Help

This site is built up with two different sections. The first gives assistance with common issues you might face while the second provides information for general questions.

Known situations

  1. Blokada blocks less ads.
  2. An app doesn't work as expected.
  3. I want to block a given website.
  4. Ads in YouTube aren't blocked!
  5. I cannot start Blokada after I installed it.
  6. Blokada stops to function/work after a while.
  7. I can't import EasyList/AdBlock Plus list into Blokada.

General questions

  1. How does Blokada work?
  2. Can I use another VPN while Blokada is turned on?
  3. What are the options in Blokada?
  4. What can I do if I still see some ads?
  5. What is DNS and which should I choose?
  6. What can I do if Blokada stops working after a while?
  7. I cannot install an update, what can I do?
  8. Can I hide the VPN notification?
  9. How do I report a problem, idea or suggestion?
  10. Can Blokada see my private data?
  11. Does Blokada use a lot of battery?
  12. Will Blokada slow down my device?
  13. Is Blokada really free to use?
  14. Blokada is great, how can I help the project?
  15. I have another question, where can I ask it?

Blokada blocks less ads.

If you suspect that Blokada blocks less advertisements than earlier, please refresh your lists. To do it, tap on Blacklist, then in the top right corner on the equaliser, choose Refresh filters and tap on Continue. Usually it happens because new servers are added to the existing ones that are not (yet) identified and added to the blacklists, or the new list is not downloaded to your phone, therefore they are not (yet) blocked.
Alternatively you can enable more host lists or add more restrictive filters in the Blacklist menu.

Please note that Blokada uses 3rd party lists, therefore if the app itself worked earlier and blocked ads, without changes it should behave the same way.

An app doesn't work as expected.

If you can see that an app doesn't work as expected, doesn't load its content or something similar misbehaviour is experienced, please go to the main screen, choose Whitelist, at the bottom of the screen tap on the + sign, choose App and type its name. Tap on Save at the end. With this, Blokada won't filter the URLs in this app.

Please note that Blokada 3.4 and earlier releases had a bug which caused that a freshly installed app wasn't recognized in Blokada, therefore they couldn't be set on the Whitelist. This bug is fixed in version 3.5 and newer.

I want to block a given website.

You can block individual website what isn't on a host list. To do it, go to the Blacklist on the main page, tap on the + sign at the bottom of the screen, tap on Host and type in the hostname of the website, without the http and www part (for example: myexample.com).

Ads in YouTube aren't blocked!

Blocking ads on YT is very hard because Google uses encryption and randomly generated hosts to serve the ads. Therefore, it's much easier to block ads within the YT app as with an external tool (like Blokada). NewPipe and YouTube Vanced are featureful, great alternatives of the official YouTube application, please check which fits better for you.

I cannot start Blokada after I installed it.

There are two common causes for such a situation. First, please check if you have an active VPN connection and if thats Always-on VPN option is enabled. To do it, go to the Settings of your phone, search for VPN in the network section, tap on the gear next to the existing VPN. Disable it, disconnect from the active VPN connection and try to restart Blokada.

If you don’t have other VPN connection, check in Blokada if Online only is enabled, and if yes, check if you are connected to the internet either with wifi or with mobile data. Blokada won’t start if the Online only is enabled and you don’t have an internet connection.

If it doesn’t help, restart your phone, it also helps sometimes.

Blokada stops to function/work after a while.

As a first step, turn on Keep alive in Blokada. In this case, Blokada will try to stay online, but please note, your system still can effect this behaviour. If you set it, and you still see that Blokada is stopped time after time, check your system’s settings and turn off every battery- and memory-optimisation for Blokada. Unfortunately it is different in every system, therefore we cannot say where to do it. Please check your phone’s settings. Other source of such behaviour can be that you are using a memory cleaner. Please set Blokada on whitelist or exclude list. If non of this steps helped in your case, please report a bug (see below how to do it).

I can't import EasyList/AdBlock Plus list into Blokada.

If you try to import a list (for example EasyList) that works very well with your AdBlock Plus extension on your PC or notebook, Blokada will report an error message. It is because Blokada uses other method to block ads. While ABP blocks and hides elements or parts of the website, Blokada cannot do it because it's not a plugin in the browser, instead it redirects the accesses to the ad-server to a non-routable address (0.0.0.0), therefore it needs a hostname-IP list.

How does Blokada work?

Blokada is a thin layer between the network interface (wifi or mobile) of your phone and the application/s you use. To be able to filter every outgoing traffic, it generates a local (no 3rd party service in use) VPN connection and simply blocks any requests towards the hosts defined in the blacklist filters. This blocking is done with a redirection, the IP address of the website that serves the advertisement will be resolved by the phone to a non-routable meta-address, for 0.0.0.0, where no web service is running, therefore nothing will be shown. With this, Blokada saves both your data plan and battery life. The filters are updated automatically and contain hosts known for serving ads, tracking, spam, malware, and other unwanted or dangerous content. You can configure Blokada with your own custom filters and whitelists to ensure the service that you would like to use isn’t blocked and you don’t experience any interruption.

Can I use another VPN while Blokada is turned on?

Unfortunately no, it is a system limitation; you can have only one active VPN connection at a time. If you join to an other service, Blokada will exit.

What are the options in Blokada?

