How to Disable Viber Annoying Ads on Windows and Macintosh

I don’t mind advertising, as long as it remains unobtrusive to the end user. As a matter of fact, I am using ads on this blog. However, just recently Viber implemented the new type of video ads implemented on the Windows and Macintosh desktop Viber platform. These ads aren’t your usual standalone picture ads, these are video ads that tend to auto-play on their own along with the sound, which is especially annoying when one forgets to turn off their PC speakers. Unfortunately, Viber does not provide application settings to disable or control ads. So, here is how you can easily disable these ads on your Windows or Mac machine.

These are the ads I am referring to:

To disable access to Viber advertising, I needed to first find the list of URLs that Viber uses to serve the ads. This was fairly easy. I’ve opened the Viber.exe in Notepad++ and because the URLs are typically not masked in executables, it was possible to find them this way. Of course, most of the Viber.exe content is gibberish, but using a cool Notepad++ feature called ‘Find in Files’ I was able to get all URLs in less than 30 seconds. Here is the full list:

Luckily, Viber made their URLs naming scheme pretty sensical, which allowed me to visually find the URL in question right away:

To see if this is really the case, I’ve opened WireShark network protocol analyzer, then Viber, and when the first video advertising loaded I looked at the DNS entries that are being used.

This confirms that ads.viber.com is the culprit.

That said, the fix is simple.

We just need to add an entry to Windows hosts file, which will redirect all traffic that goes to ads.viber.com to our local machine, which essentially results in empty responses and Viber ads no longer displaying in the application. Note: Hosts file is essentially a tool that allows Windows to overwrite DNS entries.

This is how it’s done on Windows and Macintosh:

 

Windows Fix

On your Windows machine, open Notepad as Administrator:

Then go to File / Open…

Into ‘File name’ field, paste in the following path and press Open button.

Add the following line to the bottom of the file:

Just like this:

Once done, save the file (File / Save).

Now let’s close the Viber (either kill the service or restart your PC) and open Viber again.

And Voila, the Advertisings are no longer there:

 

Macintosh Fix

On Macintosh, the hosts file is in

So, Go to Folder:

Then double click on: hosts

Add the following line to the bottom of the file:

Just like this:

Save the file and restart your Mac, or kill Viber and start it again.

And we’re done!

 

 

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