How do I stop pop-up or pop-under Internet ads?

There are hundreds of different software programs that are designed to help stop, block, or prevent pop-up, pop-under, and other Internet intrusive and annoying advertising on the Internet. Below is a listing of some of the more popular and widely used Internet browsers and pop-up blocker programs we would recommend trying.

Note: All recent browsers have some type of pop-up and pop-under protection available and enabled. If you are getting pop-up ads and have verified the steps below, it is more likely that your computer is hijacked with malware versus web pages giving you pop-up ads.

Microsoft Internet Explorer users
Mozilla Firefox users
Google Chrome users
Netscape users
Opera users
Third-party Pop-Up Blocker programs

Internet ExplorerMicrosoft Internet Explorer users

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later users

Users who are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 can be thankful that Microsoft has decided to include a popup blocker in the browser. By default this option should be enabled if you want to change the settings of how this feature works or want to verify if it is enabled or not you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click Tools
  3. Click Options (or Internet options)
  4. Click the Privacy tab
  5. At the bottom of the Privacy tab you should have a Pop-up Blocker section. If you want pop-ups to be blocked check the "Block pop-ups" option (may also be titled "Turn off Pop-Up Blocker"). You can also set additional settings such as disabling the sound when a pop-up is blocked or disable the information bar displayed when a pop-up is blocked by clicking the Settings button.

Users running earlier versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer

Users who are running earlier versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer also have options to block pop-ups in their version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Below are a few recommendations.

Google Toolbar

If you are using Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, it is highly recommended that you try the Google Toolbar, which includes a free popup blocker.

FirefoxMozilla Firefox users

A big reason lots of Microsoft Internet Explorer users switched over to Firefox before Microsoft released MSIE 6.0 was because Firefox included its own pop-up blocker.

If you are running Mozilla Firefox and want to adjust or change how Firefox handles pop-ups, follow the steps below.

Older versions of Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. Click Tools
  3. Click Options
  4. Click the Web features button on the left hand side of the Options window.
  5. By default this feature should be enabled if you want to disable the feature, uncheck "Block Popup Windows." If you have allowed popups on a site you want to now block you can also click "Allowed sites" in this window and remove any sites you want to block any popup on.

Newer versions of Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. Click the orange Firefox button in the top left corner
  3. Click Options
  4. Click on the Content option in the Options window
  5. By default, the "Block pop-up windows" option should be checked. Check this option if it is currently unchecked. If there are sites you want to allow pop-ups for, click the Exceptions button, enter the allowed site address, and click the Allow button.

Users may also want to disable any popups from any browser plug-ins, a tactic for bypassing many popup blockers. To enable this feature in firefox follow the steps below.

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. In the URL field type "about:config" and press enter.
  3. This should open the Firefox config window.
  4. Right-click on a black portion of the window and click "New" and then "Integer"
  5. For the preference name type "privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins" and click Ok.
  6. For the value type "2"

We also suggest you locate the "privacy.popups.firstTime" option also in the about:config screen and change the value of this setting to "false"

Another option for Firefox users is to download and install the AdBlock Plus add-on for Firefox. This extension will block most pop-up ads from opening in Firefox.

FirefoxGoogle Chrome users

Google Chrome includes its own pop-up blocker utility and does a good job at blocking most pop-ups by default.

If you are running Google Chrome and want to adjust or change how Chrome handles pop-ups, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. At the far right, inline with the Address bar, click the icon that looks like three lines on top of each other (titled "Customize and control Google Chrome").
  3. Select Settings
  4. At the bottom of the Settings page, click Show advanced settings
  5. In the Privacy section, click the Content settings button.
  6. In the Content settings window, scroll down to the Pop-ups section. If not already selected by default, select the "Do no allow any site to show pop-ups" option. You can also add sites to the exceptions list, to allow pop-ups from those sites, by clicking the Manage exceptions button.

Another option for Google Chrome users is to download and install the AdBlock Plus extension for Chrome. This extension will block most pop-up ads from opening in Chrome.

NetscapeNetscape users

If you are using Netscape 7.1 or higher, the browser already has its own pop-up stopper that is enabled by default and can be adjusted or changed by following the steps below.

  1. Open Netscape
  2. Click Tools
  3. Click Popup Manager
  4. Within the Popup Manager you can adjust the settings of how you want pop-ups to be blocked.

OperaOpera users

The latest version of Opera also includes its own pop-up blocker and has it enabled by default. You can adjust how pop-ups are blocked or allowed by following the steps below:

  1. Open Opera
  2. Click the Opera button in the top left corner
  3. Click Settings
  4. Click Quick Preferences
  5. Within the Quick Preferences menu, you can choose "Block unwanted pop-ups" or "Block all pop-ups."

Or follow these steps as an alternative method:

  1. Open Opera
  2. Click the Opera button in the top left corner
  3. Click Settings
  4. Click Preferences
  5. In the Preferences window, click on the General tab
  6. In the Choose how you prefer to handle pop-ups section, in the drop-down list, select "Block unwanted pop-ups" or "Block all pop-ups".

Another option for Opera users is to download and install the AdBlock extension for Opera. This extension will block most, if not all, pop-up ads from opening in Opera.

Third-party Pop-Up Blocker programs

There are numerous third-party programs that can be downloaded and installed to help prevent pop-ups from opening. Some are free and others cost a small one-time fee to use. Below is a short list of some of the more popular solutions.

Software Program Website Address
AdFender http://www.adfender.com/
AdGuard http://www.adguard.com/
Anvi AD Blocker http://www.anvisoft.com/
NoAds http://www.southbaypc.com/NoAds/

It should also be noted that some anti-virus and anti-malware software programs also include ad and pop-up blocking capabilities. One such program is Webroot SecureAnywhere, which not only provides excellent virus and malware protection, but also efficiently blocks pop-ups and other ads.

Additional information

  • See the pop-up definition for further information and related links.