As you surely saw it, Blokada has some options on the main screen that are not detailed at the first start. Please let us do it now. You can see the following:

  • Blacklist: this is the lists of host files containing the servers to block. Please note that using multiple lists can have effect on network and system speed.
  • Whitelist: the whitelist is the exception list, here you can define hosts that should not be blocked or apps where Blokada won’t filter URLs. Blokada is installed with several whitelisted apps by default.
  • Keep alive: this option is to ensure Blokada is not paused or stopped by the system. Please note your system can overwrite it, make sure your settings will let Blokada run in the background.
  • Notifications: when enabled, you will be notified when an ad is blocked. It is on by default, but if you get a lot of notifications, turn it off.
  • Online only: when enabled, Blokada will exit if there is no active connection, and start again whenever connection comes back. If disabled, Blokada will always run in the background (even if no network is available). Please note this option may not work on every device.
  • Start on boot: when enabled, Blokada will start after the system boots up. Please note there are system level configurations for this option, therefore it cannot be guaranteed Blokada can start on boot. In this case, please check your phone’s settings. The default configuration is enabled, if you want to start Blokada manually, disable this option.
  • DNS: if you are suspecting that some websites or services are blocked for you, or you are presuming that your internet provider collects information about your intenet usage, choose a secure DNS machine from the list. By default, Blokada uses the same DNS server/s as your system.

Not configurable things:

  • Up to date: if you see it, you are running the most recent version of Blokada. Keep the app up-to-date because it has less bugs and more features!
  • # ads blocked: the number of unwanted content that Blokada blocked since it is started for the first time
  • # hosts: number of servers that serves advertisements, malware and other unwanted content

What can I do if I still see some ads?

Some ads will come through with any ad blocker on Android. In particular YouTube ads or some fullscreen popup ads are difficult to block. If you think more ads are coming through than before, try these steps:

  • Check if the VPN key icon is present in the status bar at the top. If not, start Blokada.
  • Open Blokada and check if it is active and not reporting any errors.
  • Check if the hosts counter is not equal to zero. If it is, select some blacklist filters so that ads can be blocked. If the counter is still zero, report a bug.
  • Make sure you don't have too many apps in the whitelist - maybe that's why you are seeing ads.
  • Try resetting your filters (go to the Blacklist screen and choose Restore Defaults from the Quick Actions menu at the top).
  • If you see ads in your browser, deactivate any kind of traffic compression or optimisation in the browser's settings.
  • Deactivate Blokada, close it (by swiping it out from the Recents screen), and turn it on again.
  • If you recently changed your settings (filters, whitelist, etc), remember it takes time before new configuration start working. Give it some time.
  • Clear app data for Blokada (in system settings), or reinstall it.
  • Restart your device.
  • Your device may be unsupported. Please check Devices Database.
  • If none of those steps helped, please report a bug (see below).

What is DNS and which should I choose?

The acronym DNS stands for Domain Name System and this servers are responsible to resolve the domain names (for example: myexample.com) to IP addresses, what are used between machines to communicate. Your internet service provider has its own DNS servers; Blokada is configured to use the system defaults. The machines in this list should be used if you are suspecting that your ISP collects logs about your internet usage, you are afraid of some privacy risk or if some websites or services are blocked for you. There is no "best", everything depends on your preferences and location, therefore if you would like to use custom DNS servers, please read their description, search for them on the internet and read the feedbacks.

I cannot install an update, what can I do?

First of all, please check if the Android version you have is 5 or newer. Android 4 and older versions are not supported in Blokada 3.0 and newer versions. To do it, go to the Settings of your phone, scroll to About phone and search for Android version

If your phone runs Andriod 5 or newer, please restart your device. It sounds strange, but sometimes it helps. If that didn't solve the issue, uninstall Blokada and install it again. It can be, that your device is unsupported. Please check Devices Database.

If none of those steps helped, please join to our Telegram chat on go.blokada.org/chat to get help, or report a bug (see below).

Can I hide the VPN notification?

Unfortunately no. Some devices may be displaying annoying VPN notification (a key icon) while VPN is active, and it is not possible to hide it. If you can, try updating your device to Android 8 (Oreo), since newer Android versions do not have this status report.

How do I report an issue, idea or suggestion?

If you are experiencing problems, please join to our Telegram chat at go.blokada.org/chat, where our community is happy to help you. Alternatively, just choose the Feedback option from the menu in top right corner and follow the instructions. Please provide as much information as you can and steps to reproduce the same issue - it helps greatly in fixing your problem! If you are a pro user, you can go directly to the issue tracker at GitHub.

Can Blokada see my private data?

No. Blokada does not read or tamper with your private information, it only monitors which hosts your device is making requests towards and blocks the ones matching the filters. Every time Blokada blocks anything, you will see a notification (what you can turn off). Blokada has no access to your encrypted traffic.

Does Blokada use a lot of battery?

No. Depending on your settings the battery impact is minimal, and on most new devices, especially on Marshmallow (Android 6) or newer, you will not notice any battery drain. However, some unlucky devices may experience increased battery drain. Refer to the Devices Database for details.

Will Blokada slow down my device?

No. Depending on your settings Blokada can be quite efficient. In fact, both your device's performance and battery life may visibly improve, because Blokada saves your device from downloading and processing content you don't need or care about. However, users with some older devices may experience performance drop. Refer to the Devices Database for details.

Is Blokada really free to use?

Yes! Blokada started as my hobby project, is still mostly developed by me. It's my way of giving back to the community. Blokada is fully open source and it will stay free forever. That said, developing it takes a lot of time, so please consider supporting the project in any way you can (see below).

Blokada is great, how can I help the project?

There are many ways to support Blokada, financially or else. All means of help are very important for the project to exist. Please go to this page for more information, or just join our chat.

I have another question, where can I ask it?

If your question is not answered here, please join to our Telegram chat channel on the go.blokada.org/chat link, our community will be there to help you. If it is not convinient for you, use the Feedback option from the top menu, or if you have a more technical question, please go directly to the tracker at GitHub.