I’ve written about ad-blockers in the past a few times, but never before for mobile devices. Adblock Plus is a popular web plug-in for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. It is also is available for Android devices. Until recently, Adblock Plus was able to block ads on unrooted devices by changing how apps connect to the internet, basically forcing apps to travel through a secure proxy that strips ads from the pages.
Google put an end to this in the latest version of Android, forcing users to manually enter the proxy information for each connection. Google didn’t stop there, next they completely removed Adblock Plus from the app store citing a violation of the terms of service, specifically that it interfered with how other apps operated. These terms are exceptionally vague and leave Google plenty of head room to move about. For more information on the removal of Adblock Plus from the Play Market checkout the press release here.
Now just because it was removed from the Google Play store doesn’t mean you can’t get it. After Adblock Plus was removed they started providing links to an install file directly from their website. Unrooted devices running the latest version of Android will need to manually enter the proxy settings here, but installation is still pretty easy.
Installing Adblock Plus For Android
The following steps apply for all versions of Android rooted or not.
Step 1: Download Adblock Plus
Head over to the Adblock Plus home page on your mobile device and download the latest apk.
Step 2: Allow Unknown Sources
On your device go to your system settings and navigate to security settings.
Settings > Security > Unkown Sources
Make sure that the unknown sources checkbox is ticked.
Step 3: Launch The Adblock Plus Installer
From Downloads (located in the app drawer) launch the Adblock Plus APK file you just downloaded. Tap install when the installation dialogue box appears. When the installation has finished go ahead and launch the application.
Android Pre-2.3 (Gingerbread or lower) Unrooted
First open up Adblock Plus, it should tell you the port you need to set your proxy to. For example mine was 2020. Next head to the Settings menu, and open your Wifi settings. Open the menu and tap Advanced. Under advanced tap proxy and set the host to localhost, and the number to the one displayed in the Adblock Plus app.
Thats it your all done, sit back and enjoy the lack of advertisements!
Android 4.0+ Unrooted
If you are running the latest version of Android or close to it congratulations you have more work to do to get it working. You will need to enter the specific proxy information given to you from the Adblock Plus client.
Open the client from the app drawer. It should notify you that additional settings need to be configured via a popup. Take note of the port number given to you.
Open your wireless settings.
long press on your wireless connection.
select modify network.
Check Show advanced options.
Look for Proxy settings below and set it to Manual.
Set Proxy to localhost and Port to # (specified by Adblock Plus)
After that you should be all set. Unfortunately this will have to be done for all your connections.
Android Rooted
If your sporting a rooted device your set up is the simplest of all. When first launched Adblock Plus will request access to superuser privileges. A pop-up will appear for your superuser app confirming that you want to give Adblock access. Select Remember choice forever and tap allow. Thats it Adblock is all set up. Enjoy your add free experience.
Do You Us Adblock Plus?
So tell me, do you use Adblock Plus, or a similar service. How do you feel about Googles move to remove Adblock and make it harder to set up for unrooted devices. Let me know in the comments section below.
  • Philip Molineux

    This doesn’t work for galaxy gio as screen goes blank when entering app then goes back to home screen. Any thoughts?

    • tobiasmann

      The app may be incomparable with your device. Looking at the Gio specs it is a pretty low end device 7 and may be incompatible for a number of reasons.

      I would recommend an upgrade if it is within your means. The Moto G LTE, Moto G or the Moto E all would be great improvements on the Gio. Not only that you would have the advantage of running the latest version of Android.

      Sorry I couldn’t find a better solution.