How to block pop-up ads on Android

These days, most desktop browsers block unwanted pop-ups and ads all the time, but what about blocking on Android? Even if you're using a smartphone, there are ways to block annoying and sometimes harmful pop-up ads.

Blocking ads is easy if you know how to do it. There are subtle differences depending on which web browser you're using, so here's a step-by-step guide for each.

How to Block Popup Ads on Android Browser

There are many ways to block pop-ups on your Android devices. You can block them on your favorite web browsers or on the phone itself. In this section, we are going to show you how to block pop-ups on your devices native Android browser.

  1. Open the Android web browser. Notes: If you're not sure about the Android browser, use the search bar in your app drawer and type "internet".
  2. Open app settings. This is usually done by the "three dots" (⋮) menu button, but this varies by manufacturer.
  3. Tap "Advanced".
  4. Check the box labeled “Block pop-ups”.

How to block pop-up ads on Chrome for Android

Google's Chrome browser is probably the most popular web browser for Android users. Of course, it's not without its share of pop-ups. If you're using the Chrome browser on your Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome on Android.
  2. Open Chrome's settings by tapping the "three dots" icon (⋮) in the top right, then tapping "settings."

  3. On the screen that opens, scroll down to “Site Settings” and tap it.
  4. Scroll down to "Pop-ups" and tap it to enable or disable pop-ups.

Alternatively, Opera for Android comes with pop-up blocking built-in and enabled by default. But, it also has a pretty clever way of compressing pages to ensure your data allowance isn't chewed up when you're on the go. You can download it for free here.

How to Block Ads on Mozilla

Maybe you like Mozilla Firefox over some of the other options. You can also block ads here.

The process is simple:

  1. Open the Firefox app and tap the three vertical lines in the lower left corner.
  2. Tap “Settings”.
  3. Go to Enhanced Tracking Protection and select "Strict".

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

Third-party applications

There's really nothing more annoying than opening an article you'd like to read, and a pop-up appears telling you that you've won a grand prize. The only way to get rid of it is to leave the web page completely and find another article.

Luckily, there are trusted third-party apps that you can download for free from the Google Play Store that will help you minimize pop-up ads.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an application specially designed to personalize your online experience regarding ads and pop-ups. With mixed reviews, this app seems to do a great job of blocking harmful ads, and it lets you turn off the option to allow some non-intrusive ads.

Once downloaded from the Google Play Store, you will need to follow the steps to add it as an extension to your Samsung Internet app. Choose which (and which type) of websites you want to prevent from displaying advertisements.

AdBlock for Android

AdBlock for Android is available for free on the Google Play Store and is a trusted app that helps prevent pop-up ads on various sites and social media platforms.

Simply download the app and follow the instructions to get started. This application will act as an extension for your phone's web browser, similar to that of a desktop computer.

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

Ads on your home screen

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

This is entirely separate from the advertisements mentioned above as these only appear when you are browsing the internet. The ads we talk about in this section will appear regardless of what you are doing on your phone.

These ads start appearing when you have downloaded an app and allowed certain permissions to spam your phone. Key indicators that this is your problem include a change in your home screen layout, ads appearing while browsing 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 wrong app from your phone.

To do this, first identify the application causing the problem by:

  • Review apps you've recently downloaded. You can visit the Google Play Store and click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner. Click "My Games & Apps" to view a chronological list of apps you've downloaded.
  • Review apps that are not from trusted developers. Specifically, look for utility apps (calculators, flashlights, and even call blocking apps).
  • Look for "launchers" that you may have downloaded. Launchers can be great for customizing your phone, but they're often filled with ads.

Depending on what is spamming your phone, you will need to take different approaches to removing it.

How to remove spam apps

  1. Swipe down from the top of your phone and navigate to the " Parameters' cog.
  2. Scroll down and press 'applications'
  3. Scroll through the list of apps and tap the ones you want to remove
  4. Faucet 'uninstall' for each problematic application

Sometimes this is especially hard to do because ads slow down your phone or keep popping up while you press. To avoid this, put your phone in Safe mode by pressing and holding the physical power button and then long-pressing the Power option on your phone screen. The option will appear for safe mode, allowing you to perform the steps listed above without interruption.

How to remove launchers

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

  1. Access your phone Parameters and press applications just like we did above.
  2. In the top right corner, tap the three vertical dots and select 'Default applications'
  3. Select 'Homepage' and click on your device's native home screen.

After that, go back to the "Applications" section in the settings and delete the launcher.

It can be difficult to know which apps are causing ads and pop-ups. These apps are usually launchers, utility apps like flashlights, and call blocker apps. Removing these types of apps will not only remove annoying pop-ups, but you may notice your phone running faster with longer battery life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you dive into the world of online ads, you'll find there's a lot to learn about them. We have more information about Android pop-ups and ads below.

Are advertisements dangerous?

We've often said that the best element of online security is actually the human element. This means that you are the best or the worst asset to protect your data.

We say this because one of the most common ways to get into trouble with these ads is to click on and interact with ones you don't know about.

For example, many users receive warning ads that their computers or phones have been compromised. These ads 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 remote access to fix a problem that doesn't actually exist.

For security reasons, the ads themselves are likely to only slow down the web page. It is advised not to click on it to avoid any problem.

How can I identify spam apps?

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

Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner of the Google Play Store and tap on "Play Protect" to start a scan of downloaded apps on your phone.

You can also set Play Protect to run scans automatically by opening Play Protect and tapping the settings cog in the top right corner. Enable the options and the Google Play Store will continuously scan the apps you download.

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