Every time I close WhatsApp I get some sort of an advertisement.

According to their site they don't advertise, but I see adverts like this after closing the app:

screenshot of advert

Click image for larger version

I have contacted the WhatsApp support team and their reply was:

WhatsApp does not advertise. If you are seeing advertisement on your device, it is from your device and not WhatsApp.

How can the device advertise on it's own??

  • You could check with e.g. Appbrain Ad Detector what apps have ad modules built-in. It's most likely safe to ignore "Admob" here, but things like "Leadbot" and the likes might do such. To further narrow down possible candidates, think which you might have installed about the time te described phenomenon started. – Izzy Jul 24 '14 at 10:57
  • @Izzy I have installed the TrustGo Ad Detector which displayed 10 apps with ad plugins.Shockingly what's app is not among those. – user285oo6 Jul 27 '14 at 12:36
  • That's surprising indeed, but I didn't expect WhatsApp being behind the ad (if it were, we'd already heard about). I rather wonder it happens only on closing WhatsApp (and not other apps). Not sure how to tell the culprit, but I guess it would need a special permission to detect that event; maybe GET_TASKS and/or GET_TOP_ACTIVITY_INFO. A dev could answer this better. – Izzy Jul 27 '14 at 13:29
  • PS: My answer here might be relevant to this topic as well. – Izzy Jul 27 '14 at 13:35

Like KeshavaGN, I suspect a 3rd party app behind this. But neither your Nova Launcher, nor WhatsApp itself. To isolate the culprit, I suggest the following steps:

  1. Check with e.g. Appbrain Ad Detector (or TrustGO, which you chose) for apps carrying ad modules. These might include your culprit – but on a second look, that's not a typical "ad network message". Anyhow, note them down.
  2. See my answer here for how to check for apps having certain permissions. As described there, it's a "full-screen ad" here as well, so the SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permission might be involved. As it happens always on closing WhatsApp, also check for GET_TASKS (allows an app to check which apps are running) and GET_TOP_ACTIVITY_INFO (details on the app running in foreground). Again, make a note on matches.
  3. Keep an eye on what apps are advertized. Try finding them at Play (better not by clicking on the ad, but separately – though the URL behind the ad might reveal more). If it's always the same dev behind it, check whether you have an app from him running on your device. If that's already on one of your lists from above, you most likely have found your culprit.
  4. Hard to realize, but possible while on some WiFi you control the router as well: If that popup is open, cut the Internet connection behind your router (i.e. your device is still using WiFi, but cannot reach the "open Internet"). Now it shouldn't be too risky tapping the ad (hopefully). I'd expect it opening your browser, which now cannot resolve the page – but you should see the URL in the browser's address bar. This might help to further narrow down suspects, if it is related to any of the apps you're using.

Finally, check your lists created during these four steps, and watch out for matches. If there's an app on list 2+3 (and optionally more), that's a pretty certain candidate. It gets even more likely if it's also on at least one of the other lists. Continue as described in the answer I've linked with item #2.

If you found out the responsible app, additionally to the steps described in the other answer, it would be a good idea to report your finding here as well ;)

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    the problem solved only after removing the Antivirus Free by creative apps. – user285oo6 Jul 30 '14 at 15:27
  • Thanks for the feedback! As I always use to say: AV apps cause more problems than they solve ;) Did you report the app to Google? – Izzy Jul 30 '14 at 20:30
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    I flagged the app at the bottom section and wrote that it violates the tos of the Play Store related to the Advertisement policy. If that is called reporting then I have done that if not please tell more what do I need to do? – user285oo6 Jul 31 '14 at 5:13
  • That's what I meant and what's needed to point Google to it, thanks! I'm not sure whether you can leave a comment on the app itself on Play once you've uninstalled it (to warn other users directly). I personally would avoid apps from the same dev in the future, btw. – Izzy Jul 31 '14 at 5:56
  • the adverts have returned again and this time it shows ads by Google in the bottom left corner of the screen – user285oo6 Aug 1 '14 at 4:54

I think applock is the culprit(and they openly mention that).

Try opening applock and inside left sidebar menu, tap first item(or menu header) called 'Account center' or 'Upgrade to Premium' and there you can see that it either shows banner ads or full screen ads.

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I also had the same problem or still have the same problem. I tried all these adware scanners like adware but they couldn't the app that was causing the ads . So after thinking about it, I realised that this pop up is just an activity and an activity has a title. So I have this application that shows the name of each activity that I am interacting with. So when the ad popped was I able to trace it back to ilauncher, this seemingly harmless ios 8 launcher that I like so much. So check all your launchers.

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  • that's actually pretty clever, could you post the application name ? – svarog Jun 7 '15 at 19:01
  • It's tinted status bar an xposed framework module , its main purpose is to dynamically change the color of the status bar but it has this option of letting you know which activity is running so that you change the color manually, that's what I utilized. – mbuyu Jul 3 '15 at 21:07

This may be produced by some other application such as third party launcher.

Check any other 3rd party apps, mainly, 3rd party launcher that you are using. Uninstal/stop those launchers/apps and check.

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  • Had installed Nova launcher later un-installed the launcher to check this but it's the same. No change observed – user285oo6 Jul 24 '14 at 10:29
  • I would really wonder if Nova did such. It's that widespread, we'd heard about. I rather expect some other 3rd party app behind it. – Izzy Jul 27 '14 at 13:37

I have the same issue on my phone and not only when I close whatsapp, some other apps do the same. The problem is APPLOCK. It's part of the free version and to stop those ads from popping the only way is to pay their annual fee. While I understand that devs need ads in order to maintain their apps and generate income, I also think that this type of advertising is abusive. It doesn't make me want to download what's being advertised, it does the opposite! Annoying!

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  • Are you saying that the problem the questioner had is definitely being caused by something called Applock, or are you merely mentioning what turned out to be the cause of YOUR separate, but similar, issue? – TurboFool Jun 8 '15 at 23:36

So basically these are Google ads. I am not sure why these are shown but I think there is way to opt out.

Go to your Google settings in your phone - select ads and from there opt out of interest - based ads. After this you will see the option of Ads by Google, select that. There you will find the instructions to stop these ads. It will redirect to a link, my link is not working.

Can you please try it and if you get through, please let me know as well.

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    Opting out of 'interest-based' ads simply means the ads you see will be less targeted. It does not opt out of ads entirely. – bmdixon Feb 12 '15 at 16:08

It is 360 security app. This app has almost all the permission. It is also able to track your activities such as browsing data. It shows app based on the things you browsed.

I also having the same problem and upon remiving 360 security app it seems that issue resolved.

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