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How to remove ad pop-ups and malware on Galaxy S10

Your Galaxy S10 is a mini complex computer and can be a target for ads and other forms of malware. If you’re wondering how to secure it from threats, or if you want to know how to get rid of present pop-ups, read on.


How to deal with browser pop-ups

If you’re getting pop-ups or if ads keeps showing up uncontrollably when opening a web browser like Google Chrome for Android, it’s possible that said browser is hijacked. This is a pretty common occurrence in PCs but it’s not that prevalent in Android at this time. However, if you keep getting notifications from a certain website and you can’t seem to shake it off normally, you’ll need to do three things.

Identify bad third party app

With Android, malware are usually spread by installing apps. If your Galaxy device has been showing ad pop-ups out of nowhere, that can be a sign that a newly installed application is responsible. If you can still recall, uninstall the app and see if that will help. If you have no idea which of your apps it might be, identify it by using Safe Mode procedure.

Safe Mode is a separate software environment from Android used by technicians to troubleshoot bad applications. You can also use it to identify which of your apps is problematic. While your Galaxy S10 runs on Safe Mode, all third party apps will be unable to load. So, if pop-ups are absent on safe mode but returns after you restart your S10 to normal mode, that’s a confirmation that one of the apps is causing it. To fix the problem, you must use the process of elimination to identify and remove the bad app from the system.

To restart the phone to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

Once the device has booted to safe mode, observe it for some time to see if pop-ups return. If they do, delete the latest app you installed. Then, return the phone to normal mode and check for pop-ups again. If the pop-ups are still there, do another round of deleting an app and returning to normal mode. Do this cycle until you’ve identified the bad application.

Prevent malware using Play Protect

Google offers a way to protect Android devices from malicious apps by scanning a device for threats. Make sure to use it as another alternative to finding malware in your device. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Android device’s Google Play Store app.
  2. Tap Menu icon.
  3. Tap Play Protect.
  4. Turn on Scan device for security threats.

Alternatively, you can also buy or download free antivirus apps to help deal with potential viruses. There are many good free antivirus apps from the Play Store. Make sure to use only the ones from reputable companies. When it comes to antivirus apps, having more than one is not a good idea. Only install one to avoid causing performance problems on your device.

NOTE: Some malware may disguise themselves as antivirus apps. Be sure not to fall for them. Do some research before you install an app you’re not sure of.

Turn off notifications from certain website

If you want to manage notifications from a website you regularly visit, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Chrome app.
  2. Go to a webpage.
  3. To the right of the address bar, tap More icon (three dots)
  4. Then, tap Info or Information.
  5. Tap Site settings.
  6. Under “Permissions,” tap Notifications.
  7. If you don’t see “Permissions” or “Notifications,” the site doesn’t have notifications turned on.
  8. Turn the setting off.

How to stop pop-ups on Galaxy S10 in general

Most of the time, ad pop-ups are forced to be displayed by bad apps anytime. This form of malware infection is more annoying and can render the device unusable. We’ve seen this form of pop-ups becoming more common nowadays. If pop-ups on your Galaxy S10 are not limited to web browser you’re using, these are the troubleshooting steps to try.

Wipe your device (factory reset)

If your phone has become frozen, unresponsive, or just plain unusable due to never ending pop-ups, the first thing that you want to do is wipe it. Factory reset will erase all non-system critical addition including potentially bad apps, viruses, malware, and codes that forces pop-ups. Make sure to create a backup of your personal data before doing this solution. Also, be sure to remove the Google account from your S9 to avoid problems that may be caused by Factory Reset Protection feature.

To factory reset your Galaxy S9:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. 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).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  7. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  8. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Use antivirus app

Factory reset may be effective in cleaning up your phone but it can’t protect it all the time. If you’re not careful, you will be reintroducing the source of the virus (app) again. To lessen the chances of that from happening, you want to make sure that you do these two things right after setting up the device:

  • Enable Play Protect on the Play Store
  • Install antivirus app

The first one (Play Protect) is mentioned above so we recommend that you follow the steps to turn it on.

Installing antivirus app should follow after factory reset. This is to add more protection to the system before you install the rest of your apps. The goal is apparently to put your device in the middle between antivirus and potential threats. There are a lot of good free antivirus apps to use from the Play Store. We suggest that you use one of them for a start. If you find a favorite later on, that’s the time that you want to probably invest in getting a premium version. For basic protection though, you can use the free version.

When selecting an antivirus app, it’s important to choose a reputable one. There are many viruses and malware that disguise themselves like legit antivirus apps. Make sure to read reviews from other users and use only the one from known developers.

Adding one antivirus will help protect the system from known bad apps during installation but is adding more better? NO! Having more than one antivirus app on your system is not a good idea. It can cause severe performance issue and other problems. Pick one and stick with it. Or, simply uninstall the first one before replacing it.

Only install good apps

When it comes to protecting your device from security threats, a big part of it falls on your shoulders as a user. Antivirus and other forms of automated protection can only help so much. Bad guys regularly find a way to circumvent antivirus and Google Play Store protection. There’s a constant cat-and-mouse battle between them and hackers so you should not leave the integrity of your data to apps all the time. If annoying pop-ups return after a factory reset (keep in mind that legit and safe apps may use pop-ups to make money too), that’s probably because you’re not doing a good job in filtering your apps. If you are not sure whether an app or game is safe to install, do due diligence to know more about it. Use Google to find reviews about it, or you can check the reviews that other users have posted in the app’s installation page in the Play Store. If there are a lot of negative reviews and mentions of a virus or pop-ups associated with the said app, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from it.

We suggest that you also consider the publisher or developer of the app you install. Not all developers have good intentions in mind. If you think that a good looking app comes from an unknown, least known, or suspect developer, don’t install it. Again, do some research and see if the product they’re offering is safe. If you need a particular feature and you’re dying to have it on your phone, try to see if you can get it from another app.

Hopefully, all the above suggestions will help you secure your phone from threats. Be sure to contact us if you need more help in the future.


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