How to disable lock screen ads on Amazon’s subsidized BLU R1 HD & Moto G smartphones

Last month, Amazon announced that they will start selling Android smartphones with lock screen ads and Amazon apps pre-installed at subsidized prices. The first two phones available are the Moto G for $149.99 and the BLU R1 HD for $49.99. I picked up the BLU R1 HD to see if it was possible to disable the lock screen ads and found it’s quite easy. This guide will show you how to do it on the BLU R1 HD, but it should also work for the Moto G. Following this guide will disable both the full screen ads and the smaller notification-style ads.

To follow this guide, you will need to have Android Debug Bridge (ADB) setup on your computer. This guide linked here will show you how. If you’re using a Windows PC, you may also need USB drivers. I used a Mac, which doesn’t need drivers, so you’ll probably need to try various BLU drivers if you’re on Windows, as that is not covered in this guide.

Note: Ads partially return after reboot
The one issue with this method is that a single lock screen ad will return if the phone is rebooted. The ad will be the full screen type and will never change. To remove the ad after rebooting your phone, you must re-enable lock screen ads and then re-disable the ads. I’ve included instructions below the main guide on how to do that.

Disable Lock Screen Ads

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Select “About device” at the very bottom
  3. Scroll down to “Build number”
  4. Tap “Build number” several times until it says “You are now a developer!”
  5. Press back and select “Developer options”
  6. Turn on “USB debugging”
  7. Select “OK” on the popup message
  8. Before continuing, you must have a notification present on your phone so that your lock screen does not show any full screen ads. If you don’t have a notification, press and hold the VOLUME DOWN and POWER buttons until a screenshot is taken. This will add a screenshot notification.
  9. Plug your phone into a PC using a USB cable. A message will appear on your phone. Check the box and select “OK”
  10. Open Terminal (Mac) or a Command Prompt (Windows) and run the command:
    adb start-server
  11. Verify that your phone is detected by running the command: adb devices
  12. Hide lock screen ads by running the command: adb shell pm hide
  13. Unplug your phone and you’re done. There will no longer be ads on your lock screen, even when there are no notifications.

Re-disable Lock Screen Ads After Rebooting

  1. Follow the guide below to re-enable ads
  2. Repeat steps 8 thru 12 from the disabling guide above

Re-enable Lock Screen Ads

  1. Plug your phone into a PC using a USB cable. If a message appears on your phone, check the box and select “OK”
  2. Open Terminal (Mac) or a Command Prompt (Windows) and run the command:
    adb start-server
  3. Verify that your phone is detected by running the command: adb devices
  4. Re-enable lock screen ads by running the command: adb shell pm unhide

  1. Masterblaster says:

    Another awesome post by Elias.
    Is there a guide for the fire 6″ and fire 7″($50) tablets?

  2. Joe says:

    Great guide! Are the ADs that intrusive? just seems that if they are not then why bother especially if most people remove them then Amazon may stop doing these great subsidized deals. But each to his/her own :)

    • AFTVnews says:

      Honestly, I was hesitant to post this guide for that exact reason. In the little time I spent with the phone, it’s pretty awesome for the price. The ads are not intrusive at all. I would absolutely choose the ads and save the $50 instead of buying the unsubsidized version. The main reason is, if you have any kind of notification waiting on your phone, the ad is a tiny box under your notifications on the lockscreen. I don’t know about most people, but it’s very rare that I don’t have any notifications, so it would be rare that I ever see the full screen ad.

    • Sportsjohn says:

      Yes, the ADs are really intrusive, annoying, and can’t be moved to any other swipe screen. I like and use Amazon a lot, but this is ridiculous. Why bother having a nice screen pattern or photo when “the fires of hell” or Grandpa’s beard is obscured by an offer for a windproof umbrella? It’s a bit too far having a Chrome app, an always open Google search box, and a non-movable Play Store link all on your “home” screen, or am I just grumpy?

