How to block ads on your Android

How to block ads on your Android

Ads and pop-up windows are one of the most annoying things in the world, and that's why practically everyone has a pop-up and ad blocker installed on their desktop. But for some strange reason not everyone bothers to do the same thing for their Android smartphone (I know many a Nexus 5 owner still suffering through banner ads). Today, we're going to show you how to block ads on Android, including pop-ups, with Android ad blockers.

ad blockers
Follow our guide for how to block ads, video ads, sound ads and pop-ups. / © AdBlocker

Did you know that all those ads (static and video) actually use up tons of your data allowance? Just think about it. If you load a web page and there's a bunch of video ads playing on the side the entire time you're on the site, that data flow has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is your data plan. So installing an ad blocker on your Android can not only save your sanity but also your hip pocket.

AndroidPIT Chrome Settings
Make sure your browser has popups blocked, and turn Reduce Data Usage ''On''.  / © ANDROIDPIT/Google

For starters, you can use a browser like Reduce Data Usage to save even more of your precious bits.

AndroidPIT Adblock Plus Install
Hit the APK link on your Android and install Adblock Plus. / © ANDROIDPIT/Adblock Plus

How to block ads on Android (with root)

I'm rooted, so I used Adblock Plus. Simply hit the link on your Android, download the Adblock Plus APK (you'll need to enable Unknown Sources in your Security Settings first) and launch it. If you're rooted, Adblock Plus will ask you for Superuser permission. Grant it and you're done.

You can then choose a subscription – EasyList is fine – and decide if you want all ads blocked or just ''inappropriate'' ones. It's up to you if you can handle some advertising or want everything blocked. Inappropriate ads include video ads and those with sounds etc. Remember though, many of your favorite websites rely on advertizing revenue...

AndroidPIT Adblock Plus Settings
Pick your subscription, uncheck Acceptable Ads and ditch that icon. / © ANDROIDPIT/Adblock Plus

To hide the icon in your notification drawer you can tick the box but this will only make the notification icon invisible. If you want it out of your notification bar entirely you'll need to go to your device's Settings > Apps > Adblock Plus and uncheck the Show Notifications box.

AndroidPIT Adblock Plus Proxy
You'll simply have to configure your own proxy settings if you're not rooted. / © ANDROIDPIT/Adblock Plus

How to block ads on Android (without root)

If you're not rooted, don't despair. You simply need to do a little more leg work with your proxy settings. Just go to your Settings and select Wi-Fi, long press the connection you're on (you'll obviously need to do this for all of the Wi-Fi networks you regularly log into) and select Modify Network.

From here, go down to Show Advanced Options and switch the Proxy Settings to Manual (it'll be set automatically to None). This will bring up further options: you simply need to change the entry in the Proxy Hostname field to localhost and the Proxy Port to whatever number Adblock Plus has told you to change it to. For me it was 2020. You don't need to add any exceptions.

AndroidPIT Adblock Plus Before After
Et voila! Before and after - ads versus clean white space. / © ANDROIDPIT

Now, you can set your notification options as above and start launching ad-heavy websites as much as you like. Instead of seeing all the banner and sidebar ads you'll just get white space – it may seem a little weird at first but that nice ''breathing space'' is actually kind of nice once you get used to it. Not to mention the fact that you won't be seeing all sorts of flashy, noisy and moving image ads all of the time.

Some sites, like Forbes, will still show their initial pop-up advertisement, but there will be nothing in it. Some of these are unavoidable. Combined with Chrome's pop-up blocker (plenty of other browsers have similar functions), Adblock Plus will save your sanity, your Wi-Fi data and perhaps even your impulse to consume.

Do you use an ad blocker or pop-up blocker on your Android? What combination do you use?

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  • Hi

    I have tried all method but found following useful and works like charm, all ads block in all apps and browser, all my free apps are ads and popup free. And best thing is it doesn't drain your battery

    If your phone is rooted, use Adaway, for non rooted phone use DNS66 , both available at F-Droid.

    If still you see some ads, try adding more filters like MVPS host file, EasyList, Fanboy complete list.


