YouTube is cracking down hard on ad-blockers. Those of you who use ad-blockers on your web browser or mobile device have likely been hit with the “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube”. The pop-up is a relatively new feature on the platform which blocks ad-blockers from blocking ads. A block for a block in this case.
If you haven’t seen the block pop up for you yet, you’re lucky. As the weeks go by, more and more users are reporting the block appearing even if they have ad-blocker extensions installed. Google is likely reverse-coding the mass number of ad-blockers on the internet to see how they work and to find loopholes for its own system.
If your ad-blocker stops working you can always opt for the latest user agent switch to bypass the system. If you don’t know, a user agent is an HTTP header used to identify the end user when accessing a web page. The user agent includes what device they are running, what web browser they are using and what operating system they have installed.
When you connect to YouTube.com, the site detects this information and serves the experience relative to your user agent configuration. People have now discovered that using a Windows Phone user agent bypasses the ad-blocker system on YouTube.
For a little background – the Windows Phone OS is quite an old system. It existed back in the early 2010s and was installed on a number of phones. Especially Nokia devices. However, back in the day, Google had issues with the platform and refused to license the YouTube app for Windows Phone. That is a tale for another day. Over ten years later, the company’s decision to block YouTube has come back to bite them.
Thanks to the lack of licensing, the user agent for Windows Phone works flawlessly on YouTube.com to bypass the ad-blocker system. At the moment, it seems that because YouTube.com doesn’t have the correct procedure to block Windows Phone user agents from the site, because you know, it was never supported in the first place, the ad-blocker just doesn’t pop up.
So in order to take advantage of this feature, one will simply need to install the user agent file. You can do this by installing the User-Agent Switcher extension in your web browser. Once installed, simply click on the extension and choose Windows Phone 8 as the new user agent.
At the moment, this seems to work on the platform. Of course, it might not last too long so enjoy the freedom while you can. You can watch the tutorial on how to get this working here. Thanks to Twitter user Enderman for the guide.
There are still a number of ad-blockers which have yet to be hit by YouTube too. So keep swapping around between them while Google finds ways to block them.