Avast Academy Privacy Privacy Tips The Best Free & Paid Ad Blockers for Android

The 6 Best Free & Paid Ad Blockers for Android in 2023

Mobile ads are the worst: they pop up, make noise, and block part of your screen. Say goodbye to ads with our list of the best ad removers for Android. With these free or paid Android ad blockers, you’ll be able to send ads packing for good. And get our free secure browser app to block ads and encrypt your connection for ultimate privacy and a better online experience.

Written by Nica Latto
Published on November 5, 2020
Reviewed by Sander van Hezik

While many companies make Android devices, Google ultimately owns Android and controls the Google Play store. And although Google allows in-browser ad blocking, it prohibits system-wide ad blockers.

What’s the difference between in-browser ad blocking and system-wide ad blockers? Google is fine with you blocking ads on a browser like Chrome, but Google won’t let an ad blocker block ads within other apps, such as within (Google owned) YouTube or games. This is partially due to security concerns over giving one app access to your other apps and services. But another reason is that app developers rely on ads for the majority of their revenue — and when developers make money, Google makes money.

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    Even though you do have the option to download a third-party, system-wide ad blocker for Android from a source other than the Google Play store, you should be very careful. Google vets apps for security issues and vulnerabilities. If you download apps from other providers, make sure to assess the app for safety.

    You should also avoid giving root access to an ad blocker app. Root access means the app has full control (superuser or superadmin permission) over your device.

    The best free ad blockers for Android

    If you’re on the hunt for the best free pop-up blocker for Android, you’re probably looking for an app capable of in-browser blocking, rather than system-wide ad prevention (as explained above). There are plenty of good, free ad blocker apps for Android phones that will banish ads from your browser — let’s jump in.

    1. AdAway

    Despite being a free app, AdAway is capable of blocking ads device-wide. That means it’s not available on the security-vetted Google Play store, but since it's open-source software, anyone can check out its code for safety, and bugs should get reported and squashed quickly.


    • Blocks ads device-wide

    • High level of customization, with whitelisting and blacklisting available

    • Root access not required (optional)


    • Intended for tech-savvy users and may be difficult for some to use

    • Limited customer support

    • Not available in the Google Play store, so it lacks Google’s security checks

    2. AdBlock

    For straightforward ad-blocking, check out AdBlock, a solid option in the category of free ad remover for Android. It may not be fancy, but it gets the job done by preventing banners, pop-ups, pop-unders, video ads, floating ads, text ads, and pretty much any other type of ad.


    • Works in multiple Android browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and more

    • Blocks ads and trackers before they load, speeding up your browsing


    • Can’t block ads in other apps

    • Occasionally misses some ads if they’re cached by your browser

    3. TrustGo Ad Detector

    A bit different from a traditional ad blocker, TrustGo Ad Detector helps you get rid of ads in a different way — it scans your device to root out the source of ads and trackers. Then you can decide to snooze or uninstall whichever apps are pushing the most annoying ads and pop-ups on your screen.


    • Helps you detect where annoying apps are hiding so you can regain control of your device

    • Identifies risky apps that might try to steal your private data

    • Easy to use


    • Doesn’t actually block any ads itself, so must be paired with another ad blocking solution

    The best paid ad blockers for Android

    So, why shell out money for a paid app when there’s plenty of free and capable Android ad blockers out there? Many premium ad blockers offer advanced features, more reliable blocking functions, or high levels of customization. Here are a few of our favorites.

    1. AdGuard

    AdGuard for Android is a robust ad blocker that prevents ads throughout your whole system, not just in your browser. It also includes anti-tracking protection, blocks activity analyzers, and allows a good deal of customization. It has a basic, free version, but the best features are available only in the paid version.


    • Blocks ads, pop-ups, banners, and video ads

    • Hides frames and empty spaces left after ads are blocked

    • Doesn’t require root access to your device


    • Not available in the Google Play store, so Google isn’t vetting it for security

    • Requires VPN mode for ad blocking, so can’t be used in tandem with a VPN app

    2. AdShield AdBlocker

    AdShield uses advanced interception technology to block ads and deliver an ad-free web experience. Designed with Android in mind, AdShield has a minimalist design that integrates easily with the Android platform.


    • Carefully crafted interface, including adaptive Dark Mode

    • Includes blocking for malicious websites and trackers

    • Prevents ads from loading, saving battery and data usage


    • Has a rule-based extension option, but it only works in the Yandex browser

    • Can’t block ads in other apps like YouTube

    3. AdLock

    AdLock is a comprehensive ad blocker that blocks in-browser ads as well as ads in games, instant messaging apps, and other apps. That means it’s not available through Google Play, but its features may convince you that you should have it anyway.


