Expand ads on desktop and tablet

Some ad slots are automatically expanded up to the maximum width allowed. Experiments indicate that expanded creatives can typically outperform creatives that are narrower than the allowed width, potentially increasing demand eligibility and click-through rates. Ads fill a larger amount of the screen and achieve a more natural fit within the content.

Ad slots eligible for expansion

Ad slot expansion for desktop and tablet currently applies to backfill display and out-stream video ad slots. Not all ad slots are currently capable of expansion, though we’re working to increase eligibility.

How ad expansion for desktop and tablet works

To understand how ad expansion works for desktop and tablets, it’s first important to know what is meant by “ container width.” It’s the width of the box containing the ad, whose size is defined by the publisher’s web development team.

Ads may expand up to the width of the container, while the height may increase proportionally when appropriate to preserve the aspect ratio. However, ad slots may not always fill to the full container width. There may be times when ad slots:

  • Expand by width but not height.
  • Don’t expand at all.

Control ad expansion for desktop and tablet

Ad slot expansion is enabled by default. You can turn it off in network settings, though we recommend keeping it enabled for optimal performance.

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Admin and then Global settings and then Network settings.
  3. Under "Ad serving settings," turn off the Ad expansion for desktop and tablet slider.
  4. Click Save.

Unified pricing rules and ad slot expansion

By default, Unified pricing rules apply to all sizes. However, if you have specified pricing for individual sizes and an ad slot is expanded to a size that wasn’t requested, the requested sizes will still be considered in selecting the rules that get applied. The requested size that is closest to the expanded size will be used for selecting the rule.


You've requested an ad with the size 320x480 or 300x250, the ad served is 412x494, and you have three pricing rules.

  • The first pricing rule targets ad size 320x480 and 1x1.
  • The second rule targets size 400x500. 
  • The third rule targets size 300x250.

Only the first pricing rule will apply because it has the requested size that is closest to the size of the ad served.


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