Being constantly peppered by ads or popups is one of the most annoying experiences in Android. Today’s troubleshooting guide will tell you how to get rid of these digital pests. Although we’re doing this for a #GalaxyNote8 users, our suggestions can also be applied to whatever Samsung device you may be using so make sure to bookmark this page for future reference.
Today’s problem: How to fix a Galaxy Note8 that keeps showing ad popups
Ads keep popping up on my phone seconds. Throughout the day it happens at least 40 – 50 times. In the bottom left-hand corner, there is a square box that says “opt out.” My cell phone carrier has tried to do things on their end & had me do things on my phone and it has not fixed the problem. The only other option I have to do if it cannot be fixed is to do a factory restore on my phone to where I lose everything that’s not backed up. do you know how to fix the problem without me having to do a factory restore? — Jedsgirln08
Solution: Hi Jedsgirln08. Persistent ads or ad popups on your Note8 means that the device has been infected by an adware or another bad app that serves as a gateway for other malicious apps to install themselves. This can happen if you opened an email and clicked on a booby-trapped link, visited malicious websites on your web browser, or installed suspect apps. These are the three most common ways to infect an Android device and unfortunately, the only effective methods of fixing the problem is by:
- doing a factory reset first, then
- prevent the phone being infected again after a reset.
Scan your phone with antivirus apps
While some users were able to address ad popups before by scanning their device with an antivirus app, this may or may not work for you. There’s always a cat-and-mouse game between antivirus developers and malicious parties that make these sneaky apps or viruses. If the malware or ad popups on your phone are obsolete at this time, newer antivirus definitions may help in removing them from your phone.
There are many free antivirus apps in Play Store that you can try (be careful with some of them though as some bad apps may pose like a legit antivirus apps as well). Try to stick with known brands like AVG, Norton, etc. Try to do due diligence when looking for options by doing some research. You can start by checking this list of good antivirus apps.
Once you’ve decided what antivirus app to use, make sure not to install another similar app and run them together at once. Having two antivirus apps scanning the device together can cause performance problems. If you want to try another, make sure to delete the first one before installing the second.
Boot to safe mode
If these popups started after you installed a particular app, or if you suspect that an app is the reason for them, you can try to boot your phone to safe mode. Safe Mode blocks third party apps and services from running so it’s a good avenue to remove unwanted apps. It will also help you determine if your hunch about a possible third party app issue is right.
To boot your device to safe mode:
- Turn the device off.
- Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen appearing on the screen.
- When SAMSUNG appears on the screen, release the Power key.
- Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
- Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
- When Safe mode appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume down key.
- Allow the phone to run for some time and see if the popups return. If they won’t, that means there’s a third party app that causes them to appear.
To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:
- Boot to safe mode.
- Check for the problem.
- Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
- After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
- If your Note8 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.
- Keep doing the same cycle until you’ve identified the culprit.
Wipe the phone
If you are not able to boot your Note8 to safe mode, or if the problem persists after uninstalling all third party apps, your only other choice is factory reset.
To factory reset your Note8:
- Create a backup of your data using Smart Switch.
- Turn off the device.
- Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
- When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
- Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
- Press Power button to select.
- Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
- Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
- When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
- Press the Power key to restart the device.
Reflash the firmware
Alternatively, you can also flash your device’s firmware to wipe it clean. Flashing is the Android equivalent of installing a fresh version of Android operating system by overwriting the current one. procedures vary by phone model so you want to be careful that you follow a good guide for your particular phone model. You don’t want to brick your Note8 by using a firmware of another carrier. Flashing is usually not recommended for average users only because of the risks involved so if you haven’t heard about it before, you can let Samsung do it for you. Samsung does not officially recommend that users flash their phones on their own. Just bring your device to a Samsung Service Center and let them wipe the phone. Like Factory Reset, this will erase your data so be sure to back your files up before heading out.
How to prevent ad popups or virus from infecting your Note8?
The most common reason why ad popups or viruses infect a device is by installing a bad app. Some of these apps may appear to be legit initially. They come in all forms like games, productivity apps, personalization apps, or even dating apps. Once you installed one, it may work fine for the next few days but would then transform into its malicious form a later on to allow other apps or viruses to take over your device. Some malware may hijack the Play Store app or your web browser so they can display ads or redirect you to a download page in Play Store. Others will simply take over the entire operating system and forces it to do other tasks in the background.
So, in order to prevent your device from becoming infected again after a factory reset, you want to make sure that you only install apps you trust. Stick to official apps and avoid those from shady developers. If you’re not sure if one can be trusted or not, check the reviews from other users. If the app has been there for some time, some users may have already provided reviews for it. If your phone becomes infected again after a factory reset, that means one of the apps you installed is bad. In this case, you should do another round of factory reset. Then, make sure to do a better job at checking what apps to install again. If this keeps on happening again, you only have yourself to blame.