  • I am using adblock plus into my laptop but these days facing some problem related to pop up ads, anyone can suggest me some other best alternative for ad blocking

  • Adblockplus worked for one day then same ole, heard the owners are in the advertising business.

  • Heard today that Android N will be blocking picture, video, and network notifications. This should go a long way in terms of keeping those invasive apps out of our phones. Adware can really make/break your experience. Take Flash Keyboard for example: download their app for the nice themes, and suddenly get inundated with ads (for their other apps) on a second lock screen. Totally ruined my faith in that company.

  • I tried all steps above but manually changing proxy settings and 5 or 6 different ad blockers. None could find app causing problem. Turned out to be something in Words with Friends, uninstalled and reinstalled and now don't get ad pop ups. Funny thing was I actually installed to new phone to get back to my WWF games and took 3 days before ads started to pop up so I was clueless as to what app was causing problems since I only visited web sites since original install. Still wondering how pop ups got there.

  • Can you email me the adblock plus apk?

  • hey check this out..

    Black ads on android. You can download the flashable zip here and flash it via recovery to block ads.

    check it here-

  • Download all versions ShowBox

  • Adaway is easy to use. You can find it on

  • Hello please does it work for ads that appears out of nowhere even when there is not any app running in the background?? Thank you in advance for your help :) it will be appreciated

  • Best is to use Firefox for Android devices as it has add-on feature... so you can easily use Adblock Plus as addon

  • This trick works... However there is a downfall to it. When I launch the youtube app it tends to get really slow. And I keep on getting some sort of playback error. Anyway how to fix this error? And also I've noticed the bandwith tends to get slow I think because of the proxy right?

  • Tim Dec 20, 2014 Link to comment

    I just downloaded the Adblock Plus app and configured the proxy to localhost port 2020
    and I still get ads when I use the Chrome app. The Chrome app is the only app that allows me to download to my SD card all others browsers wont. Did Android somehow break Adblock Plus I run Android 4.4.2 on a Samsung Galaxy s5 and no root. I can't root this device because its illegal on my plan.

  • None if this worked for me on Lollipop (Nexus 5). Guess it isn't compatible.

  • Hi, Im using the non rooted device and after installing the ABP, I can't find the proxy setting to change it at advanced settings. Any other way to change that proxy? anyone?

  • Just rooted my device (SuperSU) to get ABP to work on 3G, enabled Unknown Sources, downloaded ABP , granted SU...and nothing! Rebooted, checked in SSU and ABP is listed as "Grant"....same...any pointers?

  • Or you could just use UC browser it does the job well.

  • Does it work only over a wi-fi connection or over a data connection too...... ?!! bcoz i use the latter one more

  • After using Ad Block Plus for a few weeks I've come to some conclusions.

    Yes, it works. Not having ads popup in-app is very nice. Some apps are unusable otherwise.

    However, and this is a big however. Quality of service is drastically affected. Google Now fails to load sometimes. Voice recognition services fail to reach the servers they depend on sometimes. Websites refuse to load sometimes. Some apps won't load as they have done something funky with the way they load ads. Internet browsing is slower and lastly. Each website viewed requires significantly more CPU + RAM to load, draining battery faster.

    I said something a lot in my cons paragraph. That's because it didn't always happen. I get the impression this is a timing issue brought on by the sheer number of web resourslces loaded that need to be checked against the massive internal blacklist Ad Block Plus stores on the device. Its possible a website might make 20+ web resource requests per load (maybe more the first time the site is accessed). iframes being a big issue here as they are basically little windows loaded with separate web requests to different servers.

    In the end I deleted Ad Block Plus as I wasn't happy with the negative side affects.

  • The only surefire way to get rid of ads is to root the phone and install AdAway through F-Droid. No proxies or other funky stuff involved, no slowdowns either.

  • Better install this program
    ***Admin edit: external links are forbidden.

  • Its works...but it kind of slows my wifi down while browsing on chrome....Is there any way to exclude the chrome app for android from the proxy settings...?

    • Hey @necromancer18, no way that I'm aware of. But excluding Chrome would basically defeat the purpose of installing an ad blocker because then you'd get ads in your browser. Of course, you could just turn ABP off when you want to browse with Chrome.

