How to get rid of all ads and toolbars in µTorrent - gHacks Tech News

How to get rid of all ads and toolbars in µTorrent

The µTorrent BitTorrent client is without doubt one of the most popular of its kind. Much of it comes from the fact that it works more or less out of the box, is rather light on system resources, and ships with enough advanced options to spend the better half of the day configuring the client.

Complaints have increased in recent time though. Especially the toolbar and adware offers during installation and upgrade, as well as the advertisement that is displayed in the player when it is running have been mentioned in this regard.

The following guide walks you through the process of installing µTorrent on your PC without installing the program's adware and toolbar offers at the same time. The second part of the guide looks at advanced settings in the client to get rid of the advertisement displayed in the program interface.

Installing µTorrent

You can download the latest version of the program from the official website. Here you find downloads for all platforms, access to beta versions, the Android version of the client and µTorrent Plus, the commercial version of the program.

Note: Version 3.3.1 Build 29812 as of June 28 for Windows has been used in the guide. Newer or older versions may handle things different. It is however likely that for the most part, only ads that are offered to you during installation are changed.

Run the installer on your system after you have downloaded it. The first screen highlights the version of the client that is about to be installed on the system. Hit next here.

utorrent setup version

The warning screen informs you that µTorrent scams exist on the Internet and that you should only download the program from the official website. Just click next again.

utorrent warning

The next screen displays the license agreement. You need to click on I agree to continue with the installation. Here you find information that the program uses OpenCandy to power the advertisement offers during setup.

This installer uses the OpenCandy network to recommend other software you may find valuable during the installation of this software. OpenCandy collects NON-personally identifiable information about this installation and the recommendation process. Collection of this information ONLY occurs during this installation and the recommendation process; in accordance with OpenCandy's Privacy Policy, available at

utorrent license agreement

You can select to create a start menu entry, quick launch icon or desktop icon on the next page of the installer. Click next once you are finished making the selection here. No installation directory was displayed here which felt strange.

install location

The configuration screen will map .torrent files, magnet links and .btsearch files to uTorrent automatically unless you uncheck the option here. The program adds an exception to Windows Firewall and runs it on startup as well unless you disable those options here.


The next offer is an official one, that is offering a free download to all users. This is Bagboy by the Pixies at the time of writing. Just uncheck the "Yes, I'd love to check out this free download" before you click next to ignore the offer.

bittorrent offer

Make sure you check the "notify me before installing updates" option on the next screen. This displays information about available updates on the screen so that you can control when and how they are installed.

automatic updates

The first adware offer comes on the next page. While offers may differ, you can usually find out if the offer is an advertisement or not by looking at the buttons on the page. If you see accept or decline, it is usually an ad.

This is for Conduit which you may not want to install on your system. Click on Decline Offer to pass.

free search protect offer

The second offer is displayed on the next page. You find accept or decline radio buttons here. Note that you also see back and finish buttons here. Make sure you select Decline on the page and then Finish.


You may alternatively get an offer to install the uTorent Browser Bar or another toolbar. The screen looks like the following:

utorren ads

Make sure you uncheck all three options here before you click on the next button.

Configuring µTorrent

The µTorrent program starts right after you click on the finish button. The following part of the guide looks only at ads displayed in the client and not at configuring the client in general.

So called in-content ads have been introduced in µTorrent 3.2.2. These ads show up on top of your torrent listing and in the lower left box of the client.

utorrent ads

To disable those ads do the following:

  1. Click on Options > Preferences.
  2. Switch to the Advanced menu.
  3. Enter offers in the filter box.

utorrent offers

  • Set offers.content_offer_autoexec to false.
  • Set offers.content_offer_url to blank.
  • Set offers.left_rail_offer_enabled to false.
  • Set offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled to false.

You need to restart uTorrent before the changes take effect. The top in-torrent ad is removed after the restart while the lower left box ad is replaced with a generic uTorrent Plus offer.

Other preferences that you may want to set to false:

  • gui.show_plus_upsell (removes the plus ad that you see in the lower left corner).
  • bt.enable_pulse

Ad offers may also be displayed to you when you are upgrading the client, so keep that in mind.


You have to pay attention to the installation or upgrade dialog of uTorrent to make sure that you do not install adware or other unwanted software on your system. Note that other offers may be displayed to you which makes it difficult to write a guide that prepares you for all eventualities.

It is important that you read each page of the installer carefully to avoid making mistakes in this regard.

