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Change DNS on Android 9+ and block ads
Table of Contents
In this article, we will explain a simple and safe strategy to be able to block most advertisements in apps and when surfing the Internet with an Android 9 or higher device via private DNS.
What is DNS #
When you visit a website, e.g.
bortox.co.uk, your device doesn’t know what IP address the page
bortox.co.uk corresponds to, so it will make a request to a resolution DNS server, which will reply with the home address of the webpage, e.g.
188.8.131.52 a bit like a phone book lookup.
This is only a small part of DNS, or Domain Name System, although for the topics covered in this tutorial it is more than sufficient. For more in-depth information, see the ubiquitous Wikipedia.
Ad blocking works in a very simple way. A DNS resolver with ad-block included, such as BlahDNS, will simply respond to a request for
0.0.0.0, an IP used as a placeholder for an invalid address.
How to enable private DNS on Android 9+ #
The default DNS resolver server communicates via http, so your requests can be seen by other users in the network, and in particular cases, even manipulated.
In order to communicate with an HTTPS server, i.e. with encrypted requests between you and the server, you need to fiddle around a bit, but fortunately from Android 9 onwards it has become very simple: just enable the Private DNS option in the settings.
How to enable private DNS in Android settings](/blog/tutorialaldnsprivato.png “How to enable private DNS in Android settings”)
Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Settings app.
- Click on Network and Internet.
- Click on Advanced to show the Private DNS settings.
- Click on Private DNS.
- Paste the private DNS provider (
- Click on save
To block ads, I personally use BlahDNS, a hobby project of @ookhangzheng, as it works fast and blocks everything well.
I can also recommend Adguard’s DNS,
dns.adguard.com, a company dedicated to fighting online advertising and tracking.
If you just want a fast, private DNS without ad blocking, you can use Cloudflare’s
Side note: this will remove most advertisements, but not, for example, YouTube ads, because they are served on the same servers as the videos, so trying to block them would be tantamount to blocking YouTube. I’ll write an article about that in the future.