Getting Spam Or Mysterious Alerts In Your Android Notification Bar? Here’s How To Get Rid Of Them

I’ve been fiddling with the settings on the Galaxy Nexus for the past few days attempting to figure out a way to keep the battery drain down to a dull roar. Since the screen brightness slider in Android 4.0 doesn’t tell you the exact percentage the phone is set to, I download an app called MySettings which allows me to set brightness by percentage value.

A couple of days ago I got a notification with a green cross icon next to it telling me that an update to the Android Market was available. I ignored it, at first. But when I gave it some more thought I realized that Android doesn’t notify users when there’s an update to the Market, Google just pushes it. So what was this about?

I clicked on the notification. It opened the browser (bad sign number one) to a web address that encouraged me to download “the newest Android Market.” The webpage even used the official Market logo. But the market in question is actually a third party one called Wrappio.

notification spam wrappio

I know enough not to fall for such things, but not everyone does. The bigger problem for me was: how did that get into my notifications?

A little while ago I got another mysterious notification, one using the same green cross icon as before. This one let me know that there was an 1 iPad 2 Unclaimed! for me. That’s not even trying not to look like spam. But again: how is it getting into my notifications?

This is how spam looks in Notification pull down

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I figured it had to be coming from some app I’d downloaded, but which one? I’ve installed several the past few days. All of them I’d installed before and never had this problem.

Josh Smith did some investigating for me and found out that the mysterious notifications are indeed ads being pushed from an app. He suggested I download Airpush Detector to discover which one.

Airpush Detector is free on the Android Market and does what it says on the tin: detects apps that use the notifications pulldown to push ads your way (AirPush). It lists the apps it detects and, if you tap them, you can uninstall right away.

Only one app came up: MySettings. A shame, really, because I like that one. It has many useful features. But I do not want ads in my notification drawer, so away it went.

MySettings is the AirPush culprit

Once I uninstalled the app the remaining notification went away, too. Good riddance.

I accept that one of the ways app makers earn money is by placing ads within their apps, and I’m fine with that. It keeps many apps free yet still compensates the devs. However, I’m not at all down with ads showing up in my Notification bar where I expect to see real news and alerts, not fake ones. Plus, that first ad was designed to trick people, and it wouldn’t surprise me if other ads were similar. It’s spam, plain and simple, and not okay.

MySettings isn’t the kind of app that people will spend time in, so I get why the dev might look for alternative means to get ads in front of you. But the description does not inform users that they’ll get AirPush ads or what that might mean, just that the app is ad-supported.

Plus, this is a new addition to the app. The ads showed up with version 1.9.7 in late November. Unsuspecting users who upgraded started seeing the mysterious additions to their notifications and figured out that MySettings was to blame. They’ve been posting 1 star reviews and warnings to the Market ever since. Some even claim that the ads messed up their phone and introduced malware and trojans — possibly because they tapped the notifications.

MySettings isn’t the only app doing this. If you encounter this or any other app using AirPush ads, don’t tap on them and immediately uninstall the app. If you’re not sure which app is to blame, download Airpush Detector.

Then give the app 1 star, if you’re inclined.

  

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I’m a developer for the Banner app in the market and in-app ads is how I get some pocket cash. I’ve played with those AirPush ads and my gut told me they were to intrusive so I never deployed them. Ads need to stay within the apps. If the dev needs some cash, then do a handicapped free app with an option for a .$99 app with all features. If its a good app, $$ will come!

  2. Jenelle Romero says

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!  You just saved my phone.  The AirPush Detector app totally worked.  Detected and removed in a matter of seconds!  Thanks again, those would have drove me mad… and I would have ended up deleting a bunch of apps just by guessing which I had downloaded/updated recently.  Not easy when updates are getting to be more often!  Just updated 30 today. :/

  3. Gerry says

    Thanks I downloaded Airpush Detector and found Ram Info was pushing this ad, I was going to get rid of it anyway.

  4. BetterWang says

    I got this notification not so long ago. But AirPush detector doesn’t find anything for me.
    Any ideas?

    • Katherine Anderson says

      Airpush detector didn’t find anything for me either. The app gave me the option to “help” by sending a list of apps to the developer so she/he could look at which apps of mine might be airpushing but that are not on the list.

