How to remove adverts from Skype (like apatch)

Updated 30th January 2014 due to ads showing again in chat window

UPDATE: After many months of ad-free chatting using the language file method (see below for the old method), Skype suddenly started showing adverts in the chat window again, BIG UGLY NASTY ones. We checked and rechecked the language file method below and all was well so we did a bit of tinkering to see what was has actually changed and it appears that Skype now reads the default language from your PC when you try to load a fictional language that does not exist. The new solution: You need to modify your hosts file and trick Skype into looking for the adverts in the wrong place.

To do this you need to edit the "hosts" file typically found in following folder on your pc:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

Location of hosts to remove Skype Adverts

Editing this file is easy*, you simply right click and open it with notepad (or other text editer) and add copy/paste the line from this file:

Hosts file for removing adverts from Skype and your PC

These lines need to go at the very bottom after any existing entries like this (as an example):

Edit hosts to remove Skype Adverts

Once saved, restart Skype and you're advert free!

No Skype Adverts

Basically, what we've done is told your pc (and skype) to look for the ads on your local computer instead of the live ad server, where they obviously don't exist, which results in NO ADS! An interestign side effecct is you also have no banner ads in your browser for sites like ebay etc.

In retrospect, this method may well have worked right from day one but remember folks, we hate ads here at The Server Centre so if those pesky nasties show up again, do check back here for an update ;)

*Permission problems when editing your hosts can be avoided by either adjusting the permissions for your hosts file (not recommended) or saving a copy of your hosts file and editing that one. Once you have finished editing it, you can copy it back into your etc folder and overwrite the existing one. It will ask for Administrator confirmation which overrides the permission.

The OLD method: Changing the language file

Since Microsoft decided to close MSN messenger many users are moving to Skype. While it's a fully featured application, it still holds the main drawbacks that MSN messenger had in terms of adverts. Most MSN users have probably heard of A Patch which basically hacks the MSN software and removes all the adverts. Unfortunately, there is no apatch fix for Skype, but we can confuse the hell out of it and trick it into loading a fictional language which results in no adverts!

Start by opening up your Skype, and selecting "tools" > "change language" > and then right at the bottom you have "edit skype language file"

Edit Skype Language File

Next, all you need to do is click "save as..." which will basically make a new copy of the language file. Give it a name like "NoAdverts" or something you will remember and you may need to save it in another location as your computer permissions may not allow you to save it in the existing Skype folder. It makes no difference where you put it, but note where it is so you can open it up later.

Once saved, you need to open it up in a normal text editor like notepad (to be honest, if you dont know how to do this step, you probably shouldn't be trying this ;). Anyway, the line you're looking for in there is this:

Edit Skype Language File

And you need to change it to this: (or anything similar so long as it's not a valid language) and save/close it.

Edit Skype Language File

Then you go back to your Skype and now select "tools" > "change language" but this time select "load skype language file". You will need to browse to wherever you saved the modified language file and select it as your primary language. See below:

Load Skype Language File

Once done, restart your Skype and you should see no pesky adverts. As a side note, you may also want to uncheck the "promotions" notification options in "tools" > "options" > "notifications" > "alerts and messages".
If you have any questions or comments or something is not working, please let us know!