How to Block Ads on Android without Rooting Your Phone

Ads are everywhere on a typical Android device. Not only are they annoying, they're also used to track you and expose you to malware. If you are fed up with the incessant advertising, you will be delighted to know that blocking ads system-wide is not difficult at all and can be achieved in a few minutes.

In the past blocking ads on Android involved rooting your device, messing with host files and so on. Today you don't need to do any of that. With a few taps you can save your data plan and make your device faster by preventing it from downloading and displaying unnecessary content.

In this article I will demonstrate how to use a free and open-source application to block all ads on Android without causing battery drain.

Blokada is the app I'll be using in this tutorial. It's available for free on the F-Droid Repository, so you can get it from there if you have the F-Droid app on your phone. Alternatively, download the APK from the F-Droid website and install it from there.

Note: don't forget to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources in the Settings before attempting to install the APK file.

Using Blokada

Blokada uses Android's VPN system to perform ad blocking in a similar manner to popular alternatives like AdGuard, but instead of filtering all traffic data for ads, it only traverses and filters the DNS traffic. This is how Blokada manages to block ads, tracking malware effectively without affecting your battery life.

1. There's not a lot of configuration involved to get Blokada working. Once you have the app installed, launch it and tap the Power button at the bottom of the screen.


2. You should get a prompt asking you to confirm the app's request to set up a VPN on your device. Tap "OK" to grant permission.

3. The Blokada icon will then turn orange, and you will see a small key icon in your status bar indicating that a VPN session is active. This means the service is actively blocking ads on your device.


4. By default, the app will show you a notification when it blocks an ad, but this can be disabled from the homepage. You can also turn on the "Keep alive" option to prevent your device from being deactivated by your operating system.


5. While Blokada can be used without spending time on configuration, you can still adjust it to your needs. On the homepage tap "Default DNS" to view a list of DNS servers that Blokada will block for you. You can turn on whichever one you want or enter a custom DNS server address if you prefer.


Wrap Up

Blocking Ads on Android is now easier than ever. With apps like Blokada, you no longer need to root your device just to get effective ad blocking. If you have tried Blokada, do share your experience with it in the comments section below.

Ayo Isaiah

Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.

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