- Aug 17, 2017
If you visit YouTube right now with uBlock Origin, or other content blockers enabled, you may have noticed that Google is trying various techniques to discourage you from using it on the site: from detecting the use of ad blockers and showing the ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube notification, which in some cases users can't even bypass without either allowing ads or signing-up for YouTube Premium, to testing Unskippable Ads on YouTube TV.
Recently, it appears that Google has found another way to bypass content blockers. When you visit the site right now with a content blocker, such as uBlock Origin, you may either have advertisement loaded before, while playing, and after videos, just as if you wouldn't be running a content blocker, or not able to play videos at all, as videos appear to load endlessly. The screenshot above was captured in Firefox with uBlock Origin turned on. YouTube did display an advertisement before the video while uBlock was enabled. If you encounter the same issue, you may try the following fix to address the issue:
This removes cached content from the add-on, which may include outdated instructions on dealing with YouTube's attempts to display ads even while an ad-blocker is enabled.
- Activate the uBlock Origin icon and select the "Open the dashboard" icon in the interface that opens.
- Switch to the Filter Lists tab.
- Click on the "purge all caches" button.
- Select the "update now" button afterwards.
When you reload the page after you have followed the instructions, you should notice that the video loads normally again. No ads will play while watching it on YouTube. You may wonder why this is happening and whether it could happen again in the future. The short answer is yes, it may happen again. Content blockers such as uBlock Origin rely on specific instructions and rules. These detect ads and block them. If a site changes its code, it may happen that ads are not detected and therefore not blocked by the extension.
The filters are updated frequently and it usually does not take long before they are updated. It may take some time though before the updates land on the user's system. Purging the cache and forcing an update will speed up the process. Ai-powered content blockers may not face these issues, as they do not rely solely on filter lists, but they should be considered experimental at this stage.
If YouTube is showing ads or not loading videos at all, if you have a content blocker enabled, then you may try the following fix to address the issue.