How to Block Pop-up Ads on Your Android Phone

How to Block Pop-up Ads on Your Android Phone
How to Block Pop-up Ads on Your Android Phone

Pop-up ads can take over your screen at the worst moments. And when you try to close it, you accidentally click on the ad that takes you to a site you had no intention of visiting. Companies use pop-up ads to push product sales, but in some instances, pop-ups can turn from an annoyance that eats up your data allowance to something dangerous.

If you’re seeing a lot of ads, the problem could lie with one of the apps installed on your device. Ad-serving apps are annoying at best, but some could steal your private information, spy on you, and cause your mobile data usage to spiral out of control.

Let’s take some steps to block pop-ups on your Android device. Remember, there may be minor differences in steps depending on your Android version.


How to Block Pop-up Ads on Your Android Phone


Ads While You’re Browsing

If browser pop-ups drive you up the wall, you can turn off pop-up ads via your Google Chrome settings without tweaking your device settings.

  • Open Chrome
  • Tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner
  • Select Settings, Privacy, and Security
  • Select Site Settings. Select “Additional Content settings” and “Ads.”
  • Select Pop-ups and redirects. Turn the function off

A VPN with an ad blocker wherever you go online is also highly recommended. It prevents marketing companies from tracking what you do and will also stop pop-up ads while browsing.


Restrict App Permissions

Sometimes, we enjoy an app and want to keep it but dislike how its ads pop up at inconvenient times. Tweak the app’s permissions by long-pressing the notification. Select app info. Turn off the notifications.


Identify Ad-serving Apps

Sometimes, pop-ups may appear randomly, and you can’t be sure which of your apps caused the pop-ups. On newer Android versions, check pop-up ad notifications to see which apps are active in the background.

When you spot a notification for an app you didn’t realize was active, long-press it and select App info. You can swipe up from the bottom of your screen when an ad appears. Swipe and hold to see the overview screen to see which apps were recently active.

Are there any unfamiliar or unexpected app names on the list? Long-press the card of any suspicious apps and tap the Settings icon to go to the app’s page, or tap the app’s icon and select App info.

You can either uninstall the app or stop pop-ups from recent apps through settings:

  • Open Settings
  • Select Notifications
  • Tap App Notifications
  • To identify the culprit, filter the list by “Most recent.”
  • Toggle off notifications for intrusive apps.

You can also go to Advanced settings and change your customization for notifications:

  • Open Settings. Select Security & privacy
  • Select Privacy
  • Select Permission Manager
  • Toggle off notifications for intrusive apps


What to Do if an App Is Unfamiliar or Suspicious

If you realize that the app isn’t quite what you thought it was, you must take action. For example, if you accidentally click on a pop-up ad, and after that, your phone opens a bunch of random tabs on its own, your device may have been infected with adware, and an app has changed your browser configuration without your permission.

Uninstall the app, then use an antivirus app to scan your device and clean any malware it finds.


Be Careful Downloading Apps

Always check the app reviews on Google Play before you click download. If any reviews mention “too many ads,” that’s a red flag. Remember that some apps start as innocent, useful apps, but they become more sinister after an update.


Use Google’s Play Protect to Sniff Out Harmful Apps

  • Open Google Play
  • Select Settings
  • Select Play Protect and turn on “Scan apps with Play Protect.”

Are there any surprise findings relating to ad serving? Check all the apps you have recently installed or updated, and delete those ad-serving apps.


Final Tips

Be vigilant while you’re on the internet. Use a VPN with an ad blocker to connect, and only visit trusted sites with a valid SSL certificate. A quality antivirus can also prevent accidental malware downloads.