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Phone showing ads on lock screen: how to remove it

Submitted on 12/27/2018

Useful programs for removing ads on lock screen on Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, S9 Note 8, etc.

What could be more annoying and intrusive for a user than lock screen ads? For unknown reasons, it appears when you tap on your device touchscreen. It's not that easy to remove a pop-up ads, as much as to track down the reason for it among all Android system apps.

The most unpleasant thing is that a so called virus-extortionists can be the cause of it and it's trying to get on mobile device users' nerves. This nasty virus claims money for switching off advertising on your lock screen. If you don't agree on doing it,

  • pop-up windows with ads will keep on appearing on your screen, making it impossible to use a mobile gadget,
  • when you unlock your phone screen an advertising will appear (pop-up windows and windows with a banner),
  • advertising will be displayed on the entire screen of your smartphone or tablet,
  • banners will be displayed in the system apps and the apps you've installed, for example, in Chrome browser.

In this guide we're going to help you to detect the virus and stop it. We will share our knowledge on how to remove ads on Android on your own. Well, almost on your own. You'll need some special programs to assist you.

The contents:

  1. Installing a firewall-blocker
  2. Searching for advertising apps
  3. Checking the phone with an antivirus
  4. Performing a factory data reset
  5. What to do if nothing works out

Installing a firewall ad blocker for Android

One of the best ways to get ads off phone is to install a firewall.

A firewall is a special OS plugin which controls access of your apps to the Internet. Usually, all advertising and virus files are downloaded from the Internet, therefore the firewall can help to identify the saboteur and block it. And in general, the firewall is useful for protecting you phone from being infected.

First of all, we suggest you installing NoRoot Firewall. With this app help you can flexibly control Internet access of all your installed apps and successfully block advertisement.

Install NoRoot Firewall

Track via NoRoot Firewall log programs that have Internet access and block them if needed. Also via this log you can check if any files have been downloaded or any ads have been shown without your consent.

Deleting advertising apps

There are other ways of disabling fake lock screen on your tablet. The easiest way is to uninstall the app which causes ads to pop up after figuring out which one it is on your own.

How can you do it:

1. Remember, when did the ads popped up for the first time on your lock screen.

2. Download and install CCleaner app:

Download CCleaner for Android

3. Via CCleaner file manager find out what programs were installed in a specified period of time and uninstall them.

4. If there are also unused or unnecessary apps among them, it's better to uninstall them too.

Note. If you're using a free version of any Android app, it may display advertisement too. It's not a virus, it's just the way its developers can monetize the app and you can pay for your free version. To switch off the banners you have to purchase the full, i.e. the paid version of the program. You're the one to decide whether to do it or not.

CCleaner app

A general method to stop ads: checking your phone with an antivirus

Another proven method of how to remove ads from lock screen is to get rid of viruses. There are a lot of antiviruses designed especially for Android OS and one of the best ones is a mobile antivirus Dr. Web for Android.

1. Download and install Dr. Web Lite version (it consumes less memory with the same efficiency level):

Install Doctor Web

2. Launch the scanning process by specifying for search all the storage spaces of your mobile device.

3. Dr. Web will detect and put in quarantine all the infected files, even those that can't be deleted in an ordinary way and are recognized as system apps.

Dr Web antivirus

In many cases checking for viruses allows you to quickly remove ads on lock screen on Android, as well as perform a comprehensive examination of your phone for virus threats including Trojans, keyloggers and malware.

Advice. Be sure to install a root manager for Android

The authors of all guides on how to remove lock screen ads from your phone/tablet assume that you have a full access to Android file system (exactly where advertising viruses and infected apps are often hiding).

Therefore, root-rights are required for proper operation of almost any antivirus app. Read here how to enable them - https://howtorecover.me/best-programs-getting-root-privileges-android-review.

Performing a Hard Reset

If apps uninstallers, firewall and virus scanners don't manage to help you, the only left option is a Hard Reset. Resetting your device to factory settings is, perhaps, the most reliable way to get rid of ads showing up on Android. And you should also take into account the fact that it's a safe and quick option, even though it requires preparation.

Important! You have to make a backup copy of your data and only after that proceed to resetting.

After a Hard Reset your mobile device will have its initial software and memory status, hence it will have no viruses. All user data (SMS, photo, contacts and etc.) stored on your device memory will also be erased.

You can find the information on how to perform a Hard Reset on your particular device on different forums. The risk of screwing up your device and turning it into a “brick” (a failed state) is quite low, if you carefully follow the instructions on resetting given by experienced users.

The case: how to remove ads on lock screen without losing your personal data

Samsung smartphone which had a full screen banner extorting money has been brought to me this week. Of course, access to the phone functions was completely blocked.

The first thing I wanted to do was to perform a reset via recovery, but the owner asked me to save all his data. Below you can find the list of actions that helped me to remove ads from Android lock screen, fix that smartphone and avoid changing the user's data.

1. Switch to safe mode.

2. Then open the list of Android apps. There you can see the apps installed by you (or a virus)

3. Find an app that you see for the first time or you've never installed on your phone. Try to get rid of it.

4. If that app uninstalls immediately and doesn't appear in the list of your apps any more, you're very lucky and your work is done.

