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Stop and Remove Unwanted Android Icon Ad Spam on Cell Phone

Updated on September 16, 2012

Spammy Ads Appearing on Cell Phone Screen

I don’t typically download a bunch of apps or add icons to my cell phone touch screen. I love using my Android powered Smartphone but I try to keep the applications to a minimum so that I save some space and have easier access to the apps I love.

Since I don’t spend all day finding and installing apps it was easy for me to notice that my cell phone touch screen was slowly filling up with unwanted icons. These icons were advertisements taking up space on my touch screen. Icons for Priceline, Poker, Slots, dating sites, etc started to populate my wireless phone screen. My phone was becoming full of spam ads that I did not ask for or want.

Deleting Unwanted Ad Icons

Removing unwanted Icons from your touch screen can be done manually. It is tedious but easy to do I went through all the screens and deleted the icons (click here to learn about deleting icons you don't want) I did not want hoping they would not return. After a couple days, to my dismay, new ones started appearing again.

Adware Poll

How Often Do You Get Advertisements on Your Cell Phone Touchscreen?

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Push Ads, Icon Ads and Why They Appear on Cell Phones

How are these ads appearing? These ads are icon ads and push ads (aka push notification ads) These ads are dropped onto your cell phone by certain applications that contain adware.

The 'push ads' are those ads that you see in the notification bar on your phone. The 'icon ads' are those especially bothersome ads that take up space visually on your touch screen as icons.

Advertisements on free apps are not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. Since you did not pay for the app the developer needs to make money somehow and they do so by posting ads. There are tons of mobile marketing firms (Admob, Moolah, Burst, etc) that developers work with that attach adware to apps that appear either on the app when you are using it (I fully support these on free apps), on your cell phone notification bar (push ads.... which I'm kinda OK with most of the time) or on your touch screen as an icon ad (which I loathe).

Which Ads Should I Delete?

Unless I’m paying for all of my applications, I’m not really a big fan of stopping all ads from my cell phone. As far as I’m concerned, developers can keep displaying ads when I use their apps as long as it appears within the app and not attached to my screen. They have to make money somehow. What drives me nuts is when the advertisements show up on my touch screen in the form of an icon. I want to stop or at least limit the push ads on my cell phone screen and notification bar as a bonus.

Block Wireless Phone Push Ads

I’m using the word ‘block’ too loosely here. Rather than completely block, I’m basically just trying to control the amount advertisements and reduce the junk I do not want on my wireless phone. The best way for me to do this was by finding out both 1) Which apps on my phone contain the adware putting push ads and icon ads on the phone and 2) Which of these apps I can live with out (aka delete)

Find and Remove Adware Push Ads

There are a number of (adware free) applications that find the most spammy aps on your phone. I can’t speak for all of them since I have only used one called “Addons Detector”. There are plenty of other push ad detecting applications out there that might work better for you and most are free.

I am not endorsing Addons Detector, I’m just saying it did the trick for me. I imagine all of the other adware / push ad / icon ad detection apps out there work basically the same. Try a few and see which one is right for you.

For me, it went like this….

Step 1

-I downloaded Addons Detector and let it scan my cell phone. The scan only takes about a second or two.

Step 2

-After the scan there was a button called “Add Ons” that I pressed. A bunch of your apps will appear.

Step 3

-Then I filtered these apps by “Push Notifications” so that only applications containing adware that cause icon ads / push ads will appear.

Step 4

-I then determined if these spammy apps were something I hardly used and could live without. If you don’t need these spammy apps, uninstall them. If these apps are something you can’t live without, you might have to come up with another solution or just bear with the ads.

Step 5

In my case out of the 40 or so apps I have, only two applications came up with push notifications and, fortunately, they were apps I never really used. I uninstalled both apps and since then have not seen one ad icon.

Uninstalling Apps From Andoid Phone

Not all apps contain adware but sometimes even the ones that are not spamming your phone are of no use to you anymore. Whether you are sick of an app, don't use it or if it is creating unwatned advertisements you have an options to uninstall them easy. If you are not sure how to get rid of an app that you no longer want on your phone check out my post on Hubpages that teaches you all about uninstalling apps from your phone.

Will Spam Return to My Android Smartphone ?

The spam will be back one day of course. Someday I’ll download a free app that dumps ads on my screen. App developers often don’t disclose that their program comes with push ads. I’ll just run an Addon scan from time to time.


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    • Samith Jhon profile image

      Samith Jhon 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      That was a great hub.Informative and interesting which you share with us.

    • TurtleDog profile image

      TurtleDog 5 years ago

      You are so welcome! Glad that helped you to rid of unwelcome ads on your wireless smartphone. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my post.

    • profile image

      THANK YOU 5 years ago

      That free dog whistle app had it on there, and the term "addons detector" is just what I needed to flush out the program. =)