YouTube is the world's largest video platform, attracting over 2 billion monthly users and generating billions of views. The biggest source for revenue on YouTube is ads, but a Redditor discovered a loophole that can be leveraged to watch videos on the platform without ads. The simple trick doesn't require any software knowledge, install any extensions or be a hacker of sorts. All you need to do is add a symbol at the end of the URL and voila, the ads will be gone.

Redditor posted the trick in the r/webdev sub. The hack works on both desktop and mobile, which the Redditor had earlier thought wouldn't be possible since the mobile browsers normalize URL.

"I had initially assumed that it didn't work on mobile because the browsers normalised the URL, however this isn't the case. The redirection happens on the server side. So, if you want this to work on mobile browsers, use the "Request Desktop Site" feature," the post on Reddit reads.

YouTube Music expands to 12 more countries
YouTube ads can be skippedREUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

How to watch YouTube videos without ads

The trick works by adding a period (.) at the end of ".com". This requires the user to break the URL in between, find where the .com is placed, click and place the period right after and let the URL to continue.

While this trick works easily on the desktop, there's an extra step involved in the case of YouTube for mobile. Users can use the "Request Desktop Site" feature and then follow the same steps to add a dot at the end of ".com."

A new trick was discovered that leverages a loophole in the world’s largest video platform, YouTube, to block ads while watching videos.REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Ethical decision

Wouldn't we love binge-watching videos without ads. That's the human way, which is why apps and services offer subscription services. While the simple hack can work to fulfill your desire of watching videos without ad interruptions, one must always consider the ethical value of it all.

It's important to note ads pay a lot of creators whose videos you love so much to watch. Ripping them off the ad-revenue hampers their capability to create more videos. YouTube pays creators based on the ads watched, so if you truly value the content, it's worth spending a few extra minutes or seconds watching the ads.

Moreover, it's only a matter of time before YouTube fixes the flaw and the order will be restored.