4. The next thing you should do is to restart your phone and then it's in its normal mode.

Note. In my case, no miracle happened after all those actions. Despite all the attempts of removing the virus via different options, it didn't go anywhere and its shortcut appeared in the apps list again. Antivirus like any other app doesn't work in safe mode. It turned out that virus had appoint itself the device administrator.

5. Open Settings - Biometrics and security - Other security settings - Device admin apps (for Samsung Galaxy S8).

6. Uncheck a suspicious app, if there is any.

7. In my case it didn't help and ads on phone lock screen popped up again, but now it was blocking all the actions even in safe mode. Don't worry. Reboot your phone and enable safe mode again.

8. Make sure that there is no checkmark next to the virus app in the list of your device administrators.

9. Go to the list of apps and delete the apps you don't know and might find suspicious (or the app that you couldn't delete in the usual way).

10. Restart your phone – and now you can be happy: everything is fine and your data is still there.

Tip. Next time you see a small banner on a web page don't click on it, even if it tells you that there is a virus on your device and you should get rid of it immediately. By doing it your mobile device will get a virus. Just leave the page and check your smartphone via an antivirus to be sure that everything is fine.

How to switch to safe mode on Samsung phone

  1. Turn off your phone;
  2. Turn it on again and immediately hit both volume keys: "up” and "down". The second option is to hold the power key on your smartphone until the menu appears (Off - Restart - Flight Mode)
  3. Hold “Off” option until an offer to enable safe mode appears and agree on it;
  4. Your phone will restart and you'll see a "Safe mode" sign in the lower left corner.

Safe mode on Android

“I didn’t manage to remove ads from the lock screen”

If all the mentioned above methods fail to remove Android ads on lock screen, keep on digging into the problem. More specifically, we suggest you reading our long guide on [How to remove ads on Android], you can ask questions via the contact form.

We hope you'll succeed in getting rid of annoying ads and viruses from your problematic Android device. Good luck!

Community Q&A

There was a problem with advertising. I haven't installed anything, just suddenly a window began appearing on the tablet in the top left corner. The window was empty and it had a cross and a barely noticeable "opt out" sign in the corner. Ads keep popping up every 4 minutes and even on a lockscreen. I tried to figure it out and installed SM antivirus. It said it found the problem and fixed it but it didn't actually help. I tried to find suspicious programs and erased some of the last installed but again wasn’t helpful. I thought I'd manage to trick it via firewall and I think it worked out. For now the window hasn't appeared again and the alleged root of all evil is the program I installed a long time ago. Why are ads showing up on my phone?


Please help to remove ads from lock screen! From time to time instead of the original lock screen another one appears on my tablet. There's a lot of advertising and a sign at the bottom of it: use Clean Master to speed up your smartphone! How can I remove it? I don't have Clean Master.

The answer. Try to remember which apps you've installed the most recently and after the installation of which one it all started. Specify the name of your device and upload a screenshot of your lock screen with ad. Some users can recognize the operations of an installed app.


Signs "AWAD" and "Speed+" appear on my Samsung s3 neo. Also sometimes banner ad pops up even on the lockscreen of my phone. Does anyone know how to get rid of it?


I've updated several apps on my phone and now its lock screen is full of ads and has 3 buttons. The results of antivirus scanning shown nothing. I went through all the updated apps and didn't find anything suspicious. Maybe anyone has faced the same problem and knows what is the reason for it?


TouchPal has been automatically updated and then madness began. All of the above mentioned plus that strange thing made a second lock screen. I mean, I remove the lock screen and then after a second another screen (a touchpal one) appears but I can close it simply by clicking on "Exit" button ...


I received a Chinese tablet from Ali. In general it works quite well, but there is one big "but": it has annoying full-screen advertising. Which doesn't pop up all the time.

Why are there ads on my lock screen? If anyone has faced a similar problem, I would ask you to help me to solve it. Antivirus found nothing and programs for blocking addons were also useless. Factory reset didn't manage to help me either: after installing Yandex Browser the same happened again. Adblock Plus was helpless too.


My phone has also got a virus. When I unlock the screen, the browser opens an adcash (it tries to download mobimarket\ opens any app in the play market\ a message saying that the phone is under a threat or that the firmware is outdated appears). Sometimes a full screen ad covering all the apps pops up and the phone while being connected to WiFi somehow gets heated, even if the screen is locked. My phone is xperia z3. I haven't downloaded or installed anything for about a week. I discovered it in the morning and it appeared all of a sudden. Blocking all advertising\ scanning and etc. didn't help. Dr. Web, Kaspersky, AVG found nothing. I have cleaned cash and history. I tried closing all the apps via ES Task Manager. I went through my device internal memory, but there was nothing suspicious. I don't want to perform a reset to factory settings. Is there anything else I can give a try to?


Please help me to get rid of lock screen ads on Samsung. My phone is Samsung Galaxy S9 with no firmware. I would have already reflashed it a long time ago, if there was one. An advertising pops up on the screen from time to time and it can be removed by clicking on a cross.

The virus automatically installs such apps like Zodiac, Swift wifi, 360 security lite, engriks and pro. Even if I uninstall and block all the mentioned apps, the ad still pops up. When I restart the tablet, Android updates and brings back all those apps. ESET and DrWeb are helpless as they managed to find something but weren't able to delete it. LBE Security Master didn't help me either.

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