      • Mac'n'Cheezy says:

        Uhh…you bought the phone knowing there were going to be ads. Were you expecting something different?

      • Jonathan says:

        You can easily install another launcher app that gets rid of all the annoying issues with “joy launcher”. Go to settings, apps, hit the three dots on the top right and select show system apps. Scroll down to Joy Launcher and open it. Hit app defaults, then clear all defaults. (You must have an alternate launcher already installed). When you hit home again, it should let you select the other default launcher and customize as you see fit. Once I did this, the whole experience is much more tolerable. And I say this coming from a Nexus 6p I have to send in for warranty replacement. I am very happy with this phone.

  3. Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

    Thanks Elias for this great news!

    As I have a New FireHD-8 (latest 5th. 2015 model), I would appreciate if you could do a detailed guide for the FireHD 8″ Tablets that could block all these Ads, because some methods on xda-developers not work…

  4. Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

    Hello Again Elias,

    Since you have bought the BLU R1 HD, I would like to know how good is this BLU cellphone, and if it really works well and worth buying?

    As this is a very new product, I also would like to know what good things, or negative behaviors, you have found so far in this product?

    • AFTVnews says:

      The phone is not compatible with my cellular carrier, so I can’t use it day to day, which means I won’t be writing a full review. I’ve been playing with it on WiFi the last couple days and it’s surprisingly snappy for the price. I really like the overall build. I thought it would feel cheap, but it doesn’t. I didn’t think I would be, but I’m bummed I can’t actually use it day-to-day. I’d love to be able to take it when I don’t want my bulky Nexus 6P filling my pocket, or if I’m worried something will happen to my phone.

      • Michael says:

        Hi Elias,

        I got the BLU 16/2Gb and using it on WiFi like you. Unfortunately it’s not able to mirror on my Fire TV (2nd gen). Any idea if the issue is with the phone or between the screen and chair?


      • ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

        1000Thanks Elias for this information!

      • Zander van Schoor says:

        On Amazon it’s listed as international travel. Is that not true?

  5. Tom says:

    Thanks! Do you know if there is a way to bypass having the moto G4 to have a lock screen? It doesn’t seem to have an option for no lock screen. Is this something Amazon has done. All other phones I’ve had in the past allows me to have the option of none.

    • Tom says:

      Never mind just read that it is a Marshmallow thing. Thanks for the info on how to disable the ads. Works well

    • AFTVnews says:

      On the BLU R1 HD, the only option is to select “Swipe” under Settings > Security > Screen Lock. This removes the need for a pattern code or pin, but you still have to swipe the lock screen away to get to the home screen every time. I assume it’s the same for the moto G.

  6. Wrecks says:

    Would blocking on your router do the same thing?

    • AFTVnews says:

      No. is not a domain. It’s the package name of an app on the phone. Even if you don’t give the phone any internet access, you will still see ads because, I suspect, there are several default ads that ship with the phone. These are generic Amazon ads like for Kindle and Audible.

      • Ming Yan says:

        After rebooting, my locked screen became different from the wallpaper. It showed me a picture with a sentence “discover your next favorite book” which is not an ad, but is also not the wallpaper as I set before.

        • Ming Yan says:

          I figure that out. I unhide phoneix, and then hide it again. the picture went away.
          But I found I lost my screenshot function (power + volume-)

  7. Wrecks says:

    Settings > Apps > … > Show System > Scroll to > Notifications > Block all

  8. Rodalpho says:

    Reportedly, you can get rid of the lockscreen ads on the BLU amazon phone by simply installing a third-party lockscreen from the google play store.

    On the Moto G4 this doesn’t work, and you end up with two separate lockscreens. The pm hide thing works, but doesn’t persist across reboots.

