Use These Best Ad Blockers for Android in 2023

Best Ad Blockers for Android

Use These Best Ad Blockers for Android in 2023

What are the best ad blockers for Android? Android as a mobile operating system has a lot going for it. The operating system itself is more open than contemporaries like iOS, meaning you’ve got more freedom to install and sideload apps as needed.

As such, this means you’ve got a little more freedom when it comes to installing ad blockers and other security software. Dealing with ads when you’re trying to play a game, watch a video, or surf the web can be a hassle, but the apps covered in this guide should make your overall experience a smooth one.

  • Best for Web Browsing: Stands Fast Adblocker Browser
  • Best for Multiple Apps: AdGuard for Android
  • Best for Systemwide Ads: AdClear
  • Best DNS Option: Block This
  • Best Premium Option: Blokada
  • Best Open Source Option: AdBlock Plus

Why Should You Use an Ad Blocker?

Yes, most websites and content creators online generate revenue from ads. Much of the modern internet wouldn’t function without sponsors and ad partners. However, the implementation of ads can present quite a few problems for the end user.

Ads can disrupt the experience of using your phone or browser. They can pull you out of games, lock you into loops in your browser, and in some cases actually lead to malware being delivered to your phone. Android is one of the largest growing segments targeted for malware in mobile devices. That same openness and user customization is also a minefield for cybersecurity reasons.

Rooted vs. Unrooted Phones

Rooting your Android phone gives you greater access to the nuts and bolts of the system. You can make changes to the actual operation of the OS, flash custom ROMs, and so forth. However, rooted phones present a massive security risk.

If you’re working at any sort of office, a rooted phone presents a vulnerable entry point into the local network of the business. Further, it opens you up to attacks on your own personal data. While rooted phones allow for more robust adblocking, it isn’t advised to root your phone if you’re on any sort of mobile device management protocol at your office.

As such, it is recommended to leave your phone unrooted, and the adblockers selected for today’s guide are natively available without modifying or rooting your system.

Best for Web Browsing: Stands AdBlocker Browser

Best Ad Blockers for Android
Stands Stands AdBlocker Browser is available on the Play Store and provides safe mobile browsing free of ads.


Stands is a multiple-platform solution that blocks banners, pop-ups, and malicious ads. On Android, it is available as a free browser. Now, Stands isn’t a foolproof solution; it still sends analytics and the like to its developer.

For pure adblocking on web content, it does pretty well. Notably, Stands is a much faster web browser than the native Android browser for most phones. Since it isn’t loading picture and video ads, content is displayed in a flash. Do note that you also have the option of using extensions on Android for the likes of Firefox, so that could be a suitable alternative if you have a preferred web browser.

Stands is a nimble browser with customizable ad blocking.Stands isn’t privacy-focused and may share data with third-party partners.
You can customize blocklists to better suit your browsing habits.You aren’t allowed to delete your own data if you choose a different method of adblocking.

Best for Multiple Apps: AdGuard for Android

You won’t find AdGuard available on the Play Store. Like many apps on this list, it is side-loaded and installed on the system. AdGuard operates as an adblocking solution for the whole system. It is a more premium option, with a monthly or yearly subscription fee associated.

AdGuard is one of the best ad blockers for Android due to the coverage you get. A personal subscription allows you to cover up to three devices. The pricier family plan comes with coverage of up to nine devices. AdGuard is platform-agnostic, meaning it isn’t just for Android, but can also be used with your family’s iOS devices.

Multiple platforms are supported, with a solution for every major operating system around.It is a subscription service, with a minimum price of $2.49 a month.
Android users have total system ad blocking.You have to sideload the app to install it, meaning Google hasn’t personally vetted its data and privacy metrics.

Best for Systemwide Ads: AdClear

If you’re looking for a free solution to avoid ads in your games in other apps, AdClear might be the way to go. What makes AdClear one of the best Android ad blockers is it is a completely free systemwide solution. It is a sideloaded app, so it doesn’t have usage data readily available for the end user.

However, AdClear is a great solution for blocking ads in the likes of YouTube, games, and even your web browser. You don’t need to root your phone to block ads across the whole system. This isn’t the best solution for everyone, as some users might prefer to use official Play Store apps. If you don’t mind sideloading, AdClear is a great choice for your smartphone or tablet.

AdClear is a free solution for blocking ads across your entire system.Installation can be technically demanding, especially if you’re on a newer OS than Android 7.
You don’t need to root your phone to use AdClear.Newer Android versions might not be compatible with YouTube ad-blocking capabilities.

Best DNS Option: Block This

Best Ad Blockers for Android
Block This avoids using an app to natively try to block ads and instead uses a purpose-built DNS that is free to use.


Block This takes a different approach to blocking ads, utilizing a DNS instead of running natively in the system. When using the app, you’ll be connecting to a custom VPN. DNS services block ads at the server level, rather than trying to prevent them from blocking on load.

The app itself is free but side-loaded. Block This is a fantastic DNS service and doesn’t have any additional strings attached to the service. It is also open source, meaning developers can take a look at the code and contribute.

