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How to Stop Certain Ads on YouTube

by Pankil Shah
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YouTube’s free account has ads and not many have the patience to sit through all of them. Usually, YouTube ads are fine, but sometimes they become inappropriate, spammy, sketchy, and annoying. Unless you have a YouTube Premium account, you’re likely to encounter some unsavoury ones. At the time, you might find it awkward to look away while sharing the screen. We’ve experienced the same at times, and we will show you how to stop certain ads on YouTube – if you don’t use the Premium account.

How to Block or Report Select Ads on YouTube

The process of blocking or reporting a particular YouTube ad is similar on phones and computers. Using the block option will stop YouTube from showing that specific ad for your account in the future. However, you may still see other ads from the same advertiser on YouTube.

When the ad you want to block appears on YouTube, tap the small i icon in the bottom left corner of the video. Wait for the My Ad Center window and tap the Block ad option. 

Block a Specific Ad on YouTube

Hit Continue when the Stop seeing this ad dialog box appears to confirm the action.

Confirm Block a Specific Ad on YouTube

If you want to report an ad, select the Report ad option. This will open a tab in your browser where you can specify your reason for reporting the ad. Depending on the reason you select, YouTube may require you to add some details about the report.

Report a Specific Ad on YouTube

Reporting an ad informs YouTube that you find it inappropriate, violent, or misleading. This allows YouTube to review the ad content and take necessary action against the advertiser if required.

How to Customize Your Ad Experience on YouTube

While blocking or reporting certain ads on YouTube is quick and painless, Google also offers options to control your ad experience. You can completely turn off personalized ads or select the topics and brands for which you’d like to receive more or fewer ads.

Open a web browser on your phone or computer and go to My Ad Center. Sign in with your Google account that you use with YouTube. On the My Ads tab, you can disable the Personalized ads option.

After that Google will cease to use your account activities, interests, and other data to display targeted ads. However, it will also limit your ability to control the ads you see, potentially resulting in random, irrelevant ads.

Enable or Disable Personalized Ads on YouTube

If you leave the Personalized ads on, you will see all the recent ads you encountered on YouTube, Google Search, and Discover. Click the minus icon on the ads you want to see less often. Similarly, click the plus icon on the types of ads you don’t mind watching.

Stop Certain Types of Ad on YouTube

From the same page, you can customize your ad preferences based on different topics and brands.

Allow or Block Certain Types of Ad on YouTube

YouTube also offers the option to limit ads on topics you may find uncomfortable. To do this, navigate to the Customize Ads tab and select the Sensitive tab. Then, toggle off the switches next to topics you prefer not to see ads about, such as alcohol, dating, gambling, pregnancy, parenting, and weight loss.

Stop Sensitive Ads on YouTube

Blocking ads on sensitive topics isn’t accurate, according to Google. You may occasionally encounter content from a blocked topic in an unrelated ad.

Why Blocking Certain YouTube Ads May Be Necessary

While YouTube ads are undeniably crucial for both creators and Google, there are instances where you might need to stop certain types of ads. For example, certain ads on YouTube may contain misleading content or spam links that could be potentially harmful.

Occasionally, you may come across inappropriate YouTube ads with sexual or abusive content. This can be uncomfortable, especially when watching videos with your family or on a shared device used by your kids.

Two babies and a woman watching YouTube on an iPad

You may also want to stop certain YouTube ads from appearing on your account because of your personal beliefs. This way, you can avoid supporting advertisers whose practices you disagree with.

Avoid Some YouTube Ads Entirely

While YouTube offers several options to reduce exposure to unwanted ads, these measures may not always be entirely effective. If your primary concern is creating a safe viewing environment for your children, switching to the YouTube Kids app could be a better solution. Alternatively, if you spend a lot of time watching YouTube, opting for a YouTube Premium plan may be the most effective way to avoid unwanted commercials.

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