Here’s how to Disable Spam Notifications and Ads on Android

Some App developers out here are using very unscrupulous ways to make money off of their apps. This includes incorporating malware and adware into their apps. And Android being as vast and open-source as it is, sometimes these apps find their way onto the Google Play Store and onto our phones. It is a scary state of affairs but it is not all hopeless.

This past week, we received a list of 85 apps disguised as authentic Gaming, Photography, and Utility apps on the Google Play Store with a total of 8 million downloads that were infected. You might want to uninstall any of those if you have them installed.

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In light of those intrusive adware apps, we though we’d take you through ways to get rid of these spam notifications ads on Android.


Read More: How to Stop and Remove Pop-up Ads on Android devices


Notification ads

Push notifications containing ads are pretty common, but thankfully, they’re usually easy to get rid of. On any phone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, just press down on the notification to see which app it came from. Most of the time, the app name is already visible at the top of the alert, but some apps hide that detail.

You’ll probably want to uninstall the offending app, but if you want to keep it, you can choose to just hide the notifications. After you hold down on the notification, there should be an option to block future alerts from that app.

Blocking notifications on Android 9 Pie (app name highlighted)

Blocking notifications on Android 8.1 Oreo (app name highlighted)

Depending on your version of Android, there will either be an info button (which will take you to the app options), a button that says ‘Block all notifications,’ or a simple switch. Android 8.0 Oreo and newer support Notification Channels, which are different categories of alerts you can turn on and off individually, so you might only see a switch for that specific channel.

To see every available setting and channel, hold down on the notification and tap the info button (it might also be labeled ‘More Settings,’ ‘Details,’ or something else along those lines).

Full-screen ads

Some malicious apps display full-screen advertisements, even if you have another application open. Thankfully, it is incredibly easy to figure out where these come from. Whenever they appear, just open the Recents/multi-tasking view (the screen where it shows all the apps currently running) and check which app is at the top of the stack/highlighted.

Notification ads from a web browser

If you get a notification ad from a web browser, it’s probably not the browser itself sending those — it’s a website you granted notification access to at some point. You may have done it accidentally, or you may have only noticed when the site started sending more and more alerts. Whatever the reason may be, you can easily cut off notifications from specific sites.

Google Chrome

If you see an unwanted notification from Chrome, tap the ‘Site settings’ button, and press ‘Notifications.’ On older versions of Android, you’ll get a simple Block/Allow popup. On Android 8.0 Oreo or later, you’ll be taken to the site’s notification channel, where you have to press the switch at the top of the screen.

You can also turn off notifications from a site at any time from Chrome’s settings. Open Chrome, tap the menu button at the top-right (three dots), select ‘Site settings,’ then tap ‘Notifications.’

There, you’ll see every website that has ever sent notifications to your phone. To block alerts from a site, select it from the list and tap ‘Notifications.’ Easy.

Samsung Internet Browser

Samsung’s web browser handles notifications almost exactly like Chrome. When a site sends you an alert, you can tap the ‘Site Settings’ button to turn off notifications for a site, or you can disable alerts from all sites.

Figuring out all the sites that can send you notifications takes a few more steps. Open the browser, tap the menu button (three lines) at the bottom-right corner, press ‘Settings,’ select ‘Sites and downloads,’ then tap ‘Notifications.’

Here you’ll see a list of all recently-sent notifications. If you want to turn alerts off for a certain site, tap the menu button at the top-right and select ‘Allow or block sites’.

Firefox

Firefox doesn’t support Android notification channels, and it doesn’t have a general list of all sites you have granted notification permissions to. As a result, it’s more difficult to revoke permissions from a specific site, but not impossible.

When you get a web notification, the site it came from is visible at the top. You have to go to that site in Firefox, tap the green lock in the address bar (or whatever other icon appears to the left of the URL), and select ‘Edit Site Settings.’

Redirecting web ads

Another type of malicious advertisements you might encounter are redirecting ads. These are web advertisements that hijack the parent page and redirect you to a completely different site. If you’ve ever had a page open, and suddenly a vibrating ad about your phone having viruses appeared, you know what I’m talking about. You can try a demo here.

Chrome blocking redirecting ads

Right now, Chrome is the only mainstream web browser for Android that blocks these types of redirects, and the feature was turned on for everyone in Chrome 68. Most other web browsers that are based on Chrome or use Android’s WebView to render pages (like DuckDuckGo) should block redirecting ads as well. The main exception right now is Samsung Internet, since the current version is based on an older version of Chromium that doesn’t have the feature. Firefox doesn’t block them at all.

Here you’ll see a list of all recently-sent notifications. If you want to turn alerts off for a certain site, tap the menu button at the top-right and select ‘Allow or block sites’.

Firefox

Firefox doesn’t support Android notification channels, and it doesn’t have a general list of all sites you have granted notification permissions to. As a result, it’s more difficult to revoke permissions from a specific site, but not impossible.

When you get a web notification, the site it came from is visible at the top. You have to go to that site in Firefox, tap the green lock in the address bar (or whatever other icon appears to the left of the URL), and select ‘Edit Site Settings.’

Redirecting web ads

Another type of malicious advertisements you might encounter are redirecting ads. These are web advertisements that hijack the parent page and redirect you to a completely different site. If you’ve ever had a page open, and suddenly a vibrating ad about your phone having viruses appeared, you know what I’m talking about. You can try a demo here.

Chrome blocking redirecting ads

Right now, Chrome is the only mainstream web browser for Android that blocks these types of redirects, and the feature was turned on for everyone in Chrome 68. Most other web browsers that are based on Chrome or use Android’s WebView to render pages (like DuckDuckGo) should block redirecting ads as well. The main exception right now is Samsung Internet, since the current version is based on an older version of Chromium that doesn’t have the feature. Firefox doesn’t block them at all.

Right now, Chrome is the only mainstream web browser for Android that blocks these types of redirects, and the feature was turned on for everyone in Chrome 68. Most other web browsers that are based on Chrome or use Android’s WebView to render pages (like DuckDuckGo) should block redirecting ads as well. The main exception right now is Samsung Internet, since the current version is based on an older version of Chromium that doesn’t have the feature. Firefox doesn’t block them at all.

Courtesy of AndroidPolice