How to Block Twitch Ads for Free

Twitch has a whopping 140 million viewers as of 2024. That may not match the whopping 2.7 billion on YouTube, but it's a significant number nonetheless. What does this have to do with you trying to block Twitch ads? Well, read on.

Like many companies today, Twitch is greedier than you can imagine. But let's put that aside for now and focus on the viewing experience. Unless you fork out $11.99 monthly, Twitch will plaster you with ads. That is annoying, as you can imagine.

If you're sick of an interrupter viewing experience, this guide is for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Twitch, a popular live-streaming platform, includes frequent and sometimes intrusive ads. These disrupt the viewing experience.
  • One of the easiest ways to block Twitch ads is through free browser extensions like uBlock Origin.
  • Surfshark subscribers have a built-in ad blocker called ClearnWeb 2.0. It works with Twitch and most other websites.

How to Block Twitch Ads With uBlock Origin

How to Block Twitch Ads With uBlock Origin
On the main page alone, uBlock Original stopped six ads on launch. (Source: Twitch TV)

The beauty of uBlock Origin lies in its simplicity. Once installed, it automatically starts blocking ads. Naturally, this means uBlock Origin can block Twitch ads as well. You can even fine-tune its settings for a more personalized experience.

On Twitch, uBlock Origin works by blocking ad requests before they load. This means the ads typically shown before or during the stream are blocked when you watch a stream. Since ads significantly contribute to page loading issues, blocking them can enhance performance.

Here's what you need to do to block Twitch ads with uBlock Origin:

1. Download and Install uBlock Origin

To get started, you need to install uBlock Origin. It's available for most major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Visit your browser's extension store, search for uBlock Origin, and click Add to Browser.

Once installed, the uBlock Origin icon will appear in your browser's toolbar, indicating it's active.

2. Configure uBlock Origin for Twitch

How to Modify uBlock Origin Filters
uBlock Origin's filters can help block Twitch ads more effectively. (Source: uBlock Origin)

uBlock Origin primarily works by default to block Twitch ads. However, proper configuration of the extension can improve performance. This may make Twitch perform better or make ad blocking on Twitch more effective.

First, open uBlock Origin's dashboard by clicking its icon and selecting the Dashboard (gear icon) option. Here, you will find several tabs for customization:

  • Filter Lists: This tab contains various filter lists that uBlock Origin uses to block ads. Ensure that the Ads, Privacy, Badware Risks, Quick Fixes, and Unbreak filters are enabled.
  • My Filters: For advanced users, this tab allows you to add custom filters. You can find specific Twitch ad-blocking filters on online forums or communities. Copy and paste these filters here.
  • Whitelist: To support certain Twitch streamers by viewing ads, you can whitelist their channels. Simply add the Twitch channel URL to this section.
  • Customize: Advanced users can further fine-tune the blocking features, but most users' default settings are sufficient.

After configuring these settings, click Apply Changes and close the dashboard. Restarting your browser is recommended to ensure all settings are applied effectively.

How to Block Twitch Ads With Surfshark CleanWeb

How to Block Twitch Ads With Surfshark CleanWeb
Enable the CleanWeb toggle switch in your Surfshark app to block Twitch ads. (Source: Surfshark)

You won't need another Twitch ad block tool for those with a Surfshark subscription. Surfshark includes a feature called CleanWeb, now in its second generation called CleanWeb 2.0. This feature brings advanced ad-blocking capabilities to all Surfshark subscribers.

Like uBlock Origin, CleanWeb 2.0 works behind the scenes to block almost all intrusive ads online – not just on Twitch. It's already included in your Surfshark app, so installing anything else is unnecessary.

Here's how it works:

  • Download and Install Surfshark: If you haven't already, download and install the Surfshark application on your device. Surfshark is available for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and even as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
  • Enable CleanWeb: Open the Surfshark application and log in with your credentials. In the app settings, click on VPN Settings. Scroll down to CleanWeb and enable the toggle stitch there.
  • Connect to a VPN Server: A VPN can help if you want to access Twitch content that might be geo-restricted in your region.
  • Start Viewing on Twitch: With CleanWeb active, open Twitch and stream your favorite channels. CleanWeb will work in the background to block ads from appearing on the streams.

That's it – fuss-free, mess-free, and best of all, AD-FREE.