  5. Abdul says

    You article was a great help… Thank you I couldnt figure out for the life of me which app was doing it …. turns out it was a stupid live wallpaper, which Iv never even used… Once again thanks for your work…

  6. Usandthemonkeys says

    Thanks so much, this was the only thing I could find on the web that helped solve the problem.

  7. Trav says

    you can also go to the airpush website and enter your imei number which removes you from the list so that you no longer recieve ads from them, don’t even need the app to do it.

    • Frazer says

      But – be aware of the permission that you have granted to the app when you install it. For example, AVI Player wants access to your personal information – e.g. contacts. Ask yourself: Why? Simply turning off the spam at the AIrPush site may stop the spam – but what other information is the malware sending to AirPush? The email addresses for all your friends? Pay attention to those permissions!

  8. Mshackneyyy says

    You can just go to xapush.com and opt out of receiving air push ads by entering your MEID, IMEI, or ESN number and you will not need to uninstall the app that gave you airpush ads. I did it, and it worked. I didn’t uninstall my app, and I didn’t have to install the app detector.
    When you go to xapush.com and opt out, there are 2 options: to download the app, or manually opt out. I went to the market to download and saw tons of reviews warning me not to download the app. That’s why I decided to manually opt out. Plus I was able to keep my app.

  9. Support says

    This is customer service for Wrappio. We offer a premium android market and app recs sent to your phone. The service requires
    your knowledge and consent to subscribe by affirmatively opting-in
    twice. Also, please distinguish between ads promoting Wrappio and the
    actual Wrappio service, as there appears to be some confusion above
    between the two. In any event, to cancel the actual Wrappio service,
    you may reply STOP to the shortcode. If you are unhappy with your
    service and would like to request a refund, we also offer a
    no-questions-asked full refund policy for all unsatisfied customers. You
    may call 1-888-883-2423 to speak with a live operator. We apologize for
    any inconvenience.

  10. Cathy Lail says

    great post! i had the same thing happen to me this past week – and i’m no lightweight either, but the ad *initially* fooled me too. thanks for the recommendation on AirPush. i had two apps with ads – Pinterest (which REALLY disappoints me) and another unimportant app. oh well.

  11. Karl Marx says

    Brilliant – got the iPad2 thing too – have now uninstalled “Victorious” – my eight-year-old will be displeased though.

  12. John says

    Awesome!  Thanks.  It worked exactly as you stated.  I hope app developers will get the hint.  Play fair, and people will do business.

  13. CMO says

    Thanks – I was getting notifications everyday.  Make sure people give a negative review on the market if you find an app that does this type of spamming

  14. New here says

    Thank you, I am getting these notifications recently. The notes gone as soon as i unstall the apps. Hoo ray!

  15. Pi19rimx says

    Thank you. I’ve been trying to figure this out for weeks. Air push downloaded, and fixed my problem in 30 seconds.

  16. boann80 says

    Thank you! This is perfect for what I need, i’ve been googling for ages trying to work out how to get rid of this stupid add in my notification bar.

    App does what it says

  17. Paul K says

    Thanks worked a treat. It would be correct to sassume that developers who utilize the push ads in their sofware are quite foolish, eventually no-one will use their apps at all.

  18. KalaJo12 says

    I’ve never found a forum that actually works. Thank you so much! Just in case anyone is curious, the application was Music Paradise for me. I didn’t start getting the push notifications until about two months after I had installed the application. This really did work quite well for me. Everyone should check out this application, Airpush Detector. Installed super fast, great speed. I had my application detected within seconds. Thanks a ton!

                                                                                                     -Kala Jo

  19. Fifi_d says

    THANK YOU! these ads were driving me crazy and I unfortunately had deleted apis I could have kept.

  20. MLuiten says

    So glad I read this, feed the dino, harmless i thought for my child to play on the phone. I nearly downloaded a battery upgrade. Phew and thanks!

  21. Florence Hulihee says

    Thank you!!!  For the past few days these notifications have been driving me crazy. Just downloaded Airpush dectector and it found the offensive app and now it’s gone. Thank You!!!!

  22. Hilpo says

    Thank you. Mine was feed your dino. Will just download to nook – got luck pushing to that never read the notifications.

  23. Tim says

    Was annoyed that iris, a FRIGGIN voice assistant, BEST APP! is pushing ads :’(

    I recommend IRIS, but ads made me uninstall it.

  24. Jax says

    thank you for this article…i was wondering from where these notifications where comming….thank u…very nice small tool/app.

  25. Wink says

    Man o Man, thanks to your article I got rid of two themes that were pushing adds. Like you, I don’t mind the adds within the program (If I really like the program and don’t want the adds I buy it.) but these that were pushing to my notification bar were really getting on my nerves. I downloaded the program and it took about 10 seconds to find the problem. It took me longer to read your post than it did for Airpush Detector to find the “Bad Guys”. :-)

  26. Jerome says

    Finally something that WORKED! Got rid of these unnecessary notifications for good. The Ap that caused it was an Electric Shaver. I know, it’s a pointless gimmick anyway :) Thank you for sharing the info!

  27. Cin says

    Thanks! What a relief! The app causing the ads in my notification bar was Planets and Stars. Pity really.

  28. T.C. says

    Been wondering how to get rid of the green cross spam. A shame the perpetrator had to be a useful app too.. Thanks for the help! Worked like a charm.

  29. Marko says

    Thanks a lot!
    I upgraded my android firmvare to Ice Cream Sandwich and the telephone updated my apps. In old versions of my apps I didn’t get notifications, but in the new I got them as soon as the upgrade was finished. I thought that these is because of new Android firmware although I fought that is strange.
    Notifications notified me about Battery Upgrade app, that is actually a trojan. Because the notifications keep repeating I thought it already installed.
    So thanks for these article – I downloaded AirPush Detector, uninstalled Dog Whistle app and notifications disappeared.

    So don’t install Dog Whistle!

    Thank you again!

  30. Lynae says

    THANK YOU sooo much!! I thought my phone had a virus. Those stupid ad notifications were killing my battery and driving me crazy!! Thanks again and God bless!

  31. Nickwad says

    AWESOME!!!! Thanks a million for this info! I flushed out 3 offending apps (mostly wallpaper app) and the SPAM notifications went POOF!!! TYVM!!!

  32. DJ says

    Thank you for this.
    I was extremely pissed off with spams being pushed through to my notification bar and found the culprit and uninstalled it right away.
    It turned out to be a seemingly harmless battery calibrator app.

  33. Si says

    Brilliannt. I got a Samsung Note last week and this was doing my head in! Thanks for this advice.

  34. Panda says

    Thank you!! I’ve been freaking out for a few days trying to figure out where these ads were coming from! Its a shame, the ones they are coming from I actually liked having too but I wont stand for silly little ads on my phone :( Guess I’ll just have to find a new theme and mp3 downloader haha.

    Anyways, thanks for the info! I wasn’t finding any info anywhere else!!! And the Airpush Detector worked easy peasy! So thanks!!

    • LotusJaguar says

      LOL Panda! I had the SAME issue … find new wallpaper and mp3 downloader …

      To the author of this post, may you be well blessed for blessing me this day. Now I won’t have uncontrollable tantrums and turrets episodes cussing out my Motorola Droid X2. LOL THANK YOU!!!

  35. DjB says

    Thank you, I have plenty of apps and didn’t want to delete them all just to rectify this problem. I agree with everything you say, and am very pleased to know about airpush detector worked very well and easy to use for the not-so-technical android user!!

  36. David says

    THANK YOU! This is exactly the info I was looking for. The app is question is now gone, no more unwanted notification!!

  37. Glenn Moses says

    Wow, thanks so much for this. I never would have found out what the offending app was without your help. In my case, it was my favorite theme for GOsms – just the theme! The theme in question was Dark Purple. Thanks so very much for sharing.

  38. Mike says

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for the help! I’ve been so frustrated everytime I look at my phone due to stupid spam and now I longer have to worry about it. Turns out it was a GO Launcher Theme–ICS. Thanks for saving my life!

  39. Joe says

    This was very, very helpful. I used AirPush Detector and instantly found 2 wallpaper apps. Of course I uninstalled them immediately.

  40. Jeff says

    Thanks a ton for this article! Wanted to get rid of the annoying spam, and even though I liked the app it had to go.

  41. Robert says

    Thank you thank you!! Totally cured my frustration. ‘Shake to Charge’ was the culprit.

  42. Masood says

    Thanks a Million, these notifications just suddenly started appearing from nowhere and companies doing this are taking a real liberty.

