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 tab The 'Restricted sites' dialog will appear on the screen.
  5. Type the following into the text box and then press the Add button:
    https://apps.skype.com/
  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:
    %appdata%\skype

    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:
    AdvertPlaceholder
  6. Change its value from this:
    <AdvertPlaceholder>1</AdvertPlaceholder>

    to this:

    <AdvertPlaceholder>0</AdvertPlaceholder>

Skype disable ads placeholders You are done! Now ad placeholders will disappear. Skype no ads placeholder 1 Skype no ads placeholder 2 Enjoy 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.

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

  1. Spectre

    What if your Skype never had ads or blank placeholders?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

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

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      1. Spectre

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

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

        Reply
        1. Leif Rebel

          You must be the luckiest man walking the planet!

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

          Reply
          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!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

            Great to hear.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    2. Alex

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

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  2. jack

    great and valuable tutorial.
    again thanks for the info.

    ;-)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  3. David H Johnson

    If you put https://apps.skype.com/ in restricted sites BEFORE installing Skype you will also have no place holders.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

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

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  4. Lew

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

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    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!!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      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?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Reply
        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…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          Reply
  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?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

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

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  6. Passerby

    Many thanks Sergey!
    Very useful info indeed,
    Cheers!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  7. Lage

    Not working anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

    Reply
  8. Andrea

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

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  9. John

    I have Skype v7.26.0.101 running on windows 7_x64.
    I have a very annoying justfly.com add that is center screen all the time.
    I changed the config.xml but that did not fix it.
    If I add “https://apps.skype.com/” 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?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  10. BigGunn

    This no longer works. If I place apps.skype.com 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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    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

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      1. M_Dog

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

        AdvertEastRailsEnabled

        and

        AdvertPlaceholder

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Reply
  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 https://apps.skype.com/ 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:-
    AdvertEastRailsEnabled
    AdvertPlaceholder

    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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    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!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  12. Pavel

    Thank you very much, Sergey!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  13. venky

    thank you bro its working

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  14. Joe

    It work. Thanks Man!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  15. Sam Lien

    Thank You So Much you saved my life~

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  16. Hristo Sta

    Now this is a GREAT tutorial!
    Thanks so much!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  17. Alex

    Thank you Sergey for this useful tutorial! Спасибо :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  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: https://kinderkodeblog.wordpress.com/
    Source code will be published.
    Thank you so much !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      okay, thanks for sharing

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  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.
    :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  21. AndrewCh

    Worked nicely. Thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  22. ddt

    wow many thanks for your help, it worked

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  23. cimmay

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

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  25. Dan

    Thanks, worked like a c h a r m

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  26. Naning

    The tutorial was very very helpful. Many thanks.

    cheers,
    N

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  27. BaseDamage

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

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. rrrr

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

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply

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