How to Remove Advertisements in Skype Desktop Client

Improve the New Skype: Ad Removal and More

Before Skype was bought out by Microsoft, its interface remained relatively free of frills and had no advertising pushes that the modern client (as well as many of Microsoft’s other free applications) have. This is also one of the reasons many users opt to stay behind or revert to an older version, disabling Skype’s automatic updates to do so.

If you are still using an old version of Skype and are having compatibility issues and constant pestering for updates, this guide is for you.

If you are using the newer version of Skype and want to get rid of those annoying advertisements and make the interface cleaner to navigate … well, you’re in the right place too.

Fixing the contacts view

First, let’s fix the default contacts view.

Here is what we are going to change:

Fixing the contacts view in Skype: from that to this.

For this, all you need to do is click “View” on your taskbar and select “Compact Sidebar View.” Simple, easy, and saves a lot of screen real estate giving you more information on top of it.

From “Options,” proceed to “IM and SMS,” then to “IM Appearance.” There you will find a checkbox for “Compact Chat View” – select that and click “Save.”

Compact Chat View, in the Options menu.

Compact Chat View acts similarly to Compact Sidebar View, shrinking avatars and compressing all the text closer together. As a result, you’re able to see more of your conversations without the bubble graphics taking up quite as much, giving you around three more lines of text in a typical usage scenario.

It’s not old Skype by any means, but it will let you see more on your screen. Depending on the amount of chat bubbles, you can see up to eight more lines compared to the default view.

Disable advertisements

Now to deal with the advertisements: you’ll notice in my screenshots that there’s no egregious advertisement bar taking up a vertical tenth of the length of my screen, and that’s because I’ve disabled Skype’s advertisements and the advertisement placeholder that remains there after you remove them.

For the advertisements themselves, open your Start menu and type in “Internet Options” and hit Enter. After this, you’ll want to click the “Security” tab, select “Restricted Sites,” and click the Sites button that opens the list of websites you have blocked.

Block advertisements in Skype.

Add and to your list of Restricted sites, then Close.

Advertisements will no longer appear in your Skype client, but a placeholder will remain at the top of your chat windows until you disable it.

To disable the placeholder, you’ll need to open “Windows Explorer” and paste the following into your address bar:

After that, you’ll have to click the folder with your Skype ID, right click “config.xml” and open it in Notepad.

Now, hit “Ctrl + F” and paste AdvertPlaceholder into your search box.

Paste AdvertPlaceholder into your search box.

Change the line <AdvertPlaceholder>1</AdvertPlaceholder> to <AdvertPlaceholder>0</AdvertPlaceholder>, restart Skype and then you’ll be finished.

In the end, you’ll have a tighter, more compact interface without any advertisements taking up your screen or compromising your user experience.

Christopher Harper Christopher Harper

I'm a longtime gamer, computer nerd, and general tech enthusiast.


  1. OR just add to the HOSTS file in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc. You lose the Skype Home screen which nobody uses, and you lose the ads in the Store too

    1. @David:
      I actually did it in hosts file before the recent update, too!

      Doing it in the host file still doesn’t remove the banner placeholder, though, and I decided to walk through a method a bit easier than editing hosts in this article.

    1. No problem. It was a problem I had until I found the fix- sharing was the least I could do. Don’t hesitate to share it yourself, either.

  2. Wow! I suddenly got vertical ads next to my chat as well. Now ALL THE ADS are gone :D THANK YOU!

    1. I’m very glad I could help!

      If you want to return the favor, share this article with your friends. Spread the love. :P

  3. It all works except for finding the config.xml in the user folders.
    This is Windows 10 and its annoyingly hidden the folders elsewhere for the placeholder.
    But where?

  4. I successfully removed ads from Skype. There are two things to do, one is to block a URL and other is to change in the config file. I followed this URL:

  5. Great tutorial, but I got stuck when trying to put C:\Users\[Your Windows Username Here]\AppData\Roaming\Skype in IE because I have have windows 10 and Edge. I tried it in Edge, but it didn’t recognize the address. Any suggestions how to keep working from here?

    1. Hey there, “Windows Explorer” isn’t the same as Internet Explorer. Try typing “File Explorer” into Start and opening that, then pasting the address in with your username added. File Explorer is often called Windows Explorer, and it’s a common misconception- hope that helps!

  6. Small note: thanks to the wonders of environment variables,
    C:\Users\[Your Windows Username Here]\AppData\Roaming\Skype
    can simply be shortened to

  7. Skype version – Windows 64 bit
    Form me crashes when the was added to the restricted sites.

    At the moment seems to exclude the adverts with just added to the restricted sites. The activity indicator when Home is selected, now follows it’s own tail ‘down the rabbit hole’. A huge improvement on irrelevant adverts and hints.

    I’d go so far as to say they seem to have a check on 1 as it crashes if I set it to 0 or 2. However -1 seems to do the trick…. Also removing 1 seems to work as well. If they ‘fix it’, you know they have been here!

  8. The comment system removed some text as I think it thought it was HTML, hey ho… the last para referred to the AdvertPlaceholder tag in the config.xml file.

  9. 10-2-15 Worked! I’m using Win7sp1 on MacBook Bootcamp with Skype

    Thanks so much, Skype has really gotten worse since MSFT purchased them.

  10. What a really helpful guide to remove the invasion of adverts and the loss of space.

    It is great to know people have the knowledge to do this and are happy to share it in a simple way that normal (well normal ish) people can follow.

    Thank you.

  11. 2015-11-04
    Seems that Microsoft have changed it :(
    Or it’s different for Windows 8.1 and Skype

    There is now no entry in %appdata%\Skype\
    The config.xml file is moved to %appdata%\Skype\

  12. Thank you! I really appreciate the help. When a new ad would load it would lag my skype to the point where I couldn’t type. Can’t thank you enough.

  13. Aii…muito obrigado mano! It helps like you said on Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit.

    Again THANKS!!!

  14. Win 10 & Skype 7.17 worked for me.
    To get to the Internet Options, I clicked on Start, Settings then just typed “Internet Options”

    It’s nice to get back some screen Real Estate.

  15. Skype was such a beautiful piece of sofware until Microsoft bought it and ruined it.

    It reminds me of that video that John McAfee made talking about what they did to his company after they bought him out.

    Anyway, Christopher Harper, thank you very much. All your tricks worked like a charm. Awesome!

Comments are closed.