How to Disable Ads on Xiaomi Devices Running MIUI 10

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Xiaomi has been offering good smartphones in the budget smartphone category for the past few years. Now except for the ‘A’ series devices, Xiaomi bundles MIUI on top of Android with their smartphones. The current iteration of the OS is MIUI 10.

Now MIUI is much more than a “skin” that themes Android. Xiaomi has done vast framework-level modifications to the Android OS, altering the way the OS looks and functions across all of its devices. A lot of these changes come in the form of feature additions that aren’t found on stock Android. That’s why many average users do end up liking MIUI. However, there is one aspect that all MIUI users hate, and that is Ads. The user experience has drawn criticism due to those annoying ads popping up almost everywhere in the UI. From the lock screen to Mi Music/Mi Video to notifications bar to Browser, the ads pop-up everywhere and hampers the user experience.

The Ad Problem

Xiaomi aims to produce smartphones as cheap as it can get without compromising their quality, and to sell them at insane value-for-money. So to compensate for the cost of the hardware and offer cheap phones, Xiaomi monetizes MIUI and its internet services. They do this in two ways: Preloaded apps and advertisements.

The Chinese tech giant has always shipped its smartphones running MIUI with preloaded apps. Since Xiaomi devices are very popular because of their insane value, app developers are paying Xiaomi to preload their app onto the smartphone. Apps like Amazon Shopping, Facebook, Dailyhunt, Opera News, and Opera Mini, Netflix, Amazon Prime, as well as Xiaomi-backed ShareChat come preloaded with MIUI. But to be fair, all of these apps can be uninstalled by the user.

The other way Xiaomi monetize MIUI is advertisements. The most annoying ones are found on Xiaomi’s internet services such as Mi Music and Mi Video. As the company insists, the ads don’t hamper user experience as it is pushed as a notification to the smartphone. However, it’s very annoying as how intrusive ad services are becoming these days.

Current Situation

Apps like the Browser have a giant feed of “recommendations” along with tabs and other things. This is quite similar to the list of articles that also appear in Google Chrome. But in Mi Browser, rather than letting you browse the web, the UI tries to make ads more accessible.

Other apps such as the Mi Music, Mi Video push ads with inappropriate thumbnails. Even the lockscreen is not spared. The notification bar is always filled with ads. Other instances include system apps such as File Explorer, Calculator, and the Security app.

Now Xiaomi does let you disable these “recommendations”, but there is no singular toggle that simply disables the pop-ups. Instead, you need to disable them from several apps individually.

If you are currently using a Xiaomi smartphone running MIUI 10, we have compiled a step-by-step guide on how to disable the ads.

How to disable ads in Xiaomi’s MIUI 10

Step 1: Revoke authorization of the MSA app

Start with the MSA app, which is short for “MIUI System Ads”. You won’t find it on the homescreen. To disable it, go to Settings > Additional Settings > Authorization and Revocation, and select msa from the list. Make sure you are connected to the internet, otherwise it doesn’t work. Click on the toggle, wait for the ‘revoke’ option to show up and then click on it. You might struggle to revoke authorization in the first, so just keep trying 4-5 times.

Step 2: Disable ‘personalized ad recommendations’

You will find this at Settings > Additional Settings > Privacy > Ad services > Personalized ad recommendations and then turn it off. Setting this option off will not stop ads recommendation, but it will not suggest you ads based on your activities or personal data. Also, turn off the User Experience Program which is found in the same Privacy menu.

Step 3: Disable ads from Installed Apps

Go to Settings > Installed Apps, click the three-dot menu on the top right corner. Then click on ‘Settings’ and disable ‘Recommendations’.

Step 4: Disable ads from the App virus scanner

For this, install a random application from the Play Store in order to trigger the APK installer to ‘scan’ the app. While it is scanning the app, click the cogwheel icon on the top right corner, and toggle off ‘Receive Recommendations’ option.

Step 5: Disable ads from Security app

Open the Security app, click on the cog-wheel icon and disable “Receive Recommendations”. Within the same app, go to Settings > Cleaner as well as Settings > Boost Speed and disable “Receive Recommendations”.

Step 6: Disable ads in File Manager

Open the app, swipe left to open the drawer, go to Settings > About and disable “Recommendations”.

Step 7: Disable ads from App Lock

If you use the app lock feature, locate it in Settings > App Lock and then click on the cog-wheel Settings icon and disable “Receive Recommendations”.

Step 8: Disable ads from Mi Browser

Open the Browser app, click on the menu button located on the bottom right corner. Then go to Settings > Privacy & Security and disable “Recommended for you”.

Step 9: Disable ads from Themes app

Open the Themes app, click on ‘Profile’ on the bottom right corner. Then go to Settings and disable “Recommendations”.

Step 10: Disable ads from the Downloads app

Open the Downloads app, click on the three-dot menu button located on the top right corner and disable “Show recommended content”.

Step 11: Disable ads from Mi Music

Open the left drawer by clicking on the top-left icon. Go to Settings > Advanced Settings and disable “Receive Recommendations”. You can also disable updates for the app within the same page.

Step 12: Disable ads from Mi Video

Blocking ads in the Mi Video app is also simple. Just open the Mi Video app, go to Account > Settings and disable “Online Recommendations”. You can also disable “Push Notifications”.

Experience Ad-free MIUI

Following these steps mentioned above should hopefully help you get rid of the pesky ads throughout the OS. If you have looked at the above steps, you’ll notice that the options to disable ads are hidden in a manner that makes them easy to miss in several apps. But if you don’t want to unlock your bootloader or run ADB tool to uninstall those apps, this is the best you can do to enjoy an Ad-free MIUI experience.

On the other hand, Xiaomi is not the only company to monetize its users. We are beginning to see more and more smartphones in the entry-level price segment using advertisements to monetize the users. We plan to explore more smartphones in the future to see if the ad experience on them is troublesome or not.

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