It uses DNS and VPN access to block ads at the source rather than in the app.Side-loading apps can be a more technical process.
It is completely free.Block This is no longer maintained by the original developer.

Best Premium Option: Blokada

Blokada comes in two major flavors. You can get the free Blokada 5 directly from the developer’s site. This blocks ads across the entire system and is also open source. However, the newer version, Blokada 6 is more suitable for the task.

Now, Blokada 6 isn’t free; there is a monthly subscription fee to handle the cost of the cloud-based servers. The software isn’t nearly as taxing on the battery itself, at least when compared to its predecessor. Since everything is handled in the cloud, there really isn’t a chance for things to slip in. Blokada is one of the best ad blockers for Android because it supports multiple devices on the same paid subscription.

The cloud-based ad blocking uses minimal system resources.It does have a monthly subscription to use the service.
Since it is cloud-based, definitions and blocklists are updated regularly.Users with older versions of Android might not be able to use it.

Best Open Source Option: AdBlock Plus

AdBlock Plus has been a known quantity in the Android ecosystem for some time. It is one of the first truly viable adblockers available for the platform and is still one of the most reliable. It does have some drawbacks. As with Block This, AdBlock Plus is no longer actively maintained.

Further, to maintain regular blocking efficacy, you’ll have to install nightly builds on a regular basis. AdBlock Plus does come with options for system-wide or browser usage, so it is fairly flexible. The software itself is still open source, meaning you can contribute or fork your own version. It does require a bit more work to use effectively, but it remains one of the best ad blockers for Android.

AdBlock Plus is free and open source.It is no longer actively maintained by the original developers.
You can choose between a browser or system-wide ad blocking.You’re required to regularly install development builds to maintain the ad blocking.

Picking the Best Ad Blocker for Android: What to Know

Best Ad Blockers for Android
Ad blockers can be used with only your preferred web browser or can block content on other apps.

©valiantsin suprunovich/Shutterstock.com

Applications Affected

Are you looking to block ads in apps or just in your general web browsing habits? All ad blockers aren’t created equally and have different aims. As such, you might find your preferred ad blocker isn’t really up to the task. Now, browsers like Stands and Firefox come with support for ad blocking and will allow users to browse the web without pop-ups and banner ads. However, that functionality is only extended to the browser.

System-wide ad blocking is a different affair and requires a different approach. Some users might opt to root their systems and install one of the more robust utilities for ad blocking. This has security concerns since it leaves open access to the system.

System-wide ad blockers without root access are thankfully plentiful. Choices like AdClear and Blokada handle both web browsing and in-app ads. The best ad blockers for Android are the ones that aren’t going to compromise your system’s integrity to provide a smoother experience.

Custom or Preset Block Lists

Most ad blockers will have a block list of web servers, trackers, and scripts to make browsing a breeze. The vast majority of users will likely do just fine with the default block lists available in most apps. However, it might prove to be a more difficult task to find a suitable app with custom block lists.

Custom block lists allow for a greater deal of flexibility. Ads themselves aren’t relegated to image and video content with links to external sites. Sometimes they can load malicious scripts. Custom block lists allow a user to keep on top of the latest threats, serving as an erstwhile malware protector.

Premium or Free

Choosing between free or paid options is always a rather contentious decision. Free apps generally have you at the whims of the developers or whichever community is maintaining it. It also means that an errant system update to your operating system can leave you without any means of ad blocking.

Now, that isn’t to say you’ll avoid this issue with a premium app or service. However, a premium app or service has an incentive to maintain compatibility, since the profit model is gone otherwise. With that in mind, there are viable ad blockers in both categories.

Using an Ad Blocker on Android: What It’s Like

best ad blockers for android
YouTube is prone to displaying unvetted and inappropriate ads that your kids don’t need to see.

©Magic Orb Studio/Shutterstock.com

What is it like using an ad blocker? When properly configured, an ad blocker can be a transformative experience for your device usage. If you’ve dealt with slow websites for reading the news or looking up recipes, you might be pleasantly surprised to have the page instantly load.

It also allows for skipping cumbersome or inappropriate ads when watching videos. YouTube isn’t particularly careful about what ads it’ll show a child watching videos, so they could very easily see a red band trailer for a violent horror film before watching a Minecraft video.

Use These Best Ad Blockers for Android in 2023 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is rooting your phone safe?

It can be. However, it creates entry points that aren’t otherwise present on a stock Android phone. Root access does allow for more robust ad blockers, but it opens you to cyber attacks as well.

Is DNS ad blocking more effective than an app?

It can be, but it really depends on the global whitelists being used by the DNS. Some implementations can still allow for video ads and other content to sneak through.

Are higher Android versions still supported with ad blockers?

Yes, but it does pose some more intensive workarounds. Google’s policy for official Play Store apps is constantly changing, and more and more ad blockers need to be side-loaded to be installed on an Android device.

Should I use an ad blocker?

You can, it really depends on what you value out of your device usage. Ads are a vector for all sorts of attacks. Ad blockers can circumvent these open vectors on your browser or other apps.

Can I use the same Android ad blockers on Apple devices?

Some services like Blokada do come with support for iOS devices. However, the overwhelming majority of apps covered in this guide are for Android devices only.

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