How to stop AdSense ads appearing in random positions (Auto Ads)

We are receiving many emails from users reporting AdSense ads appearing randomly on their sites. Some even disable Advanced Ads and still see these automatically placed ads. In all cases, the irritation is caused by AdSense’ Auto ads feature, which allows them to display ads in random positions on your site. Please find information about Auto ads and how to remove them in the tutorial below.

Update: Auto Ads placed because of manual AdSense ads

Since October 2019, AdSense can inject Auto Ads on every website, that contains AdSense ad unit code. Auto Ads can now be displayed on any website where you have embedded a manual AdSense ad.

This means you have to configure your settings for Auto Ads directly in your AdSense account. There, you can exclude pages or content areas of your site. This way, you can ensure, that no Auto Ads are delivered on your website. If you inject your AdSense ads manually, you can still benefit from our features like Visitor Conditions, ad rotation, and complete AMP support.

Automatic ads with Auto Ads

On February 20th, 2018, AdSense introduced Auto Ads, a feature that placed AdSense ads automatically on websites. Auto Ads can make the job of webmasters much easier, but also causes a lot of confusion when ads appear in less optimized positions. We wrote about this feature and how to set it up here.

Side note: in early 2017, there was already a feature called QuickStart, which worked almost like Auto ads, so this is not entirely new. We just updated this article accordingly. Auto Ads also replaced Page-Level Ads.

For new AdSense accounts, Auto Ads are enabled by default and since it is placed through the verification ad tag it is easy to forget that you once set it up.

Personally, we believe that placing the ads manually is a better basis for optimizing them, especially when you can split test for positions.

How to disable Auto Ads?

In case you don’t want to see automatically placed AdSense ads on your site, you have different methods to remove them. They might depend on how you set them up in the first place.

Disable Auto ads in your AdSense account

AdSense can enable Auto ads through any AdSense code on your site. This includes the verification code you placed in the header or any manually placed AdSense ad unit.

If you want to continue using manually placed AdSense ads on your site then you need to disable Auto ads in your AdSense account.

  • log in to your AdSense account
  • go to Ads > Overview > By site and click on the Edit icon next to your site
  • disable the Auto ads option in the Site settings to disable Auto ads completely on that site
  • or the Page exclusions option to stop them from specific pages

You can also disable only some ad types for Auto ads in the mentioned settings in your AdSense account if you want to keep some of their features, like sticky top ads.

Remove all AdSense ad codes

You can remove any AdSense ad codes to get rid of Auto ads completely. This is useful if you neither want to place AdSense ads manually nor automatically. The solution depends on how you added the AdSense codes.

Disabling Auto ads in Advanced Ads

When you added the AdSense Auto ads code with Advanced Ads then just go to Advanced Ads > Settings > AdSense and disable the Verification Code & Auto Ads option.

If ads still appear then please flush the cache of your website, if you are using one, and make sure the AdSense Auto Ads code was not placed with another method, e.g. directly into your theme, through a theme option or another plugin.

Disabling Auto ads placed with other methods

If Auto ads keep showing up or you can still find the Auto ads code on your site then you might have added it through another method. That could be

  • another ad management or a header/footer script plugin
  • an option in your theme
  • manually placed code in your theme files

Take a look at removing ad codes to get some ideas about where to look.

How to find the AdSense Auto Ads code on a website

This video shows you how to identify AdSense Auto Ads code on a website.


Starting in 2009, Thomas’ own word game website grew to 40 MM page impressions per month. He then built Advanced Ads to help his colleagues to place ads and test different ad positions and networks tests without any coding skills. Thomas now enjoys improving the product for our more than 150,000 users worldwide.

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