How to disable ads in your Android apps

Posted by Alex Zaah filed under Phone battery life

Ads in apps could be annoying, and people hates it. This is especially true when it comes to apps we use frequently in our daily life. Ads are annoying not just because some of them look ugly, or the display real estate they take, but they also drain our battery quickly in the background, not to mention the cellular data it takes.

Imagine this, while you open an app and do your thing, it’s busy downloading various ads in the background to show to your eye, how do you feel? Ads not only waste your mobile data, but they also have a huge impact on your battery life as it uses internet connection and display. You should know that the display and 3G/4G data are the biggest consumers of battery if you have ever read my post about how to save battery life on your Android handset. If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest you have a look at it.

In this post I will introduce a few ways to disable the ads in your Android apps, and extend your precious battery life as a result.

Buy the premium version

Some apps offer two versions, the basic and the premium. The basic version is free, but has ads or lack certain advanced features. The premium version is quite the opposite. If you use the app daily and it really helps you, I would suggest pay for the premium version.

The good. Say goodbye to ads.
The bad. You need to pay for it.

Download ads free version

Here by ads free I do not mean the premium version. Some apps just do not have a premium version. Fortunately some people will always try to remove the ads from the app and make an unofficial ads free version. If you just could not stand the ads in the official app, then give the unofficial one a try. However you should always be cautious as these apps can just be found from third party app stores other than Google play, this means there could be a risk as apps could contain virus. So you may want to use an anti-virus app to scan it before installing.

The good. Say goodbye to ads without costing a penny.
The bad. Apps could be infected with virus.

Use ads blocking apps

Some apps could help you disable or block ads. For example, Patcher Lucky (or system tuner pro) and Adblock plus.

System tuner pro is a fantastic app, it is able to stop apps from auto starting, disable an app’s services and activities. That’s why it could be used to disable ads in many apps. It either disables the ad activity or prevent apps from downloading ads. The magic is that some apps create a service to download ads in the background. If you disable the service, then ads could not be downloaded and displayed.

system tuner pro

Adblock plus is quite well known in the Android space. It could block ads in web browser and is available in many Android browsers as a (built-in) plugin. For example, Firefox, Chrome, Maxthon.

AdAway might be a better option. AdAway downloads and uses the hosts file to block ads in apps and web pages so the ads could never be downloaded. It’s better because you can disable or remove the app after the hosts file being downloaded to your handset so there is no noticeable impact on your system resources or battery juice from the app itself. By the way, you can download hosts file from other place without installing the app too.


If the app could not block all ads, you can use tcpdump to record all DNS requests and blacklist the ads domain name or add it to your hosts file.

The good. It’s easy to use and free.
The bad. You may not disable all ads.

Remove the ads yourself

If you are an app developer, or if you know something about Java or how to decompile / recompile the apk file, then it’s easy to remove the ads yourself. There are many step by step guides out there in case you want to learn.

If you are an Android beginner, try apk editor (search, download and try for yourself). This app could decompile, recompile and sign Android apps automatically. You just need to change / replace the code or replace a file / image.

apk editor

The good. Clean and ads free apps.
The bad. You need to learn and DIY.


There are always other ways to disable ads in your handset, and I will update this post from time to time. If you have any suggestion, please drop me a line on Facebook.

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