What to do when YouTube warns you about ad blockers

Watching YouTube with an ad blocker is one of the simple pleasures of the Internet. You can watch videos as much as you want without the constant interruption of annoying, occasionally unskippable ads. But ads are how YouTube makes money, so YouTube isn't too happy when people use ad blockers to avoid them.

Last year, the company started taking a more proactive approach to combating the situation, showing some ad blocker users a pop-up advising them to disable their ad blocker or subscribe to YouTube Premium. The company has since started blocking videos entirely. (That said, even today, I don’t see the pop-up in uBlock Origin’s work profile.) YouTube is far from the first site to post this kind of anti-ad blocker message, but this is definitely the first to make it free Video platform.

YouTube wants you to do the following

Hopefully, when you see this pop-up on YouTube, it will only appear as a temporary window with an (X) that you can click to close. However, you may see a warning that prevents you from watching YouTube at all. At this point, the main thing to do is to eliminate the triggers of YouTube ad blocker pop-ups: Disable the ad blocker.

This isn't great news for those of us who like to keep our ad blockers enabled when browsing the internet. Ad blockers not only keep the web focused and clean, they also protect us from malicious ads. Still, YouTube is starting to block ad blockers more aggressively, and if your ad blocker causes pop-ups that completely hinder your ability to watch YouTube, your options are limited. (It even works on browsers with built-in ad blocking, such as Microsoft Edge, which may trigger YouTube pop-ups when using the "strict" tracking prevention setting.)

However, you don't need to stop using ad blockers entirely. Instead, you can whitelist YouTube, telling your ad blocker to disable itself only on the YouTube site but keep it enabled on all other sites. You can find this option in your ad blocker's settings, or it may appear as a quick action. For example, you can click the power button in uBlock Origin to disable the blocker on the current site, and then reload it to take effect.

Finally, and this may come as no surprise, what YouTube really wants you to do is subscribe to YouTube Premium. An active premium subscription means no ads (and by extension, no ad blocker pop-ups). Of course, at $13.99 per month, that's quite expensive for a site with free content, especially when other streaming services are raising their prices.

How to Bypass YouTube Ad Blocker Pop-ups

There's no reason to believe YouTube will slow down its attack on ad blockers, which means things are only going to get worse, not better. Therefore, any workaround that helps you today may not work in the future, and it's very likely that any ad blocker usage will be blocked at some point.

However, not everyone is coping with YouTube's strict new rules. Personally, I can watch ad-free YouTube with virtually no issues. The only time I got hit with it was last year when I was using Adblock Plus. This seems to indicate that YouTube's strategy is account and blocker based.

However, if your account and/or blocker is being targeted by this pop-up, there are some solutions you can try.

Don't turn to YouTube customers

To solve the browser-based ad blocker issue, my first suggestion is to use a third-party YouTube client that offers ad-free content. Unfortunately, YouTube is also going after these apps. The company is targeting any third-party customers who use built-in ad blockers, saying the practice violates its terms of service for using the YouTube API.

This means that solutions like the Vinegar YouTube extension or the numerous options on Android from NewTube, SkyTube and LibreTube may be coming to an end. That said, if your ad blocker doesn't use the YouTube API, it may be able to resolve these issues. That's why AdGuard says it's not bound by these new policies and that watching YouTube through the app on iOS or Android should still block ads.


Since the ad blocker pop-ups appear to be account-based, one way to fix the issue currently is to watch YouTube in incognito mode with ad blocker enabled. I just tried this again using uBlock Origin in Chrome and it didn't trigger the YouTube alert.

Most ad blockers (and extensions in general) don't enable incognito mode by default, so you may need to dig into your extension's settings to make sure it shows up for you. For example, for uBlock Origin in Chrome, go to Settings > Extensions , then scroll down and enable the toggle next to "Allow in incognito mode."

Try a new ad blocker and/or browser

A simple solution is to switch your ad blocker and/or browser. According to Android Authority, uBlock Origin works in Firefox. Why Firefox in particular is better than other browsers is unclear, but it may be a winning combination for now. That said, I can also use uBlock in Chrome on my work account. We also know that AdGuard is still working. Mixing which tools you use to watch YouTube can make a difference.

Use this filter for uBlock Origin

If you use uBlock Origin and see the pop-up, one Reddit user has a solution: try adding the following filter to your extension:

youtube.com##+js(settings, yt.config_.openPopupConfig.supportedPopups.adBlockMessageViewModel, false) youtube.com##+js(settings, Object.prototype.adBlocksFound, 0) youtube.com##+js(settings, ytplayer.config.args.raw_player_response.adPlacements, []) youtube.com##+js(set, Object.prototype.hasAllowedInstreamAd, true

You can do this by opening uBlock Origin, going to its Settings > My Filters, then clicking on the new row and pasting the above into it. Click "Apply changes" and head to YouTube to see if it works.