Disable Ads on Skype 6.x

You just updated to Skype for Desktop to enjoy the new shiny user interface and you want to get rid of the eye-breaking ads? Below is a working solution for Windows only. I am not sure whether that will work for newer updates. In any case, please let me know in the comments section whether my workaround worked and let me know which version of Skype you have.

Who would have thought that this big cashcow of Microsoft would bundle ads in one of their top products competing against Hangouts? The Hangouts plugin for Chrome is neat and sports a Material-design-ish user interface. The new Skype is not that bad either. I am still faithful to Skype since all my close family still uses that. To teach my parents a new technology would be too painful. I am not sure how much monetary benefit Microsoft makes with these ugly ads bundled in Skype. If I were at the head of the Skype division at MSFT, I would certainly make sure that I provide the best user experience to the public first. Quality first – can that be Microsoft’s moto, pretty please? Guess Metro on Windows 8.1 would be an answer to that. (Did you say ‘no’ too? Comment that below đŸ˜‰

Anyway, without digressing any further, there are the steps:

Working environment:
Windows 8.1, Skype 6.22.59.107

  1. Modify some Skype settings.
  2. Go to Tools > Options > Privacy and uncheck the last three checkboxes as in the screenshot below.
    skype_settings

  3. Edit your config.xml file.
  4. Navigate to your user-folder’s App Data. The path can be something like:
    C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Roaming\Skype\<skype_username>

    Locate the AdvertPlaceholder xml tag and set it to -1.

    Example:
    <AdvertPlaceholder>-1</AdvertPlaceholder>

    Save and close.

    3) Modify some Internet Explorer security settings

    Navigate to Internet Explorer Options > Security tab > Restricted sites > Sites:

    Add https://apps.skype.com to the list, close and Apply.

    4) Lastly, edit your hosts file.

    You can edit the hosts file using an app open with administrator privileges. Otherwise, I find it simple enough (old habits maybe) to just copy the file on my desktop, make the changes and copy back the modified file and allow Windows to overwrite the previous file.

    Locate your hosts file. It will normally be located here (unless you have a custom windows installation):
    C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

    Copy the hosts file to the desktop and add the following to the end of the file:

    127.0.0.1 rad.msn.com
    127.0.0.1 live.rads.msn.com
    127.0.0.1 ads1.msn.com
    127.0.0.1 static.2mdn.net
    127.0.0.1 g.msn.com
    127.0.0.1 a.ads2.msads.net
    127.0.0.1 b.ads2.msads.net
    127.0.0.1 ac3.msn.com
    127.0.0.1 apps.skype.com
    

    Save the file and overwrite the previous file in the above-mentioned folder with the modified hosts file.

    If the above steps helped solve the ads problem in Skype, please let me know!

    Cheers,

    Shailen.

Advertisements

Shailen is a Technical Consulting Engineer at Intel Corporation. He has a Master degree in Computational Science and Engineering from the Technical University of Munich and a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Jacobs Univerity Bremen. Shailen has conducted research in power modelling for HPC applications and has high interests in the mobile sector. At Intel, Shailen is responsible for the Intel Integrated Native Developer Experience (INDE) suite of software for mobile developers. Shailen comes from the beautiful island of Mauritius. He has a LinkedIn and a Xing profile. Lastly, his name is unique in the world and he admires Bill Gates.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in General

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: