In this guide we’ll show you how to block ads on Android with and without root. Whether that’s ads in the browser, pop-up ads, or even ads in Android apps and games. There are several different ways to get rid of annoying and intrusive ads, so choose what method is best for you.
While ads are what make a lot of the apps and services we use on our Android devices great, and free, they’re also frustrating. If you’re looking to clean up your experience, we have a few different methods for any experience level to try.
A big problem with ad blockers is most of them require root access, which is like Jailbreak for Android. If you’re one of the millions of users that don’t want to hack their phone, you have other options. We’ll help you block ads without root, with root, or by downloading a new web browser.
How to Block Ads on Android Without Root
Our first method is one of the best ways to get rid of ads, and it doesn’t even need root access. It’s an app called DNS66, which uses Android’s built-in VPN service to remove ads at the DNS level. If that sounds confusing, let us explain.
What that means for the average user is DNS66 blocks specific domain names from a list, quickly, when you first visit a site or launch an app or game. It’s not running in the background the entire time. It checks the list, filters out any ads, and stops running. This way you’ll get good battery life and no ads. It’s the best of both worlds. Most apps need root or drain your battery, this app doesn’t. Find out more about it at XDA Developers.
- Unlock the hidden developer options menu (follow this guide)
- Enable installation of apps from Unknown Sources in developer options
- Download DNS66 from F-Droid (completely safe open-source community for Android)
- Open it and swipe through the introduction or press Skip
- Press the Domain Filters tab at the bottom
- Turn each filter on (red) by tapping them, except the fifth one
- Press the refresh button (the clockwise ↻ arrow)
- Wait a few seconds for the ad-block filters to download
- Press the Start/Stop tab at the bottom
- Long-press the big power button to start the service
- Press OK to grant the VPN connection request
For those wondering, DNS66 is not connecting to a remote VPN. Instead, it’s using a virtual, local, built-in Android VPN feature to filter out the ads.
This won’t remove the box banner where you usually see ads, but you’ll no longer see the actual ad. You can whitelist certain apps too if needed. If you’re running Android 7.0 Nougat or newer this will prevent apps from updating on the Google Play Store. You’ll have to quickly turn the filter off, do your updates, then turn it back on to get continued coverage.
How to Block Ads on Android with Root
If you’ve already rooted your Android phone or tablet, consider trying Adaway. It’s one of the most popular options on the market for blocking ads. Google removed the app from the Google Play Store, but it’s still available at popular sites like XDA Developers.
Adaway works similar to most other ad-blockers. Instead of blocking the actual ads, it blocks the servers that distribute them. This will get rid of ads in the browser and inside apps and games. More information and links to download and talk about AdAway is available here. Another option is Adguard.
How to Block Ads on Android Web Browser
In closing, we have one more option to get rid of some ads on your Android smartphone or tablet. If downloading crazy 3rd party applications or rooting your smartphone is too technical, or scary, try a new web browser.
Instead of using Samsung’s Internet app or Google Chrome, you can download a new web browser that removes ads. Our favorite is AdBlock Browser for Android. It’s available directly from the Google Play Store so you know it’s safe and secure.
Adblock Browser is easy to use and a highly customizable web browser that gives you control over your mobile browsing experience. It replaces Google Chrome and blocks tons of ads, delivers a fast experience, and can save battery life and data at the same time. This will get rid of ads, keep you safe and free from malware, and let you turn the filters on and off with ease. That way if the blocker is messing with a website you frequent, just turn it off while you’re at that site.
To use AdBlock Browser just download it from the Google Play Store, then open the application from your app tray. Select yes to use it as your default browser, and you’re all set. It does all the work for you. And while it won’t stop all the ads from getting through, it’s a far better experience without all the hassle of the options we mentioned earlier.
Each one of these options has a few pros and cons. The new web browser is the easiest method, but it only blocks ads when you browse the web. DNS66 works great and is very secure, but it causes a few problems with downloads from the web or updating apps on the Google Play Store. You’ll need to disable it when you do updates from Google Play.
Then, AdAway and a few other options are great too, but they need root access. If you’re not comfortable rooting your phone, give the other two options a try today. While you’re here, check out this list the 100 best Android apps in 2017.