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Android is a free and open source operating system. It has become extremely popular and has quickly become the most widely used operating system in the world for smartphones. It is also gaining traction in the smart TV or smart Box community. In the world of free and open source (FOSS) systems, developers and publishers depend on advertisements for their revenue. Although there are alternatives to this like subscriptions and paid apps, but it may weigh heavy on the end user’s pockets. Some shady developers also go to an extent of adding malicious Ads, trackers, and spyware in their apps just to gain some extra bucks. Here in this tutorial we will show you how to block ads system wide on any Android device with the best Adblockers for Android.
Here are some of the best root or non-root free Ad Blockers for Android devices that work system wide. Meaning, this will remove ads not only from browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, etc, but also from the installed apps, lock screen, system ads, popups, and much more.
Some of these apps are non-root Adblockers. So the app may setup a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which is completely safe and sound. The app will channel your requests through a secure and private network and filter out any Ads, trackers, viruses, or malicious spyware coming to your phone.
Note: So if you are OK with a VPN constantly running on your Android device then you can proceed. Note that VPN may cause battery drain. But you can think it as free VPN for your device as well.
Note: If you have F-droid, all of these apps are available on that too. But if you want the latest APK to sideload then the links are below.
Blockada come to the top position in our recommendation. It is a true free and open source AdBlocker. It is a feature rich AdBlock that is free to use and open source. Meaning, development is continuously proceeding with regular updates and bug fixes.
Blockada not only sets up a VPN, but also help in blocking Ads, tackers, and block notifications as well. Best part is, you are control of your privacy. You can setup a custom DNS, modify or tweak with the custom hosts file, and much more.
It will list each and every blocked request or URL. So you know which apps is constantly requesting ads and trackers.
A quote from Blockada
Blokada works across all of your apps, not only the browser! It doesn’t require root, supports both wifi and mobile networks, and is perfectly safe and simple to use. Just turn it on, and it will do the job silently!
Direct APK downloads:
As the name suggests, DNS66 is a host blocker for Android. It uses DNS to block Ads, trackers, malware, and much more. DNS66 is another great AdBlocker next to Blockada and uses respected hosts to function.
You can also setup a DNS66 DNS at WiFi router level to block ads on all of your devices at your home or office network. (See links at the end.)
As usual, the app establishes a VPN service and routes all the traffic via this secure channel. The VPN service then intercepts the packages for the servers and forwards any DNS queries that are not blacklisted.
Moreover, if you don’t want to use the default DNS servers, you can configure it to use a custom upstream DNS as well. (Links below)
Direct APK downloads:
- org.jak_linux.dns66_26.apk (3.55 MB)
3. AdAway (root)
AdAway is the most popular AdBlocker when it comes to blocking Ads on a rooted Android device. It has support for almost all the platforms. It supports right from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the latest Android 9 Pie or 8.1 Oreo.
If you have rooted Android device with Magisk Manager installed, then you will find the AdAway module right away. Or if you use SuperSU to gain root access, then you can use the APK listed below as well. As this app runs with root privilege, it can easily tweak the hosts.txt file present on your device to block ads.
Quote from AdAway
An ad blocker that uses the hosts file. The hosts file contains a list of mappings between hostnames and IP addresses. When an app requests an ad, that request is directed to 127.0.0.1 which does nothing. There are options to run a web server to respond to blocked hostnames and to direct requests to the IP address of your choosing. You can download hosts files from the app but it is possible to use your own and to add certain sites to the white- and black-lists.
Direct APK downloads:
- AdAway-5.0.4-200524.apk (11.3 MB)
4. AdGuard (root or non-root)
AdGuard is also a recognized name in the development community. It has support for multiple platforms like Windows, Linux, Android, MacOS, etc. It also has its own DNS.
However, AdGuard comes in a freemium package when it comes to Android. You can try it for free for a week or so. Later you may need to buy a subscription or in-app purchases.
If you want AdGuard Adblock but for free, then use a DNS changer and Adguard DNS for a better result. See next method.
How to change DNS on Android to remove advertisements on Android? – DNS Changer by BlockAda
You can possibly use Adblock Browsers like Brave or use plugins for Samsung and Firefox to achieve the goal. But it does not work system wide. Apps like Google News, Facebook, etc. still show ads.
Here is a simple solution by changing device’s DNS with AdGuard DNS to block Ads:
- Download the free app called DNS changer by Blokada from Play Store. (or any other DNS changer app)
- Launch the app and set custom AdGuard DNS IPs withing the DNS section.
Using IPv6 IP addresses
More Adblocks, security, and privacy posts:
- How to Block Ads using Private DNS (DNS over TLS) Feature on Android 9.0 Pie or later without root
- Setup Google Public DNS over TLS on Android Phones for Faster Internet Browsing
- Use Cloudflare DNS
- Subscribe to a Hosts TXT provider
- YouTube Vanced