How to disable ads in Skype [updated for recent versions]

Previously, we covered a number of tricks to get rid of Skype ads. Since then, Skype has been updated. Here is an extended version of the tutorial with additional info applicable to the recent Skype version.

Our previous article "How to disable ads in Skype's chat window" comes with all the required information to disable ads in Skype's chat window. However, in version 7 Skype continues to show a placeholder in place of ads. In this article, we will see how to block ads and remove the placeholder in Skype 7 and above.
This is how Skype 7 looks like out-of-the-box:
Skype default look with ads
When maximized, it shows even more ads:Skype with ads maximized

Disable Skype ads

To disable them, do the following.

  1. Go to Control Panel (see all ways to open Control Panel).
  2. Locate and open Control Panel\Network and Internet\Internet Options item.
    Internet Options
  3. Switch to the Security tab.
  4. Click on the 'Restricted sites' icon and click the Sites button:
    Security tabThe 'Restricted sites' dialog will appear on the screen.
  5. Type the following into the text box and then press the Add button:
  6. Close Internet Options and restart Skype.

You are done. There is a side effect of this trick. Skype's "Home" page will be disabled too:Skype broken home

However, this is not an issue, since it is useless and does not provide any particularly useful feature. All the other features of Skype work as expected.

Now, instead of ads, Skype shows empty placeholders. Here is how it looks when Skype is maximized:Skype ads placeholder 1

Here is the normal window:Skype ads placeholder 2

Remove Skype ad placeholders

To get rid of ad placeholders, do the following.

  1. Quit Skype.
  2. Open your Skype profile folder. It can be accessed by pressing Win + R hotkeys and typing the following in the Run box:

    Open skype profile folder

  3. Locate the folder with your profile ID. In my case it is "Sergey.Tkachenko":Skype profile folder
  4. Inside that folder, you will find a file called config.xml. Open it with Notepad:Skype config xml
  5. Find the line which contains this text:
  6. Change its value from this:

    to this:


Skype disable ads placeholdersYou are done! Now ad placeholders will disappear. Skype no ads placeholder 1 Skype no ads placeholder 2Enjoy your ad-free Skype. Note that when Skype is updated, this file might be overwritten and you may have to do this trick again. So bookmark this page for future reference.

62 thoughts on “How to disable ads in Skype [updated for recent versions]

  1. Spectre

    What if your Skype never had ads or blank placeholders?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Then you are a Linux user, where Skype has no ads :)

      1. Spectre

        I use Windows 7 64bit though. I guess i’m special.

        1. Leif Rebel

          You must be the luckiest man walking the planet!

          1. Weird Person

            Just installed latest Skype on Win7_64. I too don’t have any advert place holders in Skype to begin with. The confix.xml does not have any advert related settings either.

            Looks like Microsoft removed advertisements from Skype altogether!

          2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

            Great to hear.

    2. Alex

      Second possible reason – you have some money on Skype account. If so – no ads will be present in program.

  2. jack

    great and valuable tutorial.
    again thanks for the info.


    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

  3. David H Johnson

    If you put in restricted sites BEFORE installing Skype you will also have no place holders.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Ah, good to know.
      Thank you for the information, David.

  4. Lew

    When I put the address into the site list and restart Skype, I get the swirling blue ball and it doesn’t load. I’ve tried twice!

    1. Lew

      Let me reply to myself, in case anyone else is confused about this. It’s supposed to do that!! That’s what Sergey meant when he wrote that: ‘Skype’s “Home” page will be disabled too’.

      Awesome, Sergey! Thanks!!!

      1. steve

        Now we have to stare at the never-ending swirl of blue? That sucks. How can we make that blue circling piece of s go away?

        1. Doot

          Opening a chat as if you were actually using the application? Under normal use it’d be hard to remember it’s there…

  5. maddox

    I have Skype v7.25.85.106 running on windows 7_x64.
    The config file you mentioned in this article does not have an “advertplaceholder” entry yet I do have ads in my skype client.
    Any other steps I can take?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      At least you can block the mentioned web site to disable ads.

  6. Passerby

    Many thanks Sergey!
    Very useful info indeed,

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

  7. Lage

    Not working anymore.

  8. Andrea

    You are my saviour! Some ads were slowing down Skype so much I couldn’t even type!
    Thank a million

  9. John

    I have Skype v7.26.0.101 running on windows 7_x64.
    I have a very annoying add that is center screen all the time.
    I changed the config.xml but that did not fix it.
    If I add “” to the internet security “Restricted sites” then Skype stalls on startup (i.e. the spinning wait symbol just spins forever.)
    Any other steps I can take?

  10. BigGunn

    This no longer works. If I place in the restricted lists, I can’t send or receive pictures. And when I edit that line in the config, it resets itself the next time Skype loads.

    1. M_Dog

      I found this too. I never added anything to Blocked sites but I found a way to at least disable the ads:

      I am running Windows 10 Crap-a-versary edition with latest Skype Desktop App.

