Android Security

How to Block Popup Ads on Android

Ben Stegner Updated 15-12-2019

Popup ads are frustrating enough on desktop, but they’re even worse on a mobile device with limited screen size. If you’re sick of popups ruining your phone experience, we’ll explain how to stop popup ads on your Android phone.


Popup ads generally come in one of three forms:

  1. When you’re browsing the web
  2. Fullscreen ads in apps
  3. Notification area ads

Let’s discuss each of these in turn to help you defeat Android popup ads.

1. How to Stop Android Popups in Your Browser

If the sites you visit serve popup ads regularly, you can turn them off or disable them with a few methods.

Chrome’s Built-In Popup Blocker Options

Since Chrome is the default Android browser and you probably use it often, it makes sense to disable popups there first. Tweaking a quick setting will completely disable popups. To locate it, open Chrome and touch the three-dot Menu button. Select Settings, then navigate to Site settings.

In this menu, you’ll see a list of properties that affect how websites can interact with your device. Tap the Pop-ups and redirects entry and make sure the slider is set to the off (gray) position. Chrome will prevent popups, as well as sites redirecting you to places you don’t want to go.


While you’re here, you may also want to tap the Ads entry. Inside, make sure you have this slider turned off as well. This lets Chrome block intrusive or misleading ads on known spam sites.

If this doesn’t solve your problem for some reason, another step you can take is enabling Chrome’s data saver mode. While its primary intention is reducing the amount of mobile data you use to view websites, turning this on also strips some unnecessary elements from pages. To enable it, visit Menu > Settings > Data Saver and flip the slider On.

Popups aren’t vital to viewing a page’s content, of course. Enabling this setting may cause some websites to look strange, but you can decide whether that’s worth the better experience.


Try Another Android Browser

If you can’t get rid of popups in Chrome, you might consider using another browser. You’ll find many options on the Play Store designed for blocking malicious popups and providing an interface free of annoyances.

Take a look at some lightweight Android browsers The 7 Best Lightweight Android Browsers for Speedy Performance If you have an older Android phone, you should switch to a lightweight Android browser for better performance. Read More built for performance. Many of them pack features similar to Chrome’s data saver that strip unnecessary elements like popups from pages.

If you still see popups after using these settings and trying other browsers, you may want to reconsider the sites you visit. Shady websites with explicit content or pirated material are often loaded with intrusive ads that can still get around popup blockers.


2. How to Block Full-Screen Popup Ads on Android

We’ve figured out how to stop popups from appearing in your browser. But what about ads popping up on your phone when you’re using other apps or just navigating around your home screen?

Popups in a Particular App

Trivia Crack No Ads

If you see popups when you’re using a certain game or app, chances are that the current app is the culprit. In those cases, you have to decide whether the app is still worth using despite the ads. Ads help developers make money from free apps, but you might not want to put up with intrusive popups.

To stop popups ads inside an app, you can often purchase the Pro or ad-free versions of the app. You’ll usually find these as an in-app purchase, though they’re occasionally a separate download on Google Play. Unfortunately, not every developer offers these.


Aside from rooting your device, the only way to block popups inside an app is to stop using it. You can put your phone in airplane mode to stop ads in any app or game, but that won’t work if it requires internet access to play.

Popups From Unknown Sources

Popups that appear even when you’re using a different app are awful. With this problem, half the battle is figuring out what Android app is displaying popups Got Popup Ads on Android? How to Spot and Remove Them Got popup ads on Android? Wondering why you've got ads on your phone? This article covers how to spot and remove unwanted ads. Read More .

To start, if the popups are a recent development, review any apps you’ve just installed. Perhaps one of them is malicious and causing the popups.

Some categories of apps, like system cleaners, wallpaper collections, and flashlights, are often filled with ads and could be your problem. Check the recent reviews for apps you’re not sure about and see if other users have complained of popups. Uninstall any problematic apps and see if the popups persist.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, the next step is checking which apps have the permission to appear over other apps. Visit Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Display over other apps. Here, you’ll see all installed apps that you’ve given permission to show up even when you’re not using them.

Look through the list here and see if anything looks suspect. Some apps have legitimate reason to draw over others. For example, your SMS app may have a Quick Reply box, or you might use a password manager that fills other apps. But if you see anything here that shouldn’t have the permission, tap it and set the Allow display over other apps to Off.

This is why being careful about app permissions What Are Android Permissions and Why Should You Care? Do you ever install Android apps without a second thought? Here's all you need to know on Android app permissions, how they've changed, and how it affects you. Read More is so important. If you don’t give an app permission to do something dangerous in the first place, it greatly reduces your risk.

Scan for Android Malware

If you still have a problem with popups after removing shady apps and taking away permission to display over other apps, you should run a scan for infections. This is especially important if you’ve installed apps from outside Google Play. Downloading apps from dubious sources can more easily lead to problems.