    • Blocks ads device-wide

    • No root access required

    • Filters HTTPS connections and checks links for malicious content


    • Not available in the Google Play store, so it’s missing Google’s regular security checks

    • Can’t work simultaneously with VPN apps

    Blocking ads and popups on an Android browser

    Any one of the ad blockers mentioned above will help you end intrusive ads on all Android browsers. Want to block ads on other browsers and on your other devices, too? Check out our other guides:

    Why should you try a secure browser?

    Rather than downloading an ad blocker add-on to your browser, did you know that you can get built-in ad blocking with a secure browser? Gone are the days of having just three browsers to choose from. The browser space has grown considerably in recent years, with some browsers even designed specifically for privacy and security.

    Avast Secure Browser for Android with search bar and new tab icons.

    Avast Secure Browser for Android brings you native ad-blocking, anti-tracking, and advanced anti-fingerprinting technology to prevent advertisers from getting their hands on your personal information. Plus, enjoy full encryption of all your browsing data, bookmarks, downloads, IP address, DNS queries, and more. Start shielding your personal data today.

    How to block ads in Android apps

    As already mentioned, Google doesn’t permit apps that block ads in other apps. Why not? Because a device-wide ad blocker prevents all kinds of ads, drastically reducing ad revenue for developers and, ultimately, for Google. Not only that, an app with device-wide permissions could be a security risk. 

    Still wondering how to block ads in other Android apps? While you can download a third-party app that’s capable of device-wide ad prevention, it won’t be available on the Google Play store. And though it might feel good to occasionally stray from the tech giant, it’s worth keeping in mind that Google vets apps on its Play store for security reasons. And while apps sometimes sneak through Google’s security checks for a brief period — like these adware apps that Avast discovered and got removed — Google generally blocks apps like these swiftly. 

    Downloading apps from a third-party store or directly from an app developer will always be riskier than using the Google Play store.

    Choosing a trusted app

    The sad fact is that malicious apps are out there, both within the Play store and outside its ramparts. So what’s an Android user to do? Well, there are a few simple checks you can make:

    • Read the app’s title and description carefully. Typos are a red flag that it was cobbled together a bit carelessly and isn’t legit.

    • Read the reviews. A real app should have real reviews.

    • Look at the download stats. If it has hardly any installs, it may not be real.

    • Look at its permissions. Make sure the permissions the app requires (to access your camera, photo library, text messages, etc.) are reasonable for the app’s functions.

    Need more tips? See our full guide to assessing app safety.

    Why should I use an adblocker app on my Android phone?

    Still not actually sure if you should use an ad blocker? There are a multitude of benefits to blocking ads.

    • Faster browsing: When your device doesn’t have to load ads, it can load the content you actually want to see much faster. That often means a significantly faster Android.

    • Security: Malvertising is when cybercriminals manage to insert malware into ad networks. That means ads can appear even on legitimate sites. Blocking these ads blocks the mobile malware too, which protects your device.

    • Privacy: Many ads and advertising trackers can follow you around the internet, spying on you and capturing your private information. Some ad blockers help you prevent tracking on your phone to safeguard your sensitive private data.

    Specialized browsers, such as Avast Secure Browser, bring you even more benefits: 

    • Built-in VPN: Encrypt your browsing data and hide your IP address.

    • Increased productivity: Declutter your internet experience and use our innovative tab grouping feature to stay organized.

    Blocking ads, either with an app or a secure browser, is sure to improve your internet experience. But if you’re seeing tons of ads on your device, even when you’re not online, you may be suffering from an adware infection. That’s when a malicious app takes over your device and showers ads everywhere. If that’s your issue, an ad blocker won’t help, unfortunately. Instead, you’ll need to download an adware removal tool to clear up the infection and get your phone working normally again. 

    If your phone hasn’t been infected with adware and you simply want a cleaner mobile experience, then go ahead and download an Android ad blocker app — or a specialized secure browser — and kiss online ads goodbye.

    Avast Secure Browser has a Security & Privacy Center to manage options like VPN, ad and tracker blocks, and more.

    Block ads and protect your privacy with Avast Secure Browser

    Even better than an ad blocker is a secure browser with native ad-blocking capability. Avast Secure Browser is a super easy-to-use app with a full suite of advanced security and privacy features, including a built-in ad blocker to clean up your online experience and boost your browsing speeds. 

    Block advertisers, hackers, and your ISP from spying on you with our free and unlimited VPN and anti-tracking features. Enjoy full encryption for true private browsing, completely free. Install Avast Secure Browser today.

    Block ads and trackers with Avast Secure Browser for Android


    Block ads and trackers with Avast Secure Browser for Android

    Privacy Tips
    Nica Latto