    The best way to get rid of the ads on the Moto G4 is to flash the stock Motorola XT1625 firmware. This works perfectly, and as it’s signed by Motorola, you don’t even need to unlock the bootloader. I picked up an Amazon G4 as a toy and flash it to stock myself, worked fine. (I also unlocked the bootloader and rooted it. Toy, remember?)

    • AFTVnews says:

      It must depend on the lockscreen you’re using as the replacement, because I tried 3 different lock screens from Google Play and all three resulted in two lock screens on the BLU R1.

      The tip to flash the Moto G is good to know, thanks!

      • Rodalpho says:

        Ahh– I said reportedly, as I hadn’t tested it myself!

        Flashing is very easy on the G4. Very happy with this little phone. I’m amazed what you can get for $124 these days. It’s legitimately usable as a primary device without heavy compromise, once you pop in a SDCard to expand the space with Marshmallow adaptable storage.

    • Diego Solorzano says:

      Hi, could you give me the url of the tool needed in order to install the original Firmware? I am ok with the Amazon ads, but I am a developer and need to root the phone. Thanks

  9. EvoKnvl says:

    Thanks for the info. i did it earlier and it worked great.

    However, tonight, I received an update on my phone. After the phone reboot, I went about trying to unhide and then hide the file again. However, anytime I enter either command, I get this message:

    Package new hidden state: false

    It seems like whenever I’m trying to hide it, the flag won’t change. Am I doing something wrong, or could this be caused by the update? Thanks in advance!

  10. nyder says:

    Anyone find any windows drivers for the Blu R1 HD yet?

  11. Ming Yan says:

    How to remove google in-app ads? Can I use adb to remove those annoying ads too?

    • Rodalpho says:

      If you want to remove ads inside apps, you will need to

      1) unlock the bootloader (Note: this wipes your device back to stock)
      2) boot to TWRP recovery
      3) flash SuperSU with SYSTEMLESS=true set
      4) install and use AdAway

      These aren’t particularly difficult to do, but they aren’t completely trivial either for someone not used to android or non-technically minded.

  12. Obyaj says:

    Partial answer to a question from above, the BLU R1 HD works well for me as a Google Fi data-only device. Extra shared data-only SIM cards are free from Google. You will need a nanoSIM to microSIM adapter.

  13. Vasya says:

    This method does not work. Tried using several macs and a Windows PCs. Lockheed app create more Windows to swipe as well. Having Amazon add in fact less intrusive then any of these workarounds that claim to work.
    Have a nice day and stop wasting people’s time with this adb nonsense. If you don’t want ads, just buy ads-free version if the phone.

  14. Dim Vim says:

    Doesn’t work

  15. adam says:

    I tried this with my Moto G4 and everything stops at step 9. It never asks for authorization. And I cannot figure out why.

  16. frank says:

    This works great on my new BLU R1 HD! Thanks so much! Now, do you know of any easy way to root this phone without having to flash or anything risky like that?

  17. M sam says:

    I didn’t update my phone at all. This worked like a charm. I also hid the updates so I don’t get update notifications. Perfect!

  18. Jmac says:

    I am having trouble I did all the steps and once i plugged it into the computer with windows nothing popped p to say it was okay. I know the cord is working because it is charging. Can anybody help please

  19. Scott says:

    Doesn’t work says false everytime

    • Omar Mata says:

      How do I block the updates? it worked on mine and canceled update but I know its gonna eventually try and do it, can i block it manually somehow?

  20. Terry says:

    Can’t find driver for ADB interface for Blu R1, PC sees the phone can browse files, but
    ADB devices does not list the phone.

  21. wish to remain anonymous says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I get the following:

    adb shell pm hide
    Package new hidden state: false

  22. enkdad says:

    I have not yet opened my phone, and have not connected it to the web. By using this method (without rooting), if I remove lock screen ads and later install the update, will the ads return? Or will I continue with an ad-free phone? Thanks!

  23. Aly says:

    1.It doesn’t work with command: adb shell pm hide = false
    2.When I use command : adb shell pm hide = true ( but it doesn’t work.). How should I do now?

