Whether you’re a regular YouTube user or a casual one, you likely have one big complaint: the ads. While YouTube can be a handy way to find video content, the influx of ads can be intrusive and annoying — especially the ones that start playing in the middle of what you’re watching.
Maybe you’re browsing videos on YouTube for fun, or perhaps to learn something. Tap or click here to watch these 35 educational documentaries from Netflix for free on YouTube.
No matter the reason, there’s actually a secret way to cut down on those ads. Not just that, but it’s a simple trick that doesn’t require you to install any software or extensions. Keep reading and we’ll tell you how.
How to quickly and easily block YouTube ads
Now let’s get to the good stuff. To block YouTube ads, all you need to do is look at the URL on the video you’re trying to stream and then add one character — a period — at the end of said URL. That’s literally it.
For example, let’s say you were trying to watch The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHI8X4OXluQ). Chances are you’ll find that it won’t play without forcing you to watch at least part of an ad beforehand.
But once you add a period at the end of the original URL (https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=fHI8X4OXluQ), no more ads.
This hack works for all types of videos available on YouTube as long as you’re on the desktop or mobile site in your browser. You’re out of luck on the YouTube app.
Wait, so how does this work?
This hack is so simple that you might be wondering how on earth it could possibly work. Well, it turns out that adding a period causes there to be no host name match, which in turn “breaks” the page in a way that still allows the video to play but removes the ads.
It doesn’t just stop the pre-roll ads, either — it also breaks the ones that pop up in the middle of a YouTube video. It also blocks cookies, making this trick especially handy if you want to keep YouTube from tracking the content you’re watching.
The downside is that you’ll have to add the period to each URL, but the option to watch without ads and without installing anything is pretty sweet either way.
And you might as well take advantage of it while you can. Google is no doubt aware of this workaround and will likely patch it at some point.