Find And Opt Out Of Ads In Your Android Notification Bar

Find And Opt Out Of Ads In Your Android Notification Bar

Android: A disturbing trend is afoot: ads popping up on Android device’s notification area, even when you aren’t using the originating apps. The Tested blog reveals your options for tracking down those apps and opting out of the ads from at least one ad server.

AirPush and SlingLabs are two companies that are enabling app developers to place these intrusive and insidious ads in your notification bar. One of the biggest problems, Tested shows, is that you may click on the ad out of confusion, thinking it is a notification when really it’s an ad that will lead you to a Market app to buy or an ad web page.

If you don’t want to receive these notification ads, you’ll need to find out which apps on your device are serving them by trying to figure it out from the referral URL of the ad page or, for AirPush, you can download a free app called AirPush Detector that will find out which apps have AirPush enabled. AirPush also has an opt-out page where you can download an app to block the apps or enter your IMEI number to opt out of the ads. For SlingLabs, there’s currently no known opt-out or blocking information.

For more on this situation and other things you can do, check out the full post from Tested below.

Ads in Android’s Notifications Pane: Why It’s Happening and What to Do [Tested]


  • Notification bar ads are both hurting users and developers. I get how it’s a clever idea, especially for apps which run in the background, and are never ‘opened’. but seriously, this kind of ad promotes me to look for a different developer, rather than find a paid version for the app.

    On the other hand, if the developer gave me a notification every few days that I’m running a free version of their app (rather than an ad), and suggested I pay for the full version to remove the notification, then I’d pay – I always pay for quality programs to support developers, but will not be held at ransom by advertisements.

    Face it – ads piss people off – there’s no 2 ways about it. Users do accept ads for free services (i.e. TV and radio), but if a radio station started putting ads in the middle of songs, or TV consistently put banner ads over programs, then these stations would be quickly switched off.

  • SlingLabs have an opt-out but its based on phone number (like is) and seems to only take US formatted numbers. Maybe their ads aren’t served out to us in Oz?

    Opting out of AirPush is easy enough with just your IMEI, no need for an app. Using this as the no-ad identifier also allays any fears some people may have of opt-out services where you have to sign up and give a number which some find a little off-putting given the nature of the industry you’re dealing with!!

  • Quite shocked reading this. With all the advice given over the Net about NOT giving out IMEI numbers, we are required to do so to block adds?. Should I just sell my soul and be done with it??

    I agree with Mr Biggles. The best apps I have used AND bought give me a polite pop up and don’t give me grief with adds. Poweramp was one and beyond pod another. Words with friends is a pain in the a$$e but at least it gives me a pop up after an add. Gtasks and endomondo give little adds at the bottom of the screen which are annoying, but not as annoying as the adds described above.

    While I understand the use of adds and in some way support them, I feel it is unfair if we are continuosly bombarded with advertisements like the ninemsn website. Just makes you not want to use it.

    • Despite the internet scare-mongering there’s not much danger in giving out your IMEI in isolation – it’s like giving out your public MAC address.

      Your IMSI should be witheld and obviously, as with any personal data, don’t throw out lots of complementary information together.

      Someone randomly generating an IMEI could end up with your exact value but without additional info there’s not much that could be done with it.

      If anyone has any studies on the security risks of IMEIs being ‘out there’ please let me know as I’d love to know if there are real risks with this.

  • This is why I promised myself once I moved to Android from iPhone that I’d just start spending the 99cents and just buy the apps I want, instead of getting the ad filled “free” versions which were just ruining the experience. For about $20 I have all the apps and widgets I like, and none of the hassles of the free versions. Its like buying a $2000 gaming PC, then only installing shareware games. Just support the developers and pay up, if there is no ad-free version, find a different app 🙂

  • @Marcus

    Dont believe Adfree block notification ads since I am experiencing that exact same problem. I do have adfree installed and updated.

    The frustration of having your phone beeping every now and then just to realize it was an ugly, nonsense, stupid ad is tremendous.

    With no fix in sight so far we pray for this crap to be dealt with.

  • More to the point, it’s not usually clear what app brought the ads with it. What we need is a listing of apps that are using AirPush and SlingLabs so we can avoid them altogether.

  • I downloaded AirPush after reading the positive reviews and it immediately told me which app was causing the pop up ads and I got rid of it. Now fingers crossed I get no more pop ups!! Thank you!!

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