  • A good article with useful apps.

  • Occupies alot of ram on the handset and the browser webpage are not showing correctly. Either way, thou it has blocks ads but it own use up lots of data too.

    • Hey @Albert, the reason ABP ''uses'' a lot of data is because all of your browser traffic is filtered through ABP first, in order to block the ads. So it's technically not ''using'' data, rather, it's just that the data you're already using is being attributed to ABP because it acts as a filter before it reaches your browser. Here's ABP's FAQ:

  • I say it is working like a charm here. thanks.

  • Can you tell us how ABP fares against AdAway and other ad-blockers?

  • I have an LG Optimus G which is unrooted. I've taken the all the steps to activate ABP, including setting the port to the specified 2020. The only setting sill greyed out is 'bypass proxy for'. I've tried everything I can think of. It states "The HTTP proxy is used by the browser but may not be used by the other apps." It calls for something in the format of ",, " which is greyed out also. I've entered my browser address, none, all, and so forth, but Save is still greyed out. I use ABP on my PC, and I love it. Now if I can get your help on this one I can live in peace & harmony with the universe.

    • Hi @ma, as mentioned above, just enter: localhost in the Proxy Hostname field and hit Save.

      • Hi Kris, the hangup I'm getting is the 'bypass proxy host ' setting. Everything I try won't remove the greyed out Save option and let me activate ABP. Thanks again for your help.

      • Hi @ma, there's no necessity to enter anything in the bypass field. As long as you have the proxy number and localhost entered, the save option should be available.

  • Hi @Kris,
    My Android is not rooted and (therefore ?) Adblock Plus doesn't block ads on 3G/4G.
    Which is a pity.
    With Wi-Fi I don't really mind the ads.
    (My brain "erases" them automatically.) ;-))

  • It worked for me immediately.
    Thank you.

    In the heading you write "(and save data!)"
    We all (normally) have data plans with our mobile provider.
    But adblock only works for WLAN.

    How can I set up it for my mobile data plans?

    Thank you
    Jochen (Germany)

    • Hi @Jochen, as far as I'm aware Adblock Plus blocks ads on Wi-Fi and 3G/4G if you have root (which I do). Unfortunately, I don't use mobile data because I'm permanently surrounded by Wi-Fi, so I didn't test it. But the Chrome tips were meant to limit data usage on cell networks too.

      • sorry to be dumb but what does it mean to "have root"?

      • Hi @Marti, no apologies necessary. Root simply refers to having root access to your device. It's a fairly simple process (depending on your Android's manufacturer). But it essentially gives you complete control over your phone - lets you delete pre-loaded apps, play around with otherwise hidden settings, allows you to speed up your CPU or undervolt your battery, use root-only apps - basically just mess around however you like. But with more power comes more responsibility...

  • It worked only for the first time. The next page I opened was the same ad-filled.

  • Hi, Kris, I've done everything in your instructions through changing Proxy Port to 2020, which I believe is the last instruction. However, the "Save" button is grayed out and only the CANCEL is available. What am I missing? Is there something I am supposed to put in the "Bypass proxy for" line?

    • Hi @Marti, if your phone is not rooted, you should have seen a popup that would give you the specific number to enter in the Port setting. It may not be 2020, that's just what it was for me when I tested the process without granting root access. The most likely reason the Save button is greyed out is because you haven't added localhost to the Hostname section. once you've done that it should let you save it.

      • Thanks Kris. That worked.

      • Hi, this doesn't work for me. I get thru all the steps, installed app, got into advanced section but after entering localhost then 2020 the grey save button stays grey.

        I'm so close but can't close the deal.

      • Have you entered localhost into the proxy hostname field? That's usually what stops you being able to click save.

        Edit: Just realized you said you did already! I really can't think of another reason why you wouldn't be able to click save.

  • Hi Kris, I downloaded and installed adblock plus as well as changed proxy settings of wifi to localhost and 2020. Everything was simple but when opened this post url again, I could see Google ad at the end of the article.. I expected it would get blocked. My phone is not rooted.

    • Hi @Nikhil, you can check to see if you've got the Acceptable Ads box checked. If so, Adblock plus wills till let through what it deems to be acceptable ads - basically static ads, so if the ads you're seeing after installing the app are standard image ads, that check box may be the solution. Personally I'd rather see blocks of white space rather than any ads at all. Remember you need to set the process up for every Wi-Fi network you use too!

  • download the apk on your device and manually install it. Its sideloading. Apps through google play are directly installed.

    • Hi Saem, I have downloaded the APK directly onto my phone, but it won't install manually or otherwise, which is why I made my first post.

      • Hi Tricia, all you need to do is download the Android APK directly onto your computer (but don't open it or anything), then plug your phone into your computer with a USB cable and copy the APK to your Android. it doesn't matter where, as long as you can find it again. I'd suggest your Downloads folder. Then, launch a file manager on your phone (whatever one you prefer, if you don't already have one I'd recommend ES File Manager), find the APK you copied over and launch it - it should install exactly as it would if you installed it from the Play Store.

      • Hi Kris, thanks for that. It sounds simple enough, and I'll let you know how I get on!

      • ..

      • Hi Kris, It was straightforward until I tried to install. Package installer was fine, but when I tapped the install button, on the "Do you want to install this application" page, nothing happened. The button didn't even change colour, as is normal when you tap a button, and it wasn't greyed out either.

      • Hi @Tricia, I've never encountered a breakdown in the install procedure on that screen. Usually it'd be messed up beforehand or after! The only thing I can think of would be to try the download and install again.

      • Hi Kris. I tried it two or three times, with the same result. I guess I'll just have to be ABP free :-(

      • Hi @Tricia, my only guess is that perhaps you forgot to check the box for ''Unknown Sources'' in your device's Security Settings. You'll need that box checked to be able to install an app/APK from outside the Play Store.

      • That was the first thing I did Kris :-(

      • Ok, how about making sure Verify Apps is NOT checked in the same security settings? Your device may be disallowing installation because it thinks ABP is dangerous? Although I have Verify ticked on my phone and it still worked ok...

      • I've just tried that, and it wants me to tick the box before I can go any further.

      • Harumph! Last ditch guesses: have you got sufficient storage space to install it? Have you managed to install any other APKs? Have you wiped your cache partition (via the Recovery Menu)? I'm starting to clutch at straws now, @Tricia!

      • Hi Tricia;do you have Twilight installed?
        If not,check if the size of the apk you downloaded is big enough.Did you pause the download once?Try downloading the apk again and try to install it after a restart.
        What device have you got?

      • Another possible reason for failure is if you have a screen dimmer or a layer on top. Your phone checks for these apps active status before allowing any installation of apps. If there are any such apps running then your phone will not allow you to click "install". I realised this whenever I use my screen dimmer.

        The reason your phone does this is for safety reasons i.e. if a malicious app creates a top layer covering the install button then it can trick you into installing any other app it wants. Hope this helps.

      • So glad I read the comments! I was having issues trying to install this and I do have Twilight installed. It wouldn't let me hit install. Turned Twilight off and was able to install. Thanks!

  • I have a non-rooted Samsung Galaxy Note. Although I have my Settings to enable Adblock to be downloaded, after I downloaded the adblock file, I get the message 'Cannot open file'.

    Is there something else I should be doing?

    • Hi Tricia, I occasionally have problems downloading APKs directly to my device too. You can try downloading the APK to your computer and sideloading it to your Android with a USB cable. Sometimes I have to switch download managers (from Chrome to ES File Manager to Astro) a couple of times on my Android before the APK will download properly. The sideload method usually avoids this issue.

      • Hi Kris, Thanks for replying. Do I download the Android APK to my computer? I don't know what sideloading means! Do you have and idiots guide to how I do this?
        Thanks again.

  • I'm sorry but that trick for non rooted phone one is not working for me! :/

    • Hi @Zaid, what's the problem? Are you getting the Proxy Configuration message from Adblock Plus with the instructions (as in the second last screenshot above)? Make sure you enter the right Proxy Port number!

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