How to block unwanted ads on your Android phone or tablet

How to block unwanted ads on your Android phone or tablet

Most websites and Android apps rely on ads to generate sustainable revenue. However, some ads can be annoying or harmful. Additionally, frequent pop-up ads over other apps, the lock screen, and the home screen can ruin the experience on the best Android phones. If you often face the same problems, read on to learn how to block ads on your Android phone and tablet.


Ads popping up out of nowhere on your Android phone or tablet is never a desirable experience. You can stop pop-ups in the default Chrome browser, stop unknown apps from displaying full ad banners over other apps, disable background services on the lock screen, and purchase the premium app subscription to remove ads.

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Block pop-ups, redirects and ads on Google Chrome

Google Chrome has a built-in pop-up and ad blocker to disable intrusive or deceptive ads. Follow the steps below to activate them on your phone.

  1. Open Google Chrome on your Android phone.
  2. Tap the menu with three dots in the upper right corner and open Settings.
  3. Scroll to Website Settings.

  4. Open Pop-ups and redirects and activate the switch from the following menu.

  5. Go back to Website Settings and choose Advertisements.
  6. Turn on Advertisements toggle.

To remove ads while browsing the web, use one of the third-party browsers on Android, as Chrome does not support an ad blocker extension on mobile. Samsung Internet and Firefox are two popular Chrome alternatives that offer ad blocking extensions on Android.

Samsung Internet offers a built-in extension store to download ad blockers. Brave is another ad-blocking browser on Android that offers an ad-free browsing experience.

Check Google Chrome Website Alerts

It’s not a good idea to let every website send real-time notifications to your Android phone or tablet. Apart from sending useful notifications, some websites can spam your device’s notification center with irrelevant partner content.

To disable notifications for unnecessary websites:

  1. Long press the Google Chrome app icon and tap I button.
  2. Open Alerts.

  3. Scroll to All websites alert.
  4. Check the list of allowed sites and the number of alerts each site sends in a week.

  5. Disable notification permission for unknown websites from the list.

Block ads on the home screen

Ads appearing on the home screen are worse than ads in a browser or notification center. These full banner ads appear above all apps on your phone or tablet. The Android system allows app developers to request “Show over other apps” permission to function normally.

Apps like Messenger and Truecaller require such permissions to display bubble chatheads and identify incoming callers. However, some sketchy apps trick users into giving permission and keep sending ads on the home screen. When you receive such ads, look for the app name that sent them on your home screen. Once you have identified these apps, follow the steps below to disable the permission.

  1. Long press the app icon and open the app info menu.
  2. Scroll to Show over other apps.

  3. Turn off Allow viewing over other apps toggle.

If you no longer need the app, uninstall it from the same app info menu.

Disable background services on the lock screen

To enhance your device’s lock screen experience, background services such as Glance display app recommendations, news and partner content on the lock screen. It is available on low-end and mid-range devices from Samsung and Xiaomi. Go through the steps below to disable background services on your Android tablet or phone.

We are using a Samsung Galaxy A52 running One UI 4.1 in the screenshots below.

  1. Swipe up from the home screen to open the app drawer menu.
  2. Select Settings equipment.
  3. Scroll to Lock screen.
  4. Open Wallpaper services.

  5. Tap the radio button next to it No.

Buy premium app subscriptions

Developers rely on ads to support app development. Some app developers offer a one-time purchase, while others offer monthly or annual subscriptions to remove ads and unlock new features. For example, you will continue to receive non-skippable ads on streaming platforms such as YouTube and Spotify until you purchase the premium subscription.

What about Android tablets?

Since your kids often stream videos and play games on a big screen, you should be just as careful when dealing with ads on an Android tablet. A single misstep can infect your tablet with fake files and unnecessary app installations. Although we’ve used screenshots from an Android phone throughout the post, you can follow the same steps to block ads on your Android tablet.

Be careful with app installation

It’s best not to fill your Android phone or tablet with unnecessary flashlight apps, third-party app launchers, or one- or two-star apps. Your Android device also does not require an antivirus app. Before installing an app, read app reviews. If others are complaining about the number of ads, stay away from these apps or look for better alternatives.

Google offers Google Play Protect, but it stops malicious apps from appearing in the Play Store. The company has no control over ads that appear in other apps.

You can also root your Android phone and install a system-wide ad blocker to block ads. However, be careful when rooting your phone. A misstep during the process can leave you with a bricked device and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Remove ads on your Android phone

The growing ad situation is a reason for users to switch from Android to iOS. Before you settle for a sub-par experience, use the tricks above to remove ads on your Android phone.

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