You really don’t need an antivirus app installed on your phone permanently. But if you’ve reached this point and are still suffering from popups, it’s worth installing one just to run a scan. Malwarebytes for Android is a reputable choice; give it a download and run a scan to check for infection. You don’t need to pay for the premium service.

If Malwarebytes doesn’t find anything, try our guide to removing Android malware How to Remove a Virus From Your Android Phone Without a Factory Reset Need to remove a virus from your Android phone? We show you how to clean your phone from a virus without a factory reset. Read More . Should that advice fail to stop the popups, your best course of action is probably a factory reset. You’ve already removed apps that are potentially causing the issue, checked permissions, and tried an anti-malware scanner.

3. How to Stop Popups in the Notification Shade

While not technically popups, notification ads are still a problem and just as annoying. If you see spam notifications up in your notification area, a quick flip of a switch can shut them down for good. These instructions will differ slightly depending on which version of Android you use.

Pull down from the top of your screen to open your notification area and long-press on the notification in question. You should see the name of the app responsible for it. Tap the i in the circle icon to bring up that app’s info.

On any recent version of Android, you can also visit Settings > Apps & notifications > See all X apps and tap an app’s name to open those settings.

Once there, tap the Notifications entry to change settings for that app’s notifications. On Android Oreo and later, you might be able to disable certain kinds of notifications. On every Android version, you can disable all notifications for an app by turning off the slider.

If you don’t want to hide every notification from an app, but don’t have the fine-grained options in Settings, you’ll have to dive into the app’s specific settings. Look for a gear icon or a three-dot menu with a Settings entry. A Notifications header might hold an option to disable some kinds of notifications but not others.

For instance, to disable the IMDb app’s annoying trailer notifications, you have to tap the person icon in the top-right corner, then tap the three-dot menu followed by Settings. Choose Notifications Settings, and you can disable the trailer ads.

Stop Popups on Your Android Phone for Good

We’ve covered how to stop three major types of popups on Android. No matter where these popups rear their ugly heads on your device, you’ll know how to combat them.

It’s worth noting that ads allow online publishers and app developers to offer their content at no initial cost and still make money. Without ads, we’d have to pay for a lot of media we take for granted. So while blocking offensive popups is certainly important, remember that non-intrusive ads power the web and mobile apps.

Protect yourself further with our tips for avoiding dangerous Android apps 5 Tips for Detecting and Avoiding Dangerous Apps on Android To avoid dangerous apps on Android, you must know how to determine whether an app is safe. These crucial tips will help. Read More .

Related topics: Android Tips, Google Chrome, Notification, Online Advertising, Smartphone Security.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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    August 30, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    i hate pop up ads but i got my problem fix by some pc experts at it was easy and they also provided me some safety tips they were very friendly to me.

  2. Jimmy
    May 2, 2019 at 12:57 am

    "Stop Popups on Android for Good"

    Ughhh yea you can do it, BUT were not gonna tell you how cause that's how we make our money!!! Thought it was just a joke at 1st but then I scroll down & the article ends... LoL SMH


  3. Atul Tripathi
    January 4, 2019 at 4:15 am

    For me the following thing worked.
    Issue: popup was showing that it was overlaying it's UI over the camera app, however even disabling the app the notifications we popping up.
    1. When the pop up appears, do not kill it.
    2. Go-to settings-> apps and it will show the recently opened apps. At the top will be the culprit app .
    3. Uninstall that app
    For me this app was auddio recorder showing the UI as a camera app and misleading

  4. John
    August 30, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I've been getting popup ads for a while from sources I can't identify. I've done all the Ad Choices opting out I can find, but still get them. I tried the special access tactic outlined above; I'll have to see if it works, but I wanted to note that the instructions in the latest (late August 2018) Andorid OS are different than outlined above. From Settings choose Apps, then click the three-dot menu in the upper right, choose Special Access, then choose 'Draw over other apps.' I had about 25-30 that were allowed to do this. I unchecked them all. Hopefully that will work.

  5. Julia Billington
    December 23, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Ugh.. I'm getting pop ups on average 1 a minute..! Even when I'm not using apps or my browser.. Pop ups while charging and durring phone calls.. I've blocked and turned off everything.. Please someone help..!!

  6. J
    October 28, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Adguard. Blocks it all. No root required.

  7. Ja
    October 27, 2017 at 12:45 am

    You could also use the free dns66 app which can block system wide ads and doesn't require root either.

  8. Chirag Hasija
    October 25, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Hi, Thanks for this wonderful idea. I've got what I was looking for since my PC don't support wireless connection and all other devices are connected to Wi-Fi. Now , If this idea works,My PC will be great again due to you. Thank You??

    • Ben Stegner
      October 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Hi, did you comment on the wrong article? This is an article about blocking pop-ups on Android.