How to Block Popup Ads on Android

Popup ads are extremely frustrating on desktop, but they’re sometimes a problem on mobile devices, too. If you’re sick of popups ruining your experience on Android, we’ll explain how you can put a stop to them.

Popup ads generally come in three forms:

  1. In your Android web browser.
  2. Notification area ads.
  3. Fullscreen ads in apps.

Stop Popups in Chrome

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 change 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 interact with your device. Tap the Popups entry and make sure the slider is set to Block sites from showing popups. That’s all there is to it.

Control Notification Area Ads

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. Long-press on the notification in question. You should see the name of the app responsible for it.

Depending on what version of Android your device runs, you can tap a button here to jump to that app’s notification settings. On any recent version of Android, you can also visit Settings > Apps and tap an app’s name to open those settings.

In Android 7.0 Oreo, select the App notifications option to change specific notification preferences. On Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you’ll have to tap the Notifications entry and then select Block all to stop notifications. Android 5.0 Lollipop users can simply uncheck the Show notifications box.

Blocking Fullscreen Popups

If you see popups when you’re playing a certain game or using an 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.

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

Apps like system cleaners and wallpaper collections are often filled with ads and could be your problem. Check 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.