  43. Doris says

    Very Helpful, i keep searching appstore with ‘anti spam’ keywords and never found anything until you wrote this. thank yoy

  44. Anna says

    I have been deleting apps for a week trying to figure out which one was spamming these annoying adds on my phone. I finally decided to look it up finally, out of frustration, and now I only wish I had sought assistance sooner. I’m still wary just due to the nature of apps, but so far so good! The developer should definitely consider charging for this service.

  45. Joe says

    Thank you, i let my kids down load a Magic 8ball app and that is what was giving me the push notifactions. I removed it and have not received one yet.

  46. Chris Chippendale says

    Tried this on my girlfriends phone, and it’s not detecting anything – anyone got Amy advice? It’s a galaxy s2, she’s getting ads for different games in the notifications bar. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Orit k. says

      In addition to Airpush exists many more push ads networks. I found another great tool for detection and removal of spamming apps. Look for Addons detector.

  47. Erin says

    Thanks!! I have been getting so many of the unwanted notifications. Had to get rid of some apps I liked but nothing I couldn’t live without.

  48. ni,k says

    Every time I load this page I get a star (white) in notification bar. Lol site has been taged. Downloading “airpush” now. Thank’s for the info.

  49. haidee says

    Thanks, the pop ups were driving me nuts, – especially when you wanted to type a text and the notifications would just pop up!

  50. Felicity says

    THANK YOU!! my goodness, I was pulling my hair out getting “inappropriate” ads appearing in my notifications. After reading this it took less than a minute for the problem to be solved. I’m extremely grateful.

  51. Kris G says

    Thank you as everyone else has said for writing this. For me it was downloading a couple of Live Wallpapers that caused the spam I was getting.

    Thank you for making this easy to solve!

  52. Steve says

    Thank you! For me, it was an app called, Hotel Tonight, which is a shame. I did like the app & found it useful.

  53. Connie says

    Great to have found your article! God savior! I kept on getting those hot girls ads for gods sake! They are from an TV app.

  54. Brian says

    Thanks man! I was trying to figure out what app was sending the notifications and the app you informed us of worked like a charm. The app that was sending it was ringdroid. What a shame, because the app was great. Thanks again!

  55. Mike says

    Thanks. Got rid of Special FX app with this tool. I downloaded it at my son’s request. No more annoying air push ads.

  56. Tim Lalahi says

    Thanks for this article. Got rid of DBZ wallpapers and rated them 1. Had the app for ages before it started doing that. Ads were driving me bonkers.

  57. Elly says

    Thank You!! Was able to locate which app was sending these stupid notifications, I was getting anywhere from 5-10 a day!! It was starting to piss me off. Downloaded the suggested Airpusher and sure enough it was an app I downloaded that never worked!

  58. Lori says

    Thanks a bunch! Stupid ads were driving me bonkers..turns out it was a live wallpaper…off it went! Thanks again :)

  59. Orit k. says

    Thank you for a great review. Today, the Google Play is even more full of spamming apps, in addition to Airpush exists more push ads networks. I recently found another fantastic tool for removing that kind of spamming apps – Addons detector. It is free and detects many push ads in addition to Airpush. Strongly recommending.

  60. Lisa F says

    Orit, thanks for your post! I downloaded the Adpush app but it didn’t detect what was giving me the notifications. I downloarded Addons and it was unfortunately the Go SMS Samsung 3 theme :( The ad disappeared as soon as I uninstalled the theme. Thanks so much!!

  61. Craig says

    I think that if you download an app that is “free” and the developer clearly states that the they have included an ad network to help pay for their time – but also offers a pro version without ads, you should buy the pro version. What most consumers don’t realize when they download “free” apps is that someone actually took their time to build something cool and if you want it, you should pay the $0.99 for the non-ad one. I get sick of people complaining about “free” applications that display ads or notifications. Simply pay the developer for their time with their “pro” version and you can stop complaining about ads.

  62. Anona Mous says

    @Craig. And I get sick of people (like Craig) who don’t read and comprehend the article about INTRUSIVE ads in the notification area. The apps including these nuisances do NOT explain beforehand that they’ll pump a bunch of junk into your notifications. IN-APP ads are ok… spamming our basic functions is not.

  63. Joseph says

    I stared getting all these weird ads about meeting singles in my area. Try to explain that to my boyfriend. All because I downloaded some app to add extra fonts to my phone… Live and learn. Thanks for the info. It saved more than just my phone :)

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