Avast Academy Privacy Browser How to Stop Pop-Up Ads on Android

How to Stop Pop-Up Ads on Android

Being interrupted while browsing online is frustrating — especially when it’s for something you have no interest in. But annoying ads popping up is a common problem for Android users. Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with them. Learn how to block pop-ups on Android. Then, get a specialized secure browser to enjoy uninterrupted and buttery smooth browsing.

Written by Crissy Joshua
Published on October 20, 2023

How do I get rid of pop-up ads on my Android phone?

Your best bet for preventing unwanted Android ads is to install a pop-up blocker on your phone. Alternatively, you can disable pop-ups and stop them from appearing on your home screen or your browser by changing your phone or browser settings.

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    Stop pop-up ads on your home screen

    You can block pop-up ads from showing up on your Android home screen by following these steps:

    1. Open Settings and tap Apps.

      The settings menu on Android phone
    2. Tap Special app access. This may be under an Advanced settings menu.

      The apps menu on an Android phone
    3. Tap Display over other apps. You should see a list of apps installed on your device, as well as whether they are allowed to display pop-up ads.

      The special app access options on an Android phone and the list of apps with pop-up permissions displayed
    4. Tap the app you would like to disallow from showing pop-up ads and slide the toggle to the left.

      How to stop ads on Android phone by changing the display over other apps settings

    Stop pop-up ads on Chrome for Android

    Here’s how to prevent pop-ups on Chrome:

    1. Open your Chrome browser, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, and select Settings.

      Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser
    2. Navigate to Site Settings, then Pop-ups and redirects.

      Tap Site settings, then Pop-ups and redirects
    3. Ensure the toggle is set to the left. This blocks sites from showing pop-ups and redirects.

      The pop-ups and redirects settings for Google Chrome on an Android phone, showing that the toggle should be set to the left to stop pop-ups

    Stop pop-up ads on Firefox for Android

    The main Firefox for Android app does not yet have built-in pop-up blocking capabilities. If you want a browser with this feature, use Avast Secure Browser. It’s free to install and automatically blocks online ads so that you can enjoy secure, uninterrupted, lightning-fast browsing.

    Otherwise, keep in mind that Firefox pop-up blocking capabilities on mobile differ depending on which version of the app you’re using. Those using the Firefox Beta for Testers app can follow these instructions to disable pop-up ads:

    1. Open Firefox Beta for Testers.

      The Firefox for Beta Testers homepage on an Android phone, showing the search bar at the bottom of the screen
    2. Type about:config into the Firefox address bar, located either at the top or the bottom of the screen.

       Type about:config into the search bar on Firefox for Beta Testers on Android
    3. There will be a second search bar in the top-right of your screen. Type dom.disable_open_during_load here.

      Type dom.disable_open_during_load into the second search bar in the top-right of your screen
    4. Ensure this is set to false. If not, tap Toggle to change the setting from true to false.

      Ensure the setting is set to false. If not, tap Toggle and change it to false.

    How to stop pop-up ads on your Samsung

    Do ads keep popping up on your Samsung? If one of your apps is a repeat offender, you can uninstall it from the notifications panel. Here’s how:

    1. Swipe down when you receive an unwanted notification.

    2. Then long press the notification to bring up App Info.

    3. Choose the option of uninstalling the app.

    If you don’t want to uninstall the app, you can also block pop-ups on a Samsung:

    1. Open Settings and tap Notifications, then select App Notifications.

      To stop ads popping up on Samsung, open settings, tap notifications, then app notifications
    2. You can filter the list by Most recent and toggle off notifications for apps that are annoying you.

      Stop pop-up ads on your Samsung by turning off notifications for specific apps

    Common pop-up ads on Android

    While pop-ups come in all shapes and sizes, there are a few that pop up repeatedly for Android users. Many of these claim to be from legitimate websites but are actually scams or adware in disguise. Here are some you always want to avoid:

    Amazon pop-up ads

    One of the most common types of unwanted pop-up ads is the “Congratulations You Won” banner, which promises rewards, such as high-value gift cards from Amazon. These can appear on your browser or while using other apps.

    The “Congratulations You Won” pop-up is a virus that attempts to extract personal information or install further malware. Amazon doesn’t run pop-up ads. If you’re receiving pop-ups apparently from Amazon, these aren’t actually from Amazon — they’re likely malware.

    The Facebook “claim prize” pop-up

    The “Dear Facebook user...Claim Your Prize” pop-up is another variation on the “Congratulations You Won” pop-up. Like the Amazon pop-up described above, the Facebook version will usually require you to enter personal information or tap an unknown link to claim your supposed prize. It may use information it can detect from your IP address, such as your location, to appear more legitimate.

