Opera 76 fixes the YouTube ad blocking issue
A couple of weeks ago, I told you that Opera browser isn't blocking YouTube ads. This issue has been quite the headache for users, but the latest update seems to have fixed the problem.
Opera has released a new version of its browser to the stable channel. The update announcement on the company's blog finally acknowledges the ad blocking issue was real. As a matter of fact, it was the only thing highlighted in the article. Opera 76 has fixed the YouTube ad blocking issue.
Interestingly, the post also confirms that the ad blocker was not properly blocking all ads. That kind of explains why I got ads only on some videos, it was random. The release notes for Opera 76.0.4017.177 makes things even more interesting, it reads,
DNA-93554 [AdBlock] Find a fix for blocking ‘new’ YouTube ads
Notice how the 'new' part is in quotes. Some Brave users had reported the ad blocking issue as well. That indicates there's something odd going on behind the scenes. It's good to see that the problem has been addressed by Opera.
Speaking of which, does the ad blocker work? There's only one way to find out. I reset the browser to make it work like a fresh install, and to get rid of all extensions and custom settings. The first part of the test was to use Opera browser with its default settings.
So, here are my observations from using the browser without the ad-blocker enabled. A lot of YouTube videos started out with a video advertisement before getting to the actual content, while some had banner ads that stayed on top of the media. The search results page had an ad banner too. There's nothing unusual about this, this is how the world looks when you aren't using an ad-blocker, and that's what makes it annoying.
Time for part 2 of the test, all I enabled was the option to block ads. I did not toggle the block trackers setting. After watching several videos and restarting the browser multiple times, I can confirm that the ad blocker works correctly. Opera browser blocked all three types of ads (in-video ads, sticky banners, and banners on the results page).
Opera 76 also fixes an issue with the picture-in-picture video playback, you can now control the sound properly in the pop-out.
Did you notice that Opera's blog announcement does not talk about Opera GX? If you read my previous article, you may remember that GX had the ad blocking issue as well. After a bit of searching, I found the change log for Opera GX on the community forums. The post mentions that the same fix for the ad blocker was added in version v75 of the browser. That's Opera GX 75.0.3969.282 to be precise. So, I gave it the same treatment as the regular variant of the browser, and GX seems to be blocking ads just as it should be.
If you're using an older version of the browser, I recommend updating to Opera 76. The installer is available at the official site.
Don't forget to tell us whether the ad blocker is now working fine for you.
So after Youtube in Chrome with uBlock Origin was trying to shove me unskippable 20 second ads, I gave a good try with Edge with uBlock Origin. Same thing but I’m impressed how well it works now.
I don’t trust the Opera owners and Brave’s UI is still terrible.
Firefox could be faster and it seems that the devs give one step forward, 2 steps backwards with each UI and feel change. And why color correction for all images is still not enabled by default?
Now I wonder if these new ads could be blocked with just normal Ad Blockers moving forward. I assume that Chrome will not allow it anymore. But what about the rest of the Chromium browsers?
Google appears have lately been trying more aggressive anti-adblocking techniques.
The Anti-circumvention “ABP filters” list appears to help, but is not a cure for the YouTube changes at this time. See https://adblockplus.org/subscriptions#type_circumvention for the list description.
“Don’t forget to tell us whether the ad blocker is now working fine for you.”
I’ve been telling you in the previous entry that this is not only Opera’s problem. uBlock Origin with other browsers are also having this problem and you decided to ignore my comments?
Chrome beta remains my long time default browser, and since I uninstalled Edge beta for lack of personal interest, I installed latest desktop Opera after a 7 year hiatus. It’s impressive to note its evolution.
I saw that when I turned off Opera’s ad-blocking filters, it continued to block ads. The filters it shows in the settings are purely for show. It blocks the ads it wants with a different filter.
Easylist, along with uBlock Origin, blocks YouTube ads.
Therefore, if you are going to use a poor quality browser such as Opera, turn off the ad and tracker setting and install uBlock Origin or AdGuard from the Chrome store.
I do not use Chromium-based Opera nor have experienced YouTube on it.
My guess at the method that Chromium-based Opera uses to get around ads might not be ad-blocking at all. Perhaps it is instead replacing the YouTube video with an equivalent. An example to do this (there are other ways) would be to remove the YouTube video object on the YouTube page and embed a YouTube video object, like is done to show YouTube video on other websites, that points to the video resource location of the removed video. The change can be made more seamless with some other manipulations.