Disable banner ads in Skype for Windows

When you're talking with friends, family, or coworkers, the last thing you want to be annoyed by is an advertisement.

Nicole Cozma
Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.
Nicole Cozma
2 min read

Before the many updates to Skype post-Microsoft acquisition, simply disabling the promotions options in settings was enough to rid your conversations of unnecessary spam. However, a new banner ad has made its way to the conversation window. This ad wouldn't be such a bother if it didn't often cut into the video feed area when going full screen. Thanks to Reddit user N19h7m4r3, you can disable ads through just a few steps. Here's how:

For Skype 6.x

Skype window before ad removal. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Head to the Control Panel and click on Internet Options. This settings area may be hidden under Network and Sharing Center if you don't see a direct shortcut for it.

Restricted sites in Windows Internet Options area. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Click on the Security tab and select the Restricted Sites icon.

Type the address for Skype's ads into the text box. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: Press the Sites button and type https://apps.skype.com in the text box, then press Add.

Ad-free chat windows! Nicole Cozma/CNET

Restart Skype for the changes to take effect.

For Skype 7.x

If you have updated Skype and the above options are not removing ads, you may need to perform a few extra steps to finally rid of the advertisements in your client. Here's how:

Check for updates. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Make sure your Skype client is up-to-date by going to Help > Check for updates. Once finished, completely exit Skype.

Edit the config.xml file. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Head to C:\users\[your user name]\App Data\Roaming\Skype\[your Skype username]. You should see a config.xml file in this directory. Right-click it and choose Edit, then find the line that says <AdvertPlaceholder> and delete the entire line. Make sure to save your changes to the file before exiting. You can use Ctrl+F to find the line quickly.

Note: If you do not see the App Data folder, it's probably because you don't have Show hidden files enabled. Click the Organize button > Folder and search options > View tab > mark the radio button next to Show hidden files, folders, or drives.

Mark the file as Read-only. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: Mark the config.xml file as read-only by right-clicking the file and choosing Properties. Check the box next to Read-only and click OK.

Now your chat window and video conferences will be free of advertisements.

What do you think of the advertisement placement in chat? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Editors' note, April 16, 2015:This How To post was originally published on September 23, 2014, and has been updated to include new information.