Other Ways to Block Twitch Ads

There's more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, and the same applies to blocking Twitch ads. These alternatives can enhance your streaming experience on Twitch by reducing or eliminating interruptions caused by ads. 

Here are some alternative methods:

  • Twitch Turbo: Twitch offers an official way to avoid ads through its Twitch Turbo subscription. While it's not free, subscribing to Twitch Turbo removes all ads. It also supports the platform and content creators.
  • Alternative Viewing Platforms: Some third-party platforms or websites offer Twitch streams with fewer ads. Websites like Multitwitch can be used to watch Twitch streams. However, the user experience might differ.
  • Browser Settings and Modifications: Tweaking specific browser settings can help reduce the number of ads. For example, you can enable stricter privacy settings or use a privacy-focused browser.
  • VPN Services: Some VPN services offer ad-blocking capabilities as part of their features. You can block Twitch ads by routing your connection through these VPNs. However, effectiveness can vary; not all VPNs offer robust ad-blocking features.
  • DNS-Based Ad Blockers: DNS-based ad blockers block ads at the network level. Services like AdGuard DNS can be configured on your device or router to block ads across all connected applications, including Twitch.
  • Supporting Streamers Directly: Some Twitch streamers offer ad-free viewing for their subscribers. By subscribing to a Twitch channel, you can watch their streams without ads – if the streamer supports that.

Why Block Twitch Ads?

Aside from advertisers, Twitch also charges viewers for an "ad-free experience."
Aside from advertisers, Twitch also charges viewers for an “ad-free experience.” (Source: Twitch)
I think what's a lot more important than ad frequency is how disruptive they are. If you have ads randomly playing when you're in the middle of a game or when you're trying to have a conversation that's incredibly annoying and will turn me off.
Redditor on r/Twitch

Twitch is a “free” platform that helps streamers connect with viewers. It's an excellent proposition. Except that it isn't free. We understand Twitch needs to earn money, but they charge everyone somehow.

Twitch Charges Advertisers: Twitch serves ads at eye-dropping costs to advertisers of between $2 to $10 per impression. With over 140 million active viewers, that means a minimum revenue of $240 million, even if each viewer is served the cheapest ad once.

Twitch Charges Viewers: Anyone who wants to escape ads must pay Twitch a monthly subscription fee of $11.99. That's a potential revenue stream of $1.68 billion. Remember, that's every single month.

The result is a crappy viewing experience for free viewers and $2.8 billion in revenue for Twitch (as of 2022). Some viewers have complained on Reddit that the ad experience has made Twitch unbearable.

Final Thoughts

The quest to block Twitch ads for free encompasses a variety of methods. Our recommended way to block Twitch ads is to use uBlock Origin. Surfshark subscribers don't need anything else since CleanWeb will block ads effectively.

While these free methods offer relief from Twitch's often intrusive and frequent ads, weighing the ethical considerations is essential. Ads are a significant revenue stream for Twitch and its content creators. 

When using ad blockers, you may also inadvertently impact the earnings of your favorite streamers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to use ad blockers on Twitch?

Yes, it is legal to use ad blockers on Twitch. However, it's essential to consider the ethical implications, as ads are a significant revenue source for Twitch and its streamers.

Will ad blockers affect the performance of Twitch streams?

Ad blockers can actually improve the performance of Twitch streams by reducing page load times and preventing ads from consuming bandwidth.

Can Twitch detect and block the use of ad blockers?

Twitch continually updates its ad delivery system, which can sometimes detect and circumvent ad blockers. As a result, the effectiveness of ad blockers can vary.

Are there any browser-specific ad blockers for Twitch?

Most ad blockers, like uBlock Origin, are available as extensions for popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. They generally function similarly across different browsers.

Will using a VPN block Twitch ads?

While a VPN alone doesn't block ads, some VPN services have built-in ad-blocking features. However, their effectiveness, specifically for Twitch ads, can vary. We recommend Surfshark for a VPN with ad-blocking features.

How can I support Twitch streamers if I block ads?

You can support streamers by subscribing to their channels, donating directly, or purchasing their merchandise. This way, you can support them financially without viewing ads.

Timothy Shim

Tim is a former tech journalist turned web technology junkie. He spends his time exploring the best in digital privacy and security tools. Meanwhile, experiments with SEO continue to increase his blood pressure. ( Contact Tim on Linkedin )

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