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How to remove pop-up ads on Android

Submitted on 10/11/2019

Pop-up screens with intrusive advertising are extremely annoying. Enjoying your favorite video or reading an interesting article might turn into a battle with "crosses". As a result, your mood is spoiled and you're unwilling to use the phone. Read further how to permanently remove pop-up screens from your phone.

The contents:

  1. What are the dangers of pop-up ads
  2. How the virus "infects" your phone with advertising
  3. Removing pop-up ads: the first steps
  4. Ad Notifications
  5. Getting rid of the advertising virus in a browser
  6. Software for removing pop-up ads
    1. Ad Detect Plugin
    2. Kaspersky Internet Security
    3. Super Security
    4. Free Adblocker Browser
    5. AdGuard

What are these pop-up screens and what kind of threat do they pose?

Usually pop-up screens are banners with intrusive advertising. They're appearing constantly and won't disappear, even after you click the proposed link. Moreover, after this even more tabs can open and it will continue to happen with each subsequent click. They often occur on the home screen, even if no utilities are running at the moment.

Websites owners/ apps developers often place ads in their products for the purpose of earning money. And this is a quite natural phenomenon. Sometimes you can avoid seeing ads by simply paying for the "View without ads" service or by purchasing the full version of a product.

But when pop-ups are caused by getting a malicious code on your gadget it's another case. If it's what happened to you, it'll be more difficult to close ads displayed on the screen of your device and getting information will become more complicated.

How does an advertising virus get to a mobile device?

The ways how an advertising virus can get on your phone:

  1. When you visit potentially hazardous / infected websites;
  2. After you've downloaded software from unknown developers.

Don't mistake malware for adware which also display ads, but only with your consent. If you didn't agree on it, this unwanted software should be removed.

First step is to remove pop-up ads

  1. The first thing you should do is close all apps on your phone. In order to do this, use the "Clear all" button or close your apps one by one by swiping each app to the side. Or you can simply reboot your phone. 
  2. After closing every window, try to remember: what apps / games you've installed the last before pop-up ads started to appear. 
  3. Go to Google Play and read users' reviews on those apps: are there any negative reviews mentioning advertising? If yes, uninstall the app from your phone immediately. 
  4. If pop-up ads doesn't go anywhere, go through your apps once again and delete the ones you don't need. 

As we've already mentioned, ads can appear in apps you should pay for. However, according to the policy of an ad network called AdMob, ads windows can't appear outside of an app or in the screen areas users may accidentally tap or place their fingers. 

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Ad Notifications

Likely, Android latest versions allows to flexibly configure apps access rights.

  1. If you notice that an app hasn't been opened, but a notification appeared in the notification area, long press it and then tap the "i" button. 
  2. The permissions screen should appear and via it you can configure this app permissions. These settings can also be accessed via "Menu > All permissions". 

Thus, you can quickly analyze the way questionable apps behave and change their access to your phone rights. 

Deleting advertising virus from your mobile browser

Any browser will start showing unnecessary ads, if a virus gets on your phone or after you've visited dangerous websites. The browsers of well-known companies have less ads since the developers value their reputation and carefully monitor security. But they are a tasty morsel for attackers, as the number of Google Chrome or Firefox users is huge. 

There are different ways how you can get rid of pop-ups on your phone, but the most efficient one is searching for malware or adware software and completely removing or blocking it. In order to do this, you should download an antivirus (if for any reason you haven't done it before) or any other special app aimed at identifying a "spy". 

Since some adware may be installed on your smartphone by default, you should set the antivirus settings to "Detect Adware programs" and then specify what to do with it: remove, quarantine, etc. How does an advertising virus get on a mobile device?

Keep in mind! There are programs from which advertising disappears only after you purchase a license. But sometimes it also happens that they contain third-party utilities which get on a computer without being noticed and then are activated. Deleting them may cause malfunctions.

An alternative way to deal with pop-up ads is to change websites settings:

  1. Go to Google Chrome, tap the vertical 3 dots in the upper right corner, 
  2. Go to "Settings — Websites Settings",
  3. Go to the "Pop-ups and redirects" and "Advertising" sections by turn. Move the gears to the right activating the protective mode.

Use apps determining viruses instead of performing a factory reset 

Of course, you can always reset the settings (perform a factory reset) which is a universal way to return a phone to its "right after a purchase" state. But you'll have to reconfigure your phone and back up your data in advance. 

Instead of performing a factory reset, you can use ad-serving malware. The apps listed below have been downloaded several hundred thousand times and they have a lot of reviews which you can find and read before downloading an app. If none of them will be able to cope with the task, text its developers and leave your feedback. 

Ad Detect Plugin

This is a free app determining which apps connect to ad networks and display ads from the Internet on the home screen, in the notification bar and other places in the system in the form of pop-ups. 

Ad Detect Plugin collects information about each Internet connection and allows you to figure out which app uses the connection for advertising purposes. After such analysis the "troublemaker" can be easily found and manually removed from your device. 

Download Ad Detect Plugin

Kaspersky Internet Security

Popular antivirus for PCs. It detects a lot of spyware which other antivirus software might miss and blocks connections to advertising networks. It has a built-in tool called "Adguard Content Blocker" which is displayed on the home screen as a separate icon and it works only in "Samsung" and "Yandex" browsers. 

  1. Kaspersky blocks unwanted software by default: "Menu" – "Scanner". If it's unchecked, put a mark next to it. 
  2. Run "Check" in the main window and wait for it to complete. 
  3. Deleted the found viruses. 
  4. In order to make the searching process automatic, go to the "Permanent protection" section and purchase a license. Otherwise, you'll have to run a manual scanning every time.

Download KIS

Super Security

This program scans your phone for viruses, moreover it optimizes the operation of your device by getting rid of garbage and having additional settings. 

  1. Download Super Security from Google Play, run it, 
  2. Click "Search". Wait for the process to complete. 
  3. Tap "Enable/Clear" or "Remove all" in order to remove the detected threats. Which can be viruses, as well as the lack of real-time protection and other problems.

Another good feature is disabling notifications. After the cleaning is done, you'll be prompted to disable them. 

Tap "Disable notifications" — "Clear", then move the gear to the right next to "Super Security".

Download Super Security

Free Adblocker Browser

It's a browser which can be used as an alternative to the classic one. The app allows its users to save up to 100 MB per month on the absence of having to load ads and by blocking tracking and data collection by the websites you visit. In Free Adblocker settings you can make it the default browser. There will be no ads even when you watch YouTube videos.

Download Free Adblocker Browser

AdGuard

A well-known app which can no longer be downloaded from Google Play since Google has banned the placement of programs hiding ads in utilities. Therefore, the only option is to install AdGuard manually. In order to do this, go to Adguard.com website and download the software from there. But before doing this, allow the installation from unknown sources in the settings. In order to do this:

  1. Go to the "Settings" and then to the "Security and privacy" section. 
  2. Scroll down the list and tap "More". Go to "Install unknown apps". 
  3. Move the gear next to Google Chrome to the right. 
  4. After downloading Adguard you can bring back the ban. 
  5. Go back to the website and choose "Download". Run the app.

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