      What I did was shut down skype FIRST (IMPORTANT!), open config.xml, find the following parameters and set them to 0

      Then change the properties on config.xml file to Read Only

      Then start skype…. now have blank placeholders. Would be nice if they were gone completely but hey, blank is better than nothing.

      I may try adding url to blocked sites, THEN install skype, THEN set paramters to 0…. hmmmm

      1. M_Dog

        sorry it truncated part of the post.. the parameters are




  11. M_Dog

    Here is the method to disable Adverts AND remove the advert container! Sadly you will still get the blue spinning circle in “Home” when you start up skype but if it bugs you, just click on any contact and home screen will be replaced with that convo.

    1. Make sure skype is UNINSTALLED.

    2. Add to Restricted sites in IE (as above)

    3. Install Skype

    4. Exit Skype completely (right click > quit)

    5. Open config.xml found in \users\ #username # \appdata\skype

    6. Find the parameters and set them to 0:-

    7. Save and close the file, then right click on it, Properties, select Read Only.

    8. Open Skype.. you should no longer see Ads OR placeholders.

    1. Steve

      That worked. I didn’t even need to uninstall Skype first (just exited it).

      My config.xml file was in a slightly different place:

      C:\Users\[windows username]\AppData\Roaming\Skype\[skypeusername]

      Many thanks!

  12. Pavel

    Thank you very much, Sergey!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

  13. venky

    thank you bro its working

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome

  14. Joe

    It work. Thanks Man!

  15. Sam Lien

    Thank You So Much you saved my life~

  16. Hristo Sta

    Now this is a GREAT tutorial!
    Thanks so much!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome.

  17. Alex

    Thank you Sergey for this useful tutorial! Спасибо :)

  18. Kinder

    Hi guys, i’ve made Skype_Ads_Remover with c# code .
    Just only one click to remove completely all ads.
    There is link to download exe and guide that explain how is working:
    Source code will be published.
    Thank you so much !

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      okay, thanks for sharing

  19. Aditya

    I cannot open “%appdata%\skype” via Run (step 2 of removing place holders). I’m on Windows 10. The moment I click on run it asks me “choose an app to open this” or something. Can’t locate the folders where I’m supposed to make the changes.

  20. Jethro

    Thank you. Those ads were ruining my conversations with people I love.
    Many thanks for your time and effort for others who you may never meet.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

  21. AndrewCh

    Worked nicely. Thanks.

  22. ddt

    wow many thanks for your help, it worked

  23. cimmay

    Thanks for the valuable instructions. They were clear and easy to follow, and problem solved.

  24. Diplomacy

    Thanks. I figured there would be a way to do this, but I don’t think I would have found it without these instructions.

    Every time Skype would update their ads, the Skype taskbar icon would flash as if I had gotten a message. It was driving me absolutely bonkers, and I was nearly ready to uninstall when I thought to google it. Thanks again.

  25. Dan

    Thanks, worked like a c h a r m

  26. Naning

    The tutorial was very very helpful. Many thanks.


  27. BaseDamage

    Dude this tutorial has saved me a lot of trouble. Freaking awesome!
    I can not thank you enough :3

  28. KnowitAll

    Just skip steps 1 to 6.
    Go directly to remove the ad placeholder by altering the XML as stated in the section “Remove Skype ad placeholders”.
    That’s all you need.

    1. rrrr

      That doesn’t work, the ad appeared anyway. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t work for a recent version

  29. rrrr

    this is not working for the newest version. The ad on the right side is gone, but the advertisement on top is still there.

  30. Dan Czarnecki

    It worked! This begs the question though: why does the Windows version have ads while the macOS and other versions don’t? Seems very odd to me…

  31. Sean Braughton

    This does not seem to work anymore with the latest version.

  32. Pedro Reis

    Great life improvement.

  33. Chris

    You’re my savior, thanks bro!

  34. Mikhail

    If someone needed here is batch file to replace parameter in config . Replace ‘stationfuk’ with your username, ‘save as remove_skype_ads.bat’ and run as Administrator:
    @echo off
    setlocal enableextensions disabledelayedexpansion

    set “search=^1^”
    set “replace=^0^”

    set “textFile=%appdata%\skype\stationfuk\config.xml”

    for /f “delims=” %%i in (‘type “%textFile%” ^& break ^> “%textFile%” ‘) do (
    set “line=%%i”
    setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
    >>”%textFile%” echo(!line:%search%=%replace%!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thanks for sharing!

  35. Cath

    thank you SO much. invaluable!

  36. Suresh Kamrushi

    nice. very helpful

  37. ilayaraja

    Skype ads are now completely removed.
    lots of thanks

  38. pj

    date: 10-17-2019
    win-10: home (64bit) 1903.18362.418
    skype: (latest version)

    evidently, the mods no longer work … ads started with latest update.
    added to restricted sites … no luck.
    accessed file “config.xml … no such word “advert”.


  39. z

    Unfortunately, no longer true. As of today, 10/22/2019, the Linux Skype is ad-spamming. Hence, my finding this website.


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