    These types of pop-ups are invariably online scams that use social engineering tactics as part of a phishing attack.

    Google security virus warning pop-up

    The Google security warning pop-up is a false alert designed to trick you into downloading malware, revealing personal information online or over the phone, or paying to remove a virus from your Android — only it doesn’t exist.

    Android and Chrome both issue their users occasional security warnings, but these will not:

    • Be labeled “Google security warning”

    • Require customers to call an unknown number

    • Ask for personal information or money

    YouTube survey pop-up

    The YouTube survey pop-up on Android is usually driven by adware, which can be caused by a browser hijacker. This pop-up will redirect you to a “YouTube survey” designed to harvest your personal information in exchange for the offer of a reward for completing it. The pop-up may even install additional malware on your device and demand payment to remove it.

    How to get rid of ad-serving apps on Android

    Installing an ad blocker or online security tool on your Android device will minimize the likelihood of suspicious ad pop-ups appearing, like the examples above. However, if one of these makes it past your ad blocker and you’ve already changed your notification settings, here’s what you should do:

    1. Open your Android Settings and navigate to Apps. Look for any suspicious or unwanted apps installed on your device.

      Navigating to apps from the Settings menu on Android
    2. Open App Info by selecting the relevant app, then tap Uninstall.

    3. Then, go back to Apps in your Android Settings to clear your browsing data.

      The Settings menu on Android
    4. Select your browser from the list of installed apps. Tap Force Stop, then OK.

      Choose your browser, then tap Force Stop, then OK
    5. Now clear your cache by tapping Storage & cache, then Clear cache.

      Go to Storage & cache, then tap Clear cache

    How to avoid pop-up ads

    The most effective way to avoid pop-up ads on an Android is to install a top-rated ad blocker app. There are also privacy extensions that can help optimize your web experience, but plug-ins will only block browser pop-ups, not in-app pop-up ads.

    And even with an ad blocker installed, you should always remain alert when browsing online or downloading apps. Follow these tips to help you avoid malicious pop-up ads:

    • Check websites: Only visit trusted URLs that have a valid SSL certificate.

    • Antivirus: Use a quality free antivirus to keep adware from spamming your Android.

    • Research apps before downloading: Thoroughly research any apps before you download them — read the reviews and the terms and conditions, and research the developer.

    • Use the Google Play store: Installing Android apps from the Google Play store (or directly from the websites of manufacturers you trust) helps ensure that you’re getting a reliable and secure app. Be very careful with third-party app stores like APKPure.

    • Update permissions: Make sure you know how to update app notification permissions to stop pop-ups on Androids (including Samsung devices). Review your apps and verify the permissions they have.

    • Upgrade apps: Consider paying for premium, ad-free versions of apps you trust and use regularly.

    Use Avast Secure Browser for ad-free browsing

    Why bother installing plug-ins when you can use a free private browser that blocks ads by default?

    Avast Secure Browser was built by privacy and security experts to offer a full suite of features to keep you safe online — including a VPN, anti-tracking tools, a webcam guard, and, yes, an ad blocker. Download Avast Secure Browser today and enjoy a faster, more secure, ad-free browsing experience.


    Why are ads popping up on my Android?

    Pop-up ads often appear when you download third-party apps onto your device, and most are not harmful at all. If properly targeted, pop-ups can even be helpful, because they can alert you to more features or functionality.

    App developers make most of their money from advertisers paying to target their users with pop-up ads, and it’s part of the trade-off of downloading a free app that sometimes you’re exposed to them.

    But, it's also common for secondary apps to be bundled with third-party apps you install, especially free apps. This can be how malware makes its way onto your Android phone and results in you being bombarded with irrelevant, disruptive, and sometimes dangerous pop-ups or other adware.

    How can I tell which app is causing pop-up ads?

    There are four main ways to see which app is giving you unwanted pop-up ads. The method that works for you will depend on the specific type of Android phone you have.

    • Method 1: Go to Settings > Apps > Manage apps to see which apps have shown you notifications most recently.

    • Method 2: When you see a pop-up ad or notification, swipe down to show the notification panel. Long press on the pop-up notification to see which app it came from.

    • Method 3: Go to the Google Play store and tap the menu in the top-left corner of your screen. The most recent apps should appear at the top of the list.

    • Method 4: Some Android phones allow you to view recent apps by tapping the key to the left of the Home button.

    Block pop-up ads and trackers with Avast Secure Browser


    Block pop-up ads and trackers with Avast Secure Browser

    Crissy Joshua