Block Ads in Skype

Oct 13, 2018 permalink

I hate ads. So much so that I’ve created a Chrome Extension to block them at some sites I visit regularly. But then I realized the best way to stop these things is at the source itself. Enter the hosts file.

Side note: If you’re a privacy nut, you might want to check out my hosts file. It will block crypto-miners, google ads, youtube ads and much more. As always, feedback is appreciated.

I figured out a way to block Skype ads using a handful of host file entries. Download a .txt version here. I’ve mentioned them below if you want to take a look. These entries have been tested on the latest Skype version as of today (October 13, 2018).

# Block Skype ads (core)
127.0.0.1 *.msads.net
127.0.0.1 *.msecn.net
127.0.0.1 *.rad.msn.com
127.0.0.1 a.ads2.msads.net
127.0.0.1 ac3.msn.com
127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 adnexus.net
127.0.0.1 adnxs.com
127.0.0.1 ads1.msn.com
127.0.0.1 ads2.msads.net
127.0.0.1 aka-cdn-ns.adtech.de

# If you want to see Skype Home, comment the line below
127.0.0.1 apps.skype.com

127.0.0.1 b.ads2.msads.net
127.0.0.1 bs.serving-sys.com
127.0.0.1 cdn.atdmt.com
127.0.0.1 cds26.ams9.msecn.net
127.0.0.1 db3aqu.atdmt.com
127.0.0.1 ec.atdmt.com
127.0.0.1 flex.msn.com
127.0.0.1 g.msn.com
127.0.0.1 live.rads.msn.com
127.0.0.1 msntest.serving-sys.com
127.0.0.1 rad.msn.com
127.0.0.1 sO.2mdn.net
127.0.0.1 secure.flashtalking.com
127.0.0.1 static.2mdn.net
127.0.0.1 static.2mdn.net

The above host file entries will not remove the placeholders in the side bar. For that, you need to get technical.

Based on your OS, go to: %appdata%/skype/YOUR_USER_NAME/config.xml and set all Advert related values to 0.

<AdvertEastRailsEnabled>0</AdvertEastRailsEnabled>
<AdvertLargeEastRailCutoff>0</AdvertLargeEastRailCutoff>
<AdvertNorthRailCutoff>0</AdvertNorthRailCutoff>
<AdvertPlaceholder>0</AdvertPlaceholder>
<AdvertSmallEastRailCutoff>0</AdvertSmallEastRailCutoff>

Reboot your system and your Skype ads should be gone. Didn’t work? Wrong hosts file entry? Tell me about it.