One of Android’s biggest strengths is having the Google Play Store. It’s library of applications dwarfs the iOS’ equivalent, the App Store, in terms of the amount of apps you can thumb through. To be fair, a small percentage — a negligible percentage — of applications make their way onto the Google Play Store and cause havoc. Whether it’s dumping malware, bloatware or adware onto your Android device, it can be a frustrating and angering situation to deal with.
Some ads have the unfortunate side effect of place ads on your lock screen, so every time you go to unlock your Android device, you’re greeted by an ad. You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it, but more importantly, you want it gone. These people know no shame. You are dealing with adware.
No, don’t you worry. “Adware” does sound dangerous, but it’s pretty harmless, just really annoying. Adware, unlike malware, doesn’t harm your Android device, but it does have the nasty habit of placing advertisements all over your lock screen. It sure is great fun trying to unlock your Android device, only to be stopped by some stupid ad.
If you have Android ads on your lock screen, you aren’t alone, and there’s plenty of fixes you can use to rid yourself of such a problem.
Uninstalling the Pesky Application
If the ads on your lock screen is recent, then it’s likely you installed an application that has adware. Here’s a list of apps that have the potential to give you ads on your lock screen:
- Super-Bright LED Flashlight/Torch
- ES App Locker
- GO apps (e.g. GO Keyboard, GO Weather)
- Peel Remote app
- Photo Editor Pro
- TouchPal apps
- VideoShow video editor
- Z Camera (and Zero Team apps)
- Battery Doctor
- UC Browser
- Photo Collage Editor
- LOCX: App Lock
- Solo Launcher
- Dolphin Browser
These only account for a small percentage of apps that can place ads on your lock screen. If you installed any of the above recently, then uninstalling them will resolve your issue.
1. Locate and launch the Settings app.
2. In the Settings menu, make your way down the menu until you come to Apps and or Apps & Notifications–it depends on your Android device. Select it.
Before you start uninstalling recently installed applications, consider creating a list of recently installed apps and doing a bit of research. Figure out if their existence on your device is giving you ads.
3. In your Apps menu, find the application(s) giving you problems and select it from the list. The list is in alphabetical order.
4. On the app’s information page, choose Uninstall. When prompted to confirm the deletion, select OK. It will be uninstalled shortly after.
While uninstalling an application can be done from the Home screen, it’s advantageous you do so through the Application menu. The reason being that some apps can hide themselves from your Home screen and the App Drawer. Those sneaky little apps–the ones causing the trouble–aren’t sneaky enough.
Revoke Access to “Draw Over Other Apps”
Some applications may be immune to being uninstalled, perhaps they were pre-installed when you bought your Android device or maybe disabling them isn’t working either. Then the next best thing it to revoke the app’s reach.
1. Find and open the Settings app.
2. Make your way down the Settings menu until you come to Apps and or Application–it depends on your Android device. Go ahead and select the menu option.
3. In the Apps menu, open Configure Apps by tapping the gear icon located in the top right corner of your screen.
4. In Configure Apps, choose the menu option “Draw over other apps.”
This option in particular gives some applications the ability to overlay over your screen, like Facebook Messenger having a profile picture pop up whenever you get a message. An app giving you ads on your lock screen would be able to do the same with this permission enabled.
5. Now find the application in question and select it from the apps list.
6. Disable its permission to draw over other apps by moving the slider to the left.
Remove Device Admin Powers
Similar to the problem of allowing apps to “draw” over other apps, the application in question may need to stay on your Android device, or perhaps it can’t be removed, but you can remove the ads by disabling its admin powers.
1. Locate and open the Settings app.
2. In the Settings menu, scroll down the menu until you come to Security and or Security & Location–it depends entirely on your Android device.
3. In your Security menu, locate the menu option “Device Administrators” and or “Device Admin Apps”– again, it depends on your Android device.
4. Select the application that is the culprit behind the ads and remove admin powers by unchecking the box to the right.