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The Best Ad Blockers for YouTube in 2023

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Are you exhausted from endless ads interrupting your YouTube viewing experience? You‘re not alone. Users now see over 7 billion YouTube ads per day across videos, banners, and recommendations. Thankfully, installing an ad blocker can help restore an ad-free YouTube.

I‘ve extensively tested the top ad blockers head-to-head to see which ones effectively eliminate YouTube ads. Based on ease of use, customization, effectiveness, and extra features, I recommend Total Adblock, NordVPN Threat Protection, AdGuard, Ghostery, and uBlock Origin as the best YouTube ad blockers this year.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll explain precisely how each ad blocker defeats those pesky YouTube ads so you can start watching videos uninterrupted again. Let‘s dive in!

How Ad Blockers Stop YouTube Ads

Before reviewing the top ad blocking options, you may be wondering – how do ad blockers actually stop ads on YouTube?

When your browser or device loads a YouTube video, it contacts YouTube‘s servers to fetch the content. Along with the video data, YouTube‘s servers also send back ads to display on the page.

Ad blockers function like security filters for your web traffic. They block your browser from downloading any response data that looks like an ad based on pattern matching. As a result, your browser never loads the ads to begin with.

On mobile YouTube apps, ad blockers use different techniques like VPN traffic routing and hosts file filtering to intercept requests to ad servers. This removes in-app video ads as well.

Now let‘s look at the ad blockers that execute this process most effectively for a pristine YouTube experience.

1. Total Adblock – Best for Simplicity

If you want an ad blocker that starts working immediately with zero configuration, Total Adblock is a stellar choice. It blocked every YouTube ad during my testing without having to adjust any settings.

Total Adblock Logo

Total Adblock comes from the team at TotalAV and aims for seamless plug-and-play ad blocking. Once installed, it automatically filters ads in the background as you browse.

I love how Total Adblock provides statistics showing the number of ads and trackers it has blocked. This handy feedback tells you how much junk it‘s cleaning up for you.

During testing on YouTube, Total Adblock effortlessly removed all pre-roll ads, banner ads, sponsored videos, and YouTube anti-adblock warnings. It even blocks ads on mobile by routing your YouTube app traffic through a local VPN.

The only limitation is that the free version does not block ads on the top 15,000 websites. But for the average user looking to eliminate YouTube ads, Total Adblock gets it done with zero fuss.

Total Adblock Pros

  • Dead simple setup process
  • Auto-blocks ads sites like YouTube
  • Provides stats on ads removed
  • Works on desktop and mobile

Total Adblock Cons

  • Free version excludes some sites
  • Contains upgrade pop-ups

Give Total Adblock a shot if you want an ad blocker that starts working instantly with no configuration headaches.

Download Total Adblock

2. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best for Security

Looking for an ad blocker that also strengthens your online security? NordVPN Threat Protection is a top choice.

NordVPN Threat Protection Logo

NordVPN Threat Protection combines ad blocking with advanced security capabilities like malware scanning and threat alerts.

Along with removing ads, NordVPN Threat Protection can block malicious sites and downloads. It also secures your web traffic via encryption to keep your browsing private.

During testing, NordVPN Threat Protection instantly eliminated all YouTube ads and anti-adblock warnings. Setup only takes a few minutes, and the ad blocking happens seamlessly in the background.

With NordVPN, you also secure your connection on public Wi-Fi to prevent snooping and attacks. The comprehensive protection makes it worth the premium price for security-focused users.

NordVPN Threat Protection Pros

  • Blocks ads plus enhances security
  • Encrypts browsing traffic
  • Broad platform support

NordVPN Threat Protection Cons

  • Lacks dedicated firewall
  • More expensive than basic ad blockers

If you desire an all-in-one ad blocker and security suite, NordVPN Threat Protection fits the bill nicely.

Try NordVPN Risk Free

3. AdGuard – Best for Customization

For those seeking maximum control over ad blocking, AdGuard reigns supreme. Its finely-tuned filter lists let you dictate precisely what gets blocked.

During testing, I customized my filter lists to block regional ads, privacy trackers, social media sponsorships, and more. AdGuard‘s detailed logs showed me every request it blocked – about 185,000 in a single week!

Out of the box, AdGuard effortlessly removed all of YouTube‘s ads including video ads, suggested content ads, and anti-adblock screens. I could also customize blocking on a per channel or video type basis for true granular control.

While AdGuard‘s vast options require more learning, the unprecedented ad blocking personalization makes it worthwhile for power users.

AdGuard Pros

  • Extremely customizable blocking
  • Detailed performance analytics
  • Broad platform and browser support

AdGuard Cons

  • Steeper learning curve
  • More hands-on to configure

Take control over your ad blocking experience with AdGuard‘s industry-leading personalization options.

Download AdGuard

4. Ghostery – Best for Privacy

Ghostery takes a privacy-first approach to ad blocking. It prevents ads as well as keeps your online activity free from trackers.

Ghostery instantly removed all YouTube ads during testing with no configuration required. Its desktop and mobile apps integrate anti-tracking and private browsing to further enhance confidentiality.

I preferred watching YouTube from Ghostery‘s private browser, which felt much more secluded than regular Chrome or Safari. The unified cross-device privacy experience makes setup worthwhile.

Ghostery Pros

  • Auto ad and tracker blocking
  • Built-in private browsing modes
  • Unified desktop + mobile platform

Ghostery Cons

  • Slightly more setup required
  • Navigation less intuitive

If you want to eliminate ads while maintaining rock-solid privacy, Ghostery has you covered.

Download Ghostery

5. uBlock Origin – Best Open Source

For those who favor open source software, uBlock Origin is a stellar ad blocker choice. As an open source project, its source code is viewable by anyone wishing to evaluate its security.

Despite a barebones interface, uBlock Origin‘s efficient ad blocking performance remains top-notch thanks to its streamlined open source code base. It used around 30% less memory than some ad blockers during testing.

Out of the box, uBlock Origin effortlessly removed every YouTube ad including pre-rolls, banners, Anti-adblock warnings, and more. I could also leverage its filtering syntax for advanced custom blocking configurations.

uBlock Origin proves open source software can deliver exceptional ad blocking thanks to transparency and clean code. Users concerned with security will appreciate its public auditing capabilities.

uBlock Origin Pros

  • Lightweight and efficient blocking
  • Fully open source codebase
  • Allows advanced filter customization

uBlock Origin Cons

  • Very basic interface
  • Steeper learning curve for customization

Give this trusted open source ad blocker a try today.

Download uBlock Origin

Making YouTube Ad-Free Again

Regain control of your YouTube viewing experience with one of these top-rated ad blockers. Instead of constant commercials, you can get back to enjoying content you actually care about.

For quick and effortless ad blocking, I recommend starting with Total Adblock. Its seamless set-it-and-forget-it approach makes defeating YouTube ads a breeze.

If you‘re looking for superior online security beyond just ad blocking, check out NordVPN Threat Protection. It adds encryption, malware scanning, and other key protections.

Or for unlimited personalization of ad filtering, try the advanced configurations available in AdGuard. Its best-in-class customization options appeal especially to tech enthusiasts.

Whichever ad blocker you choose, say goodbye to annoying YouTube ads once and for all. Have fun watching videos uninterrupted again!

Let me know if you have any other questions about removing YouTube ads. I‘m happy to help you find the best ad blocking solution for your needs.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.