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.
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.