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 stop annoying and sometimes harmful pop-up advertisements.
Blocking adverts is easy if you know how to do it. There are subtle differences in blocking ads 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
There are a lot of ways to block pop-ups on your Android devices. You can block them on your favorite web browsers or the phone itself. In this section, we’ll show you how to block pop-ups on your devices’ native Android browser.
- Open the Android web browser. Note: If you aren’t sure which one the Android browser is, use the search bar in your app drawer and type ‘Internet.’
- Open up the app’s settings. This is usually by tapping the three dots (⋮) menu button but will vary by manufacturer.
- Press Advanced.
- Tap the toggle button labeled Block pop-ups or Ad blocker.
How to Block Pop-Up Adverts on the Samsung Browser
Some web browsers require an additional download to block pop-ups. Samsung internet, for example, gives users a variety of trustworthy options. However, not all Android browsers support add-ons. If your default browser does, follow the instructions below. Note that the images below are not from Chrome—they are from Samsung Internet on the Google page.
- Open the internet app and tap on the three horizontal lines in the lower right-hand corner.
- Tap on Add-ons.
- Tap the download icon next to one of the pop-up blockers. You can also enable Ad-Block for Samsung.
Upon installation, the pop-up blocker gets enabled, and you should have no further issue with pesky ads.
How to Block Pop-Up Adverts on Chrome for Android
Google’s Chrome browser is probably the most popular web browser for Android users. Of course, it isn’t without its share of pop-ups. If you use the Chrome browser on your Android device, follow these steps:
- Open Chrome on Android.
- Open up Chrome’s settings by tapping the three dots (⋮) icon in the top right, and then tapping Settings.
- On the screen that opens up, scroll down to Site settings and press it.
- Scroll down to Pop-ups or Pop-ups and redirects and press it to enable or disable pop-ups.
Alternatively, Opera for Android comes with pop-up blocking built-in and is switched on as the default. It also has a rather clever way of compressing pages to ensure your data allowance doesn’t get “chewed up” when you’re out and about.
How to Block Adverts on Mozilla
Perhaps you enjoy Mozilla Firefox over some of the other options. You can block adverts there as well.
- Open the Firefox app and tap on the three vertical lines in the lower left-hand corner.
- Tap Settings.
- Navigate to Enhanced Tracking Protection and select Strict.
Choosing the Strict option over Standard means that more ads get blocked, but it affects some functions within the browser.
Third-Party Applications to Block Ads on Android
There 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 completely back out of the web page and find another article.
Fortunately, some trusted third-party applications exist that you can download for free from the Google Play Store. They help minimize the number of pop-up advertisements.
1. Adblock Plus
Adblock Plus is an application specifically designed for customizing your online experience regarding 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 type of) websites you’d like to block adverts.
2. 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 various sites and social media platforms.
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.
Block Advertisements on Your Home Screen
Some applications available in the Google Play Store spam your phone with ads, making it difficult to answer calls or use other apps. These downloads should get removed. Of course, if an app is free, it needs those ads displayed to make money and continue to offer the app free of charge.
Home screen pop-ups are entirely separate from the advertisements mentioned above because those only appear when you’re browsing the internet. These ads appear regardless of what you’re doing on your phone.
The ads begin to appear when you’ve downloaded an application and approved specific permissions to spam your phone. Key indicators that this is your problem include changing your home screen’s layout, ads popping up while you’re navigating through your phone, or even using a trusted app (like Facebook).
There is often no option to block ads; you need to remove the lousy application from your phone.
To do this, first, narrow down which app is causing the problem by:
- 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.
- Review apps that are not from trusted developers. More specifically, look for utility apps (calculators, flashlights, and even call blocking apps).
- 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
- Swipe down from the top of your phone and access the Settings cog.
- Scroll down and tap on Apps.
- Scroll through the list of apps and tap on the ones you’d like to delete, and then 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 the app:
- Navigate to your phone’s Settings and tap on Apps just as we did above.
- In the upper right-hand corner, tap the three vertical dots and select Default Apps.
- 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 are causing the ads 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.
Android Ad Blocking FAQs
Are advertisements dangerous?
The best element in online security is the human element. This statement means that you are the best or worst asset in protecting your data.
One of the most common ways to get into trouble with ads is by clicking on and interacting with unknown ones.
For example, many users receive warning ads that their computers or phones are compromised. These advertisements create a sense of urgency and play on the user’s fear, making them more likely to open the ad, provide banking details, and even allow remote access to fix a problem that doesn’t 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.” This function allows you to scan your phone for applications from untrusted developers or apps that cause problems. Keep in mind that this feature does not eliminate apps that provide ads—it just blocks apps used for malicious purposes.
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 you download.