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This is not a question about blocking ads in apps - they're annoying but if I choose a free ad-supported app, it's right I should see ads.

But, some ads feature video - for instance one app I am forced to watch a 30s trailer to Finding Dory about 20 times a day. My main issue here is data usage; I'm worried it will eat my mobile data and even by broadband limits if I am using a MiFi device when travelling.

Can I have any control over what ads are played through Google Play apps? e.g. disable video-based ads?

  • Some apps will still work in Airplane mode meaning you can't get any ads through. Whether this works for the app(s) you're using I'm not sure. It may prevent the app working entirely. – bmdixon Jul 28 '16 at 12:27
  • Interesting idea. This is an online game (Scrabble) so I don't think it's an option but worthwhile trying on other apps. – Mr. Boy Jul 28 '16 at 13:38
  • Video ads pay more (for the app developer) than still ones, so they wouldn't offer an honest way to replace them. If you're going to cut into the app developer's income like this, you might as well just go all the way and remove the ads entirely. – Dan Hulme Aug 13 '18 at 8:47
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I don't think there's a way to disable certain type of ads appearing on Android apps without using an ad-blocker.

The idea is to force users to switch to paid versions.

You may, however, choose between "personalised ads" or non, using Google account dashboard.

For me, using a VPN helps disable internet access to selected apps. This minimises to a certain extent, the number of ads I see. Also, some VPN compress most ads that I still have to see, so I save data that way, too.

I, personally, use Opera Max. There may be others, too.

But be careful, though. Some apps don't work without internet access.

  • It just seems irresponsible for an app to play video if someone is on mobile data... like FAcebook's auto-play videos which thankfully you can set to only work on WiFi (or not at all)... it seems this model is quite common so it's a bit weird the central ad service(?) does't follow this. In many scenarios I wouldn't have good enough signal for video anyway... what happens then? – Mr. Boy Jul 28 '16 at 13:37
  • I just watch the video and then check data usage on Opera Max, it usually saves at least 50%. – NVZ Jul 28 '16 at 13:40
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If you're rooted, you should consider using Lucky Patcher.

It's an app that allows you to change the make-up of an app, and allows you to re-install the app with those specifications.

For example: you can set it to remove all ads, and install an apk with no ads enabled. Now, this is not perfect, nor fool-proof, and wont work for every case. but its somewhere to start.

See this article for more information on lucky patchers ad blocking.

  • If I wanted to remove all ads I'd just pay for the ad-free version. I don't object to ad-supported free apps I just don't want to pay for the data used to display video ads! – Mr. Boy Jul 28 '16 at 13:37
  • thats why i suggest lucky patcher. it's app specific, meaning if there isnt a paid version to get rid of ads, and you're worried about it draining data, you can try to manually remove the ads from the app. – Deron EZ Lauver Jul 28 '16 at 13:40

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