How to Block Ads on Android Mobiles

By John Lister

Unwanted advertising can be even more annoying on a smartphone than on a computer due to the limited screen space. Several applications can block ads on an Android handset. Your options vary depending on the way you currently use your phone; to an extent, you can reduce the prevalence of ads with native browser tools.

Firefox Browser

Step 1

Download and install the Firefox Browser for Android app from the Google Play store (see Resources).

Step 2

Open Firefox on your phone, tap the menu button, then select "Tools", "Add-ons" and "Browse all Firefox Add-ons."

Step 3

Use the search box to find Adblock Plus and select "Add to Firefox." This will block content known to come from advertisers.

Google Play: Spring Ad Blocking Browser

Step 1

Go to the app launch on your phone and tap the Google Play Store app. It's a multi-colored triangle (similar to a play button on a VCR or DVD player remote) shown as if it were on a shopping bag.

Step 2

Search for Spring Ad Blocking Browser. Download and install the app.

Step 3

Use this app in place of your regular browser whenever you want to visit websites and avoid pop-up ads.

Adblock Plus App

Step 1

Open "Settings," then select either "Applications" or "Security" and tap the check box marked "Unknown sources." This lets you get apps from sources other than Google Play, including Adblock Plus.

Step 2

Tap "OK" to confirm you've read any message about accepting apps from unknown sources.

Step 3

Open the Adblock Plus for Android download page (see Resources) and tap "Download" to download and install the app.

Tips & Warnings

  • Firefox is the easiest option if you are happy to use it as a browser. If you already use a browser other than Firefox and don't want to change, the Adblock Plus app may be your best option.
  • If you use Chrome on your phone, it should block pop-up windows (which make up some but not all ads) automatically. If this isn't happening, you can change the default setting by tapping the options button in Chrome (an icon of three vertical lines) then tapping "Settings" and "Show advanced settings." Choose "Content settings" in the Privacy section and then look through the options in the "Pop-ups" section.
  • If you set your phone to allow apps from sources other than Google Play, you can search online and in other app stores to find ad-blocking software alternatives to Adblock Plus. Read reviews carefully as quality varies; only download applications from trusted sources.