User Agent of Windows Phone helps avoiding anti-ad block on YouTube

The anti-ad blocker on YouTube video hosting can be bypassed by setting browser's user agent to the Windows Phone string. Windows Phone is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft from 2010 to 2015.


Previously, users with free access to YouTube encountered a warning when using an ad blocker. The warning appeared in a pop-up window at various times and could not be blocked using standard methods. The pop-up explained that advertising supports YouTube and offered viewers the chance to join YouTube Premium, with the threat of blocking the video player if they didn't comply.

However, it has been discovered that changing the User Agent in the browser to Windows Phone using a Chrome extension, e.g. User-Agent Switcher for Chrome, completely removes the YouTube pop-up window. This allows users to watch videos without ads while still using the ad blocker.

YouTube's terms of use do not explicitly state that changing the client application identification string in the browser is prohibited. However, experts believe that YouTube will soon notice a significant increase in User Agent connections from Windows Phones accessing their platform. It is likely that the company will take action to display its ad blocker warning on YouTube in response.

  • In June, YouTube began testing a warning for users in test mode, informing them that the video player would be blocked on their devices after watching three videos without a subscription and with ad blockers enabled.
  • In August, a new version of the alert was tested for free users with a timer attached. This pop-up encouraged free users to upgrade to YouTube Premium.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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