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    1. Jim said on June 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      I used to use uTorrent, but ditched it when they started commercializing it. I use Tixati now. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of uTorrent. However, if you view that statement from the other end you can say that Tixati doesn’t suffer from bloat, fluff, and creeping featuritis. It does torrents and seems to do them very well. It’s also free. There is only one feature I miss from uTorrent and that is the ability to discontinue seeding after a given period of time. Tixati only supports halting seeding based on share ratio. Other than that, it’s been a great alternative. I think I learned about it here, so thanks for that!

      1. sades said on June 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        Tixati has awful awful queue management, try qbittorrent instead,

    2. Coyote said on June 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Stopped updating uTorrent years ago, note I said updating. The tiny 300k portable exe from 2008 still works and without all the fluff and bloat as Jim said. Granted security and bugs abound but I’d rather put up with a couple errors about my video card (don’t ask me…) than banners and ads tracking everything you do.

    3. Nebulus said on June 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      I got rid of all that stuff in utorrent by switching to qbittorrent :)

    4. Dan said on June 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      I have used Tixati and qBittorrent and they have been unmitigated crap on my Win7 machine. So I have downgraded from 3.xx to 2.2.1. That’s the last uTorrent version before Bittorrent Inc started pissing on the client. I had tried downgrading even further to v. 1.8.5 but there is a noticeable performance hit. So 2.2.1 seems to be the sweet spot for those of us who love uTorrent but can’t stand the direction the client is going.

    5. Alex said on June 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      I got a better method:

      Step 1: Uninstall utorrent
      Step 2: Install tixati

    6. albresc said on June 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I keep using 2.2.1 that’s the last one without ads and… spying on the client, this that been mentioned by some people.

      It downloads at the top speed of my line and is stable and smallprint.

      Great little software!

    7. GodHatesFigs said on June 29, 2013 at 1:21 am

      Long time user of 1.8.5 without any adverse issues whatsoever.Except maybe that PatchMyPC always does its job & flags up it requires updating.

    8. Teo said on June 29, 2013 at 5:33 am

      thanks Martin, great piece of advice

    9. nero said on June 29, 2013 at 6:07 am

      Another vote for Tixati. I used qbit for a while but Tixati is far superior in download speeds on my machine and tried all of the optimizations for both.

    10. sounder said on June 29, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Tixati is the best way to go.

    11. Dave said on June 29, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Great ! Thanks for the info!

    12. aak said on June 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Nice tip. Didn’t know about this. Thanks

    13. Teiji said on June 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Thank you. Didn’t know you can disable ads without going through some sort of hacks.

    14. jasray said on June 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Transmission–love it.

    15. blue_bsod said on June 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      I must be a fossil because I still use Bitcomet. Everyone always cringes when they hear Bitcomet. I’ve tried others but always revert back to Bitcomet, and besides I’ve been a registered member since Beta, and am ranked pretty high on their membership hierarchy. They have a system that makes sense. The more you share the faster you can possibly download.

      When I first started with them I had a 1M cable connection and downloaded at 256b/s or less. Over the years I upgraded to a 5M, 10M, 15M and now 25M cable modem. The more I kept sharing (the share ratio can be set to anything you wish), or you can simply turn on of off at anytime you wish. The faster I can download. I now download at an average of 23.5M/s, that’s megabytes and not megabits.

      In the beginning Bitcomet required a lot of background knowledge and in depth knowledge of your computer in order to setup. They were my first torrent client ever so I learned from ground up. Over the years the setup program has become easier and easier and to the point it works right out of the box so to speak. Because I learned about torrents from using and tinkering with Bitcomet I know what they are capable of and how other clients pale in comparison.

      I can even set who I want as a seeder or peer (by iP address or client name), or I can block ones I want. Bitcomet in my opinion is the strongest and first company I think of when it comes to torrents. They have in-program ads that pop-up over the dock icon, but they can be disabled in the settings menu. They have no other ads embedded into the program, no scrolling or flashing text ads and it never installs with trial software if you download from the main site. Also Bitcomet is Windows 8 compatible and have a 32b version as well as a 64b version (when I began I used the 32b – I’m now using 64b).

    16. Mountainking said on July 1, 2013 at 7:29 am

      I used to always install utorrent. However, I am positive this is my LAST install of utorrent ever. All the settings martin has pointed out has to be manually set and it is a real PITA to have to do it over and over again on a system reinstall or when installing it at a relatives place. I find deluge my next torrent client. It’s a bit high on CPU resources but I guess I can live with that than through all the painstaking hassles of configuring utorrent to have their shitty ads turned off. Heck, they even made disabling ads as hard as you could possibly ever make.
      Here is a good website to start with:

    17. morgan said on January 29, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      thanks bro worked great!!! you rock!!!

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