How to block system-wide ads on Android without root

Tired of annoying and intrusive ads on your mobile device? Let us help!

Ads are generally a good thing. They help the hard working people behind a website, an app or a game to earn a few extra bucks and they also help users in knowing about things that are relevant to them. This is however until they become intrusive and ruin the user experience.

While ads that are present at the sidebar of a website or it is placed to flow with the content are not an issue and does not impact much of the user experience, intrusive ads like popup ads, autoplay, or those that vibrate your phone are always annoying and completely ruin the experience of the users and some of them might not even use the app or visit the website ever again.

While there are numerous options to block ads in your web browser and some developers offer a premium ad free version of their apps, Android does not come with an option to block apps across the system.

So, here is a simple trick, using which you can block ads across your entire device, in your browser, in the apps and the games. The best part about this trick is that it does not need root access to function and also it is completely free. However, you need an Android phone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher for this to work.

Editor Note: This is a sensitive subject and one that will surely have support on both sides. As a site that relies on banner and traditional advertisement for revenue, AndroidGuys does not explicitly condone or endorse the removing of ads. Moreover, mobile developers who wish to keep their apps and games free to download will often turn to advertising. Be responsible, support the brands and companies you like, and share their respective works.

Step 1:

In order to block ads on your Android phone without root, you first need to install an open source app called DNS66. It is not available for download from the Google Play Store, so you have to download the APK file of the app and install it manually on your device.

If this is your first time in installing an APK file, then you have to first enable the unknown sources permission under security settings. To do that, go to Settings->Security->Unknown sources and then enable it.

adaptive icons

Step 2:

Now click here to download the APK file for DNS66. Once the download is complete, open the file and then select install to install it on your phone.

Step 3:

Once the installation is complete, open the app and you will be greeted with the start screen. You can either enable or disable the ‘Resume on system start-up’ option to ensure that the app blocks ads right after you boot your phone.

block ads

Note:

Unlike other popular ad blocking apps for Android, DNS66 uses DNS level filtering to filter ad traffic. This means that it only filters the ad traffic for a specific amount of time after your device is connected to the internet. Therefore there will not be any significant battery drain when you are using DNS66 to block ads across the system of your Android device.

Step 4:

Now switch to the hosts tab and then enable the filter hosts option.

block ads

Step 5:

Click on the refresh button at the top to update your hosts file.

Now you have to select the hosts file which contains the list of popular ad servers that are hosting the ads you see across the websites and apps.

Select the Adaway hosts and then click on the Action option and select deny. This will now block all the ads that are hosted by the servers in the Adaway host file’s list. It is sufficient to select only the Adaway, as it covers most popular ad servers.

Step 6:

Now head back to the start tab and then select the start button at the bottom. You will now be asked to provide permission to setup a VPN connection on your device.

Click OK to initiate the connection. A key shaped icon will now appear on your status bar. This means that the VPN connection is active and all the traffic will be filtered by the service before it reaches your device.

Step 7:

This step is optional but if you want you can head over to the apps tab and enable or disable specific apps to block or allow ads being displayed in those apps.

block ads

Step 8:

That’s it. You have now successfully blocked ads across the system in your Android phone. You can access the DNS66 app notification from your notification bar anytime to pass or resume the service.

If you have any doubts regarding this process, feel free to comment below!