  24. Jim says:

    Does anyone knows how to block calls? I have a blu r1 HD. Android 6.0

    • Jim says:

      Nvm just save to contacts on phone then you can block it. Why would I want the spammer to be in my contacts? Dont know why but thats the way It is for andriod.

  25. This worked great, but then it forced a new software update on me, now its not working….

  26. masterblaster says:

    I just purchased the Moto G 4th Gen from Amazon for my wife. Followed your instructions, and it works. She is happy so I am Happy!

  27. Armen Margaryan says:

    Just found another ez method. Got to Developer Options -> Running Services -> Amazon Offers and stop all processes there. I’m sure it will persist through record reboots.
    However, I’m not going to stake myself as I want to support this initiative. Google shows ads everywhere without paying us and makes a lot of money on our clicks. Why should Amazon make some money by giving as this subsidy and being honest about showing ads (Google masks ads so we don’t even notice that we’re voicing on an ad most of the cases).
    I just shared this in case someone really needs (not wants) to disable the ads.

  28. Gerard Pinzone says:

    The more permanent solution that avoids Amazon’s attempts to undo ad-blocking would be to convert the prime phone partitions to OEM.

    Here’s the guide:

    Works great so far. Only downside is OEM gets system updates less often than Prime for some reason.

  29. Don says:

    Step 9 does not work for me. Everything else looks fine, but there is no popup; and when I tried running the command on my Windows pc, it says ‘”adb” is not recognized as an internal or external command.’

  30. gaton4kd says:

    Looks like adb shell pm hide is no longer working, I’m getting this error:
    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS

    Is this happening to you too?

  31. AdsSuck says:

    Damn. They blocked the ad-killer. Should I just return it and buy the $150 model?

  32. akrat says:

    as sson as cmd opened, i wrote adb start-server
    it showed that “adb’ not found

  33. JD says:

    Brilliant! thanks so much for this

  34. curt chrestman says:

    Thanks for the guide. What am I missing. Holding vol up and down is not bringing up a notification. I waited until the lock screen showed, pushed the buttons and all that happened was volume notification came up then quickly disappeared.

  35. Dimitri says:

    Also getting the same error:

    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS

    Just got the phone and it’s running latest 7.4.2 build

  36. justin says:

    Yeah I think we cannot do this anymore unless a new method comes about. I get the same MANAGE_USERS error, and I’ve tried another method as well. It doesn’t work anymore either.

  37. b says:

    C:\Users\user>adb shell pm hide
    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS.

    thats the message i get. It’s not working

  38. Walt says:

    Guys are you getting the new nougat update, I’m still waiting, I re-enable the ads and nothing…

    Please advice….

  39. c0ck socks says:

    when I try all I get is this error:
    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS.

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but I just got this phone today

  40. c0ck socks says:

    when I try all I get is this error:
    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS.

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but I just got this phone today…

  41. Tyler says:

    Yes, I am trying this with the Moto G5, and it says my device is not authorized.

    • Tyler says:

      Ok, I got permission, but now it says: Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS.

  42. evgeny says:

    Step 10 and on don’t work.
    I get a message:
    ‘adb’ i snot recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

  43. AgedPixel says:

    I tried it with the Nokia 6 and this method doesn’t seem to work anymore. Does anybody have a solution?

  44. Ed Jerez says:

    Greetings. I have a BLU R1 HD 16gb with amazon ads. At this date, its has updated to build 8.7 from OTA. This method is no longer possible to disable the ads. The adb displays an error. Will be an update in the future for this guide? I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

  45. Guy1 says:

    adb shell pm uninstall -k –user 0

    fixes the

    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS.


  46. Guy19 says:

    adb shell pm uninstall -k –user 0

    fixes the

    Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS.


  47. Konstantin Chachanidze says:

    it´s not working on moto G4 amazon edition. any updates or tips?

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