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Are you getting pop-up ads on Android? How to spot and remove them

Are you getting unwanted pop-up ads for Android? Here are some ways to get rid of unwanted pop-up ads from your Android phone’s home screen.

My phone keeps showing me ads. My Android phone just suggested that I purchase a brand new Audi. It displayed a full-screen popup advertisement to convince me.

This was a surprising surprise for someone who likes to keep his phone free of all kinds of social media, malware, and promotional materials.

One of my apps serves ads. Which one is malware? Here are some ways to get rid of pop-up ads from Android.

The Good Old Days: Ads on Android

Ads on Android used to be big news. Do you remember Notification Area ads? These ads caused quite a stir when they became obvious that promotional messages would soon begin appearing on the top of your phone’s display. AirPush was one of the companies that made it possible for ads there.

Opting out was the best way to stop this. However, you might prefer to read our solution to these Notification Area incursions .

Notification Area ads can still affect users on older devices. It is easy to identify the app responsible by its icon next to the ad in Android 4.1.1 and later.

Please note that the screenshots featured in this article are standard, non-adware-serving apps.

How can you stop pop-up ads on Android?

You’ve noticed that your phone is displaying excessive ads in apps and on the home screen. It is time to take action.

First, close all of your apps. To enter the Overview screen, swipe from the bottom of your screen and hold it in the middle. To discard an app card, swipe it to the side. If your Android version supports it, you can also use the X button. These steps may vary depending on the version of Android you have.


You can also choose to restart your phone. This may be faster.

Next, look at the apps that you have installed recently, right around the time the pop-ups appeared. If you frequently install new apps or games, this may take some time.

If you find potential offenders, go to Google Play and look at the reviews for the app. Are there any surprises ads in the list? If yes, you should delete the app. Don’t forget to check your other apps. Take a look at all the apps that you have installed recently.

How to find which app is serving pop-up ads

Apps that I don’t use in the course of my job are installed. I am more picky than others, but there are always chances that apps display ads that you don’t want, maybe because you have a free app.

If the ads are in the game, it is okay.

What if ads keep popping up on your home screen without warning? This is Adware. It’s a form of malware and can be difficult to track down.

As the Implementation Policy for the AdMob Program states:

“Adverts should not be placed where users will hide or cover up any area they are interested in during normal interaction.” It is not a good idea to place ads in areas that users might click on or touch randomly.

Google doesn’t like apps or games that spam users with ads.

Apps that place interstitial ads after every user action (clicks, swipes and so on)

There are two ways to spot pop-up ads.

1. Check out Pop-Up Ad Notifications

Android 4.4 has made it easier for you to see what apps are running on your Android device. If you see a notification from an app that you don’t know is active, it’s a good idea to long-press the notification then tap the More link. Your phone model may have a different name for the button.

This will open the permissions screen of the app, where you can toggle which access it has to your device’s hardware and other features (such as notifications).

Settings > Applications > Permissions offers additional options. Specific steps may vary depending on the model of your phone. You can also open the Settings app, search for Permissions at the top of the search bar.

You can find all details about the app from this page.

2. Check out the currently open apps

You can also check your open applications to determine which one is showing the pop-ups.

To view the overview screen, swipe up from your screen. On some devices, you can tap the Recent app on the bottom bar. You will be able view the cards of apps that you have recently opened.

Look out for unfamiliar app names. To go to the page of the app, long-press the card. The app can be uninstalled from the next page.

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Remember that steps may differ on your Android device and that apps might send notifications without being visible in the Overview screen.

Are you unable to find the offending app?

An anti-adware utility, which is a tool that detects ad-serving malicious software, may be the best choice for anyone who wants to use their tablet or phone without needing to reset it.

Popup Ad Detector, a free application that detects which apps are sending popup ads, is the best place to begin. It can detect various pop-up ads including home screen, lock screen, and notification bar ads.

This app will display a pop-up ad to your home screen or lock screen. It will also show you the app that is responsible. It’s easy to delete the infected software from this page.

Download: Popup Ad Detector (Free, in-app purchases available)

This is the best way to deal with the ads if you don’t have a mobile security app. ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus, Malwarebytes Antimalware are two options.

Download Antivirus – Free, in-app purchase available

Download MalwarebytesAnti-Malware (Free in-app purchase available)

Ad Network Detectors

An ad network detector is also worth considering. These apps can detect connections between your phone’s device and known ad networks, and block them. This will stop pop-up ads from appearing on your Android home screen.

There are many strong options, but we recommend AppBrain Ad Detector or Mobile Security – Lookout (previously Lookout Security & Antivirus). The Addons Detector allows you to see which ads are being served by which apps and where they came from. Although this information may not be very useful, it is worth knowing that it exists.

Download: AppBrain Ad Detector (Free)

Download Mobile Safety – Lookout

Download: Addons Detector (Free, in-app purchases available)

Remove Ad-Serving Apps

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To get the best results, uninstall the app.

It is easy to do this: open Settings>> Applications, and search for the app that you wish to delete. To delete the app, tap it and choose Uninstall on the next page.

You can also press and hold an app icon from your home screen or drawer, and choose Uninstall. It’s not easy to remove a pre-installed application. For more information, please refer to our guide on how you can remove pre-installed Android applications without rooting your phone .

You might prefer something more extreme. You could first restore a backup of the phone that was taken before the ad-serving spyware was installed.

You can factory reset an Android phone to delete all apps and data, wipe it, and start over. This is the best option, especially if you are concerned about the ads being displayed.

If you decide to go this route, make sure that you backup your Android device . Resetting your Android device is an effective way to remove pop-up ads permanently, even though it may seem extreme.

How to avoid Android pop-up ads

Pop-up advertisements on your Android phone can be annoying. Pop-up ads on your Android device can eat up your data allowance and get in your way while you use it. You can avoid pop-up ads by carefully checking the apps you wish to install before downloading them.




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