How to block pop-up adverts on Android

Nowadays most desktop browsers block pop-ups and unwanted advertisements as a matter of course, but what about blocking on Android? Even if you’re using a smartphone, there are ways to block annoying and sometimes harmful pop-up advertisements.

Blocking adverts is easy if you know how to do it. There are subtle differences depending on which web browser you use, so here’s a step-by-step guide to each one.

How to block pop-up adverts on the Android Browser

how_to_block_pop-ups_android_browser
  1. Step 1

    Open the Android web browser
  2. Step 2

    Open up the app’s settings. This is usually by the “three dots” (⋮) menu button but will vary by manufacturer.
  3. Step 3

    Press “Advanced”.
  4. Step 4

    Tick the box labeled “Block pop-ups”

How to block pop-up adverts on Chrome for Android

  1. Step 1

    Open Chrome on Android.
  2. Step 2

    Open up Chrome’s settings by tapping the “three dots” (⋮) icon in the top right, and then tapping “settings”.

  3. Step 3

    On the screen that opens up, scroll down to “Site settings” and press it.
  4. Step 4

    Scroll down to “Pop-ups” and press it to enable or disable pop-ups.

Alternatively, Opera for Android comes with pop-up blocking built-in and switched on as default, and also has a rather clever way of compressing pages to ensure your data allowance doesn’t get chewed through when out and about. You can download it free of charge here.

How to Block Adverts on Mozilla

Perhaps you enjoy Mozilla Firefox over some of the other options. You can block adverts here as well.

The process is simple:

  1. Open the Firefox app and tap on the three vertical lines in the lower left-hand corner.
  2. Tap ‘Settings’
  3. Navigate to Enhanced Tracking Protection and select ‘Strict.’

Choosing the Strict option over Standard means that more ads will be blocked but it may affect some functions within the browser.

Third-Party Applications

There really isn’t anything more annoying than opening an article you’d like to read and a pop-up appears telling you that you’ve won some grandiose prize. The only way to get rid of it is to back out of the web page completely and find another article.

Fortunately, there are some trusted third-party applications that you can download for free from the Google Play Store that will help minimize the number of pop-up advertisements.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an application specifically designed for customizing your online experience in regards to advertisements and pop-ups. With mixed reviews, this app seems to do a great job at blocking harmful advertisements and it does allow you to switch off the option to allow some non-intrusive advertisements.

Once downloaded from the Google Play Store, you’ll need to follow the steps to add this as an extension to your Samsung Internet app. Choose which (and what type of) websites you’d like to stop from displaying adverts.

AdBlock for Android

AdBlock for Android is available for free on the Google Play Store and is a trusted application that helps prevent pop-up advertisements on a variety of sites and social media platforms.

Simply download the application and follow the prompts to get started. This app will act as an extension for your phone’s web browser similar to one on a desktop computer.

It also has customization options where you can block even non-intrusive ads. You can also allow advertisements from certain websites while blocking all others.

Advertisements on Your Home Screen

Some applications that are available in the Google Play Store will spam your phone. Making it difficult to answer calls or use other apps, these downloads need to be removed.

This is entirely separate from the advertisements mentioned above because those only appear when you’re browsing the internet. The advertisements we’re talking about in this section will appear regardless of what you’re doing on your phone.

These advertisements begin to appear when you’ve downloaded an application and allowed it certain permissions to spam your phone. Key indicators that this is your problem consist of a change in your home screen’s layout, ads popping up while you’re navigating through your phone, or even using a trusted app (like Facebook).

Many times, there is no option to block these ads, you need to remove the bad application from your phone.

To do this, first narrow down which app is causing the problem by:

  • Step 1

    Reviewing which apps you’ve recently downloaded. You can visit the Google Play Store and click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right-hand corner. Click ‘My Games & Apps’ to view a chronological list of apps you’ve downloaded.
  • Step 2

    Review apps that are not from trusted developers. More specifically, look for utility apps (calculators, flashlights, and even call blocking apps).
  • Step 3

    Look for any “Launchers” that you may have downloaded. Launchers can be great for customizing your phone, but they are often filled with ads.

Depending on what’s spamming your phone, you’ll need to take different approaches to remove it.

How to Remove Spamming Apps

  1. Step 1

    Swipe down from the top of your phone and access the ‘Settings‘ cog
  2. Step 2

    Scroll down and tap on ‘Apps
  3. Step 3

    Scroll through the list of apps and tap on the ones you’d like to delete
  4. Step 4

    Tap ‘Uninstall‘ for each problem app

Sometimes this is especially difficult to do because ads are slowing your phone down, or they keep popping up while you’re tapping. To avoid this, put your phone in Safe Mode by holding the physical power button, then long-pressing the Power option on your phone’s screen. The option will appear for Safe Mode allowing you to perform the above-listed steps without interruption.

How to Remove Launchers

If your home screen layout has changed drastically, it likely wasn’t an Android update, you’ve downloaded a launcher. Assuming this is what’s causing your problems, you’ll need to do this before uninstalling:

  1. Step 1

    Navigate to your phone’s Settings and tap on Apps just as we did above.
  2. Step 2

    In the upper right-hand corner, tap the three vertical dots and select ‘Default Apps
  3. Step 3

    Select ‘Home Screen‘ and click on your device’s native home screen.

After doing this, travel back to the ‘Apps’ section in Settings and remove the launcher.

Knowing which applications that are causing the adds and pop-ups can be difficult. These apps are usually launchers, utility apps such as flashlights, and call blocking applications. Removing these types of applications will not only remove the annoying pop-ups, but you may notice your phone is running faster with more battery life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you delve into the world of online advertisements you’ll realize that there is a lot to learn about them. We have some more information about Android pop-ups and advertisements below.

Are advertisements dangerous?

We’ve often stated that the best element in online security is actually the human element. This means that you are the best or worst asset in protecting your data.

We say this because one of the most common ways to get into trouble with these ads is clicking on and interacting with ones you aren’t familiar with.

For example, many users receive warning ads that their computers or phones have been compromised. These advertisements create a sense of urgency and play on the fear of the user making them more likely to open the advertisement, provide banking details, and even remote access to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

For the sake of security, the advertisements themselves likely won’t do anything but slow down the web page, it’s advised not to click on them to prevent any issues.

How can I identify spamming apps?

Fortunately, the Google Play Store has a neat feature known as “Google Play Protect.” Using this function will allow you to scan your phone for applications from untrusted developers or apps that can cause problems.

Click the three horizontal lines in the upper right-hand corner of the Google Play Store and tap on ‘Play Protect’ to run a scan of your phone’s downloaded apps.

You can also set Play Protect to automatically run scans by opening Play Protect and tapping the settings cog in the upper right-hand corner. Toggle the options on and the Google Play Store will continuously scan applications that you download.

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