Saturday, July 5, 2014

How to use Adaway Android

Adaway Help:


Not enough space on partition:

Try changing the target hosts file in preferences to /data/data/hosts and apply AdAway again.

It does not block ads in application XYZ!

Some hostnames may be missing in the provided hosts files from the Hosts Sources or the application has bundled the images to provide ads without accessing the internet.

You can log DNS requests (Menu->Log DNS Requests) from AdAway to find out which additional hostnames have to be blocked.

Add the suspicious hostnames to your own Blacklist by long pressing the entries in the Log and report these hostnames when you have verified them in the Forum Hosts Inbox of

Cached Advertisements

Sometimes applications cache advertisements after download. This leads to remaining advertisements in some applications. You can try to delete the cache for these applications in Android's Application list to circumvent this problem.

Application XYZ is not working anymore!

Some applications need to communicate with a hostname that is blocked by AdAway or refuses to work when the hostnames which should serve ads are not reachable. See to get a list of known applications that have problems. Otherwise, find out which hostnames are needed and add them to your Whitelist under Your Lists and report them to the bug tracker of AdAway.

The back button in web browsers is not working

You can enable AdAway's local webserver in preferences as a workaround.

Income by advertisements

There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site or application financially. This is wrong, developers also earn money by just displaying ads. It is up to you whether you block ads or not. Personally I would not use applications that display ads because I find them very annoying, so without an ad blocker I would not install these applications.

How does AdAway work?

AdAway uses the hosts file to block hostnames, that serve advertisements. The hosts file is a file found in /system/etc/hosts that maps hostnames to IP addresses. It is a traditional way to define hostname to IP address pairs without relying on the Domain Name System (DNS). All unwanted hostnames are redirected to which means they will point to your own device.

Why is the daily update check preference grayed out?

Automatic checking for new updates is only available when AdAway is installed on the internal phone memory. This is due to restrictions on the Android platform.

Why do I have to restart Android for changes to take effect?

Java on Android maintains its own internal DNS cache. The operating system will reflect the new hosts file immediately (verify that with ping on the command line) but you'll need to restart Android to rebuild the DNS cache of Java.

How to use the webserver in AdAway?

AdAway will also work without using the webserver!

You can enable a local webserver in preferences of AdAway to answer requests to the local IP address This means requests from applications to ad servers which are redirected to are answered by AdAway's webserver.
Some applications refuse to work, when ad servers are not reachable. With this method they will be reachable again, replying with a blank page and no ad images.

How can I block/unblock specific hostnames?

Add the hostnames you want to block to the Blacklist (=Black) under Your Lists. Additionally, hostnames you want to exclude from blocking can be added to the Whitelist (=White) and hostnames you want to redirect to a specific IP address belong to the Redirection List (=Redirection).

Where can I find more hosts sources?

See List of additional hosts sources for AdAway.

Help translating/report bugs

Please go to

HTC Devices

AdAway does not work when you are using a device with so called S-ON. This 'feature' exists on many HTC devices and prevents AdAway from writing the hosts file.


S-OFF means that the NAND portion of the device is unlocked and can be written to. The default setting for HTC devices is S-ON, which means that neither can you access certain areas of the system nor can you guarantee a permanent root. Furthermore, signature check for firmware images is also ensured by the S-ON flag.

Do I have S-ON or S-OFF?

Boot into the Boot Menu on your device by holding down volume down button while pressing power and the text on top will show the flag status as either S-OFF or S-ON. A full root generally means S-OFF.

More information can be found on


Prerequisite: You have to install a working Android SDK with ADB shell on your PC.

Boot into the Boot Menu on your device by holding down volume down button while pressing power.
Use volume down to select recovery.
In clockwork recovery volume down to "partitions menu" and hit the track pad to select
Select mount /system, mount /sdcard and mount /data.
Plug in your usb cord and open a command line on your pc.
Enter adb shell and type ln -s /data/data/hosts /system/etc/hosts (This creates a symbolic link, which allows AdAway to edit the hosts file stored in /data while allowing the OS to use the file as if it were stored in /system.)
Reboot your device and set Target hosts file to /data/data/hosts in AdAway's preferences.
AdAway should work now.

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