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How to Block Ads on Android Apps & Games

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In this guide we’ll show you how to remove or block ads on your Android phone and tablet. Whether they’re 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 our favorite apps 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. Both rooted and without root. Some are as easy as downloading an adblocker, too.

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 need root access. If you don’t know what “root” is, don’t worry about it, and just proceed with our steps below.

We’ll be using the app known as 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. It gets frequent updates, too, even here in 2019.

Instructions

  • 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 at the top or bottom of apps, 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 Web Browser Ads

If you’re worried about downloading crazy 3rd party applications like the one above, simply try a new web browser. This is especially helpful if you’re getting pop-ups and ads in your Samsung Internet or Google Chrome browser.

Did you know you can download a new web browser that completely removes ads? Our favorite is AdBlock Browser for Android. It’s available directly from the Google Play Store so you can easily get started.

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.

They have an easy On/Off switch too. 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.

How to Stop Google Chrome Notifications & Popup Ads

Next, we want to explain how to get rid of those annoying notifications and pop-ups in the Google Chrome browser. We’ve seen so many phones where Chrome notifications are out of control, so here’s how to fix it. This is a good option for those that want to continue using Google Chrome over 3rd party browsers.

If you get a notification you don’t want simply pull down the notification bar and tap the Site settings button in the (bottom left) notification. Then, press Notifications. On the block/allow button just turn it off and you’ll never get annoyed by it again.

Additionally, you can go to Chrome and tap the three-dots menu button at the top, then head to Settings > Site Settings > Notifications and see a list of all current notifications. Then get rid of any and all you’d like to remove. You’re welcome.

This process is almost identical on the Samsung Internet browser that comes on Galaxy devices.

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 and gets updates constantly.

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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 options a try today. While you’re here, check out this list the 100 best Android apps for 2019.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jessie Wynn

    08/04/2019 at 5:22 pm

    How does Android’s built-in VPN work with apps like ExpressVPN? I have Express on my laptop and was going to install it on my phone.

    • Stolori

      08/06/2019 at 3:04 am

      Works just fine with Surfshark so my guess is Express should be alright too.

  2. Lowcel

    08/08/2019 at 5:12 pm

    I am playing Android games on my PC using Nox app player downloaded from https://bignox.org . Does this work on it too.

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