How to Exclude Mobile Apps in Google AdWords… The Easy Way!

baby adwords app meme

Do you remember those old Staples commercials where they would set up a complicated scenario, long for an easier way to make it through the scenario, and then push the “Easy Button” to make it happen in a second? It’s really a great take on meeting business needs, and the ads were always well done!



I’ve often referenced these ads in longing for some sort of simple fix in Google AdWords, and finally, that moment has arrived in the form of mobile app exclusions!

It’s long been known around the PPC community that advertising on mobile devices means your target demographic basically became fat-fingered, finger-mashing toddlers (my own children have cost app advertisers millions of dollars, or something), so we’ve often noted that it is worth excluding all mobile apps from your GDN campaigns.

baby adwords app meme
The problem is, that it’s not remotely intuitive, especially for someone not in the know. You had to find this random website (, I still have to look it up to make sure I spell it correctly… 7 years later), and then exclude it from every campaign. Oh for the day when there would be an easy button upon campaign setup for this.

Joy upon joys, hallelujah upon hallelujahs, that day has arrived!


Step by Step for excluding Mobile Apps in your Google AdWords campaign… the easy way!

There is now an option in your GDN campaign settings tab for deselecting mobile apps. Follow these steps for this Easy Button of App Exclusions:

(1) Ensure your GDN campaign is set to “All Features” in the Settings Tab in a campaign view.

AdWords display remarketing campaigns all features


(2) Navigate to the “Device: target device types…” option at the bottom of the Settings Tab.

Google AdWords Display Campaign Device Settings


Then you will see this:


Google AdWords Display Campaign Device Settings


(4) Now, deselect both App Options from Mobile AND Tablet (make sure to get both!!).

Google AdWords Display Campaign Mobile App Exclusions


And don’t forget the tablets!!


Google AdWords Display Campaign Tablet App Exclusions


(5) (Optional) Consider still excluding anyway…

My friend Julie on Twitter warned that she is still seeing some traffic. This is still anew feature that something could have either been missed in implementation or Google’s application of the settings. Whatever the issue, she is correct that being overly cautious here is not a bad thing, so go ahead and still exclude the from the campaign placements!


First find the Placements tab in your GDN campaign view:

Google AdWords Display Campaigns Placement Tab


Then scroll to the bottom and select the “Exclusions” option:

Placement Exclusions in Google AdWords


Then finally, add in as a campaign level exclusion (or use a Shared Placement list of course!):

Google AdWords Display Campaigns Placement Exclusions




Hope this was a helpful exercise. I’m excited about changes that help us all get better at AdWords together!




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