosts file to stop Spotify ads
This method for stopping ads on Spotify works by blocking Spotify ad URLs in your system’s hosts file, but still enables you to browse your music library on Spotify.
Spotify changes its ads weekly, which means you’ll have to update your hosts file every week if you want this method to keep working.
There’s also the chance that you’ll make a mistake in the process, which can lead to other, more serious problems in the future — like accidentally corrupting your hosts file, which can seriously slow down your internet browser and make you more vulnerable to malicious websites. Fortunately, the hosts file can be restored or reset, but the process may be confusing for users without experience.
Using a music converter to stop Spotify ads
Because Spotify is proprietary and protected with DRM encryption, Spotify music playback is limited to the app itself, which means you can’t listen to Spotify outside the web player or app.
Even with a Spotify Premium account, any audio files you download for offline listening are still relegated within Spotify itself, and you can’t share them or access them once your subscription ends.
Many Spotify music converters claim they legally remove DRM protection from Spotify songs or playlists while downloading music tracks. However, generally speaking, it’s only legal to convert Spotify music to other formats for personal purposes and not for commercial use.
Whether it’s legal or not, this method is unethical — not to mention the fact that most music converters also degrade the audio quality.
Remove ads with Spotify Premium
For most listeners, a Spotify Premium subscription is the simplest way to block ads on Spotify. Unlike ad blockers, ad muters, and other methods for blocking ads on Spotify, Spotify Premium prevents ads of any kind from reaching you (with the exception of ads embedded in podcasts), no matter how you listen.
A Spotify Premium account also comes with a number of other benefits, including the ability to access your Spotify account on all your devices, download tracks and listen to them offline, play any track you want (not just the tracks available on Spotify Free), skip as many tracks as you want, and listen to tracks with better sound quality than Spotify Free.
If paying for Spotify Premium is the only thing holding you back from a better listening experience, remember — you’re not just paying for an ad-free experience.
In addition to paying for the service itself, you’re also paying all the people who help make it possible: the app developers who created and continually update the Spotify platform, the support staff who troubleshoot user issues, the rights holders who distribute the tracks, and the artists who create the content. When you take all that into consideration, $10 a month starts to sound like a pretty good deal.
Spotify prices and plans
Currently, there are two types of Spotify subscriptions available for listeners: Free and Premium. There are four different tiers available for Premium accounts, but all of them will remove Spotify ads.
|Plan||Price||Best for||Notable features||Number of accounts|
|Spotify Free||Free||Listeners who don’t mind ads and want to save some extra money||
|Spotify Premium Individual||$9.99/mo||One-member households||
|Spotify Premium Duo||$12.99/mo||Two-member households||
|Spotify Premium Family||$15.99/mo||Families with children||Same features as Duo plus:
||Up to 6|
|Spotify Premium Student||$4.99/mo||Students currently enrolled at an accredited higher institution||Same features as Duo plus:
Is it legal to download music or podcasts on Spotify?
When it comes to downloading music or podcasts on Spotify, there is some gray area. Technically, it’s not illegal to download music or podcasts on Spotify for personal use and to listen while you’re offline. It is, however, illegal to do so for commercial use – and it’s unethical.
How often will I get an ad on Spotify Free?
Typically, Spotify will play one to three 30-second ads every two to three tracks. However, there are sometimes glitches in the player that cause as many as six ads to play back-to-back.
Every once in a while, Spotify will also give users the option to watch a short video advertisement in exchange for 30 minutes of ad-free listening. But again, there have been instances where listeners are interrupted by an ad within 15 minutes, which can be irritating.
Why does Spotify have ads?
Spotify makes its money by selling advertising placements to third parties, and by selling streaming subscriptions to users who don’t want to listen to ads. In both cases, advertisements (or lack thereof) constitute the bulk of Spotify’s revenue.
Long story short, if you really care enough about blocking ads on Spotify, you should probably just pay for a Premium account. In addition to the numerous benefits that come with Premium plans, you’ll likely never have to think about Spotify ads again.
These days, few things are free. And Spotify ads are there for a reason: to help compensate the people maintaining the app and your favorite artists for all their hard work.
As always, before you make any decisions, check the user guidelines. Where ad blockers are concerned, Spotify simply won’t tolerate them — but that doesn’t mean they won’t work.
Our advice? Use ad blockers at your own discretion, but don’t be surprised if your Spotify account is terminated as a result.