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

Updated: 05/03/2022 by Computer Hope
Annoying pop-up and pop-under ads

Advertisements on the Internet can be invasive. To get your attention, they are sometimes programmed to pop up in front of your current browser window, or grey out the rest of your screen entirely. They may also "pop under" your window so that you don't see them until you minimize your browser. These ads are not only annoying, but can interfere with your computer's performance. The good news is, most modern web browsers provide options for blocking these types of ads.

To configure your browser to block or unblock pop-up and pop-under Internet ads, follow the instructions below that correspond to the browser you're using.

Google Chrome logo

Google Chrome

The following steps show you how to allow and block pop-ups in Chrome.

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. In the upper-right of the Chrome window, click the Chrome menu icon. icon.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Settings selector in Chrome.

  1. On the left side of the screen, click Privacy and security.

Privacy and security selector.

  1. Expand the Site Settings option.

Chrome site settings selector.

  1. On the Site Settings page, scroll to the bottom of the screen. Under the Content section, click the Pop-ups and redirects option.

Chrome pop-ups selector.

  1. Use the toggle switch to allow or block pop-ups.

Google Chrome pop-up blocker setting

Tip

You can enter chrome://settings/content/popups in the Chrome address bar to open the Pop-up settings and see all websites that are blocked or allowed.

Extensions

Another option for Google Chrome users is to download and install extensions that control pop-ups. These include:

Firefox logo

Mozilla Firefox

The following steps show you how to allow and block pop-ups in Firefox.

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click the Firefox menu icon. icon.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  4. On the left side of the screen, click Privacy & Security.

Privacy and security selector in Firefox.

  1. Scroll down to the Permissions section. Check or uncheck the box for the Block pop-up windows option to allow or block pop-ups.

Pop-ups toggle checkbox.

Tip

You may also choose certain sites to allow pop-ups on by clicking the Exceptions button button to the right of the Block pop-up windows entry.

Extensions

If you'd like even more control over pop-up windows, there are add-ons for Firefox that suppress them, including the following:

Microsoft Edge logo

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the default web browser for Windows 10. It replaced what Microsoft is now calling "Microsoft Edge Legacy" in January 2020.

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click the Edge more icon icon.
  3. At the bottom of the Settings and more menu, select Settings.

Edge settings selector.

  1. On the left side of the screen, select Cookies and site permissions.
  2. Under the Site permissions section, click the box labeled Pop-ups and redirects.

Pop-ups and redirects selector

  1. On the Site permissions / Pop-ups and redirects screen, use the toggle switch to allow or block pop-ups.

Toggle pop-ups for Edge

Microsoft Edge Legacy logo

Microsoft Edge Legacy

Microsoft Edge Legacy was the default web browser included in Windows 10. It replaced Microsoft Internet Explorer, which was deprecated in January 2016.

  1. Open Microsoft Edge Legacy.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click the Edge more icon icon (1).
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu (2).
  4. Scroll down and click the View advanced settings button (3).
  5. Use the Block pop-ups toggle switch to allow or block pop-ups (4).

Turning on the pop-up blocking in Microsoft Edge

Internet Explorer logo

Internet Explorer

If you are still using Internet Explorer, follow these instructions to toggle pop-up blocking.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Tools (press the Alt key if you don't see the Tools menu option).
  3. Click Options (or Internet options).
  4. Click the Privacy tab.
  5. At the bottom of the Privacy tab, there is a Pop-up Blocker section. If you want to block pop-ups, check the Block pop-ups option (may also be titled Turn on Pop-Up Blocker). You can also set additional options, such as disabling sound or the info bar whenever a pop-up is blocked, by clicking the Settings button.
Safari logo

Safari

To block or allow pop-up windows in Safari, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Select Safari selector from the menu bar in the top-left corner of the screen.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Preferences.

Safari preferences

  1. In the window that opens, click the Websites tab (A).
  2. In the section on the left, at the bottom, click the Pop-up Windows option (B).
  3. In the lower-right corner, click the box next to When visiting other websites (C).

macOS pop-up settings.

  1. Select your pop-up blocking settings in the drop-down list.

Pop-up options menu for Safari.

Tip

In the Allow pop-up windows on the websites below section, you can quickly choose the pop-up settings for sites currently open in your browser.

Opera logo

Opera

To block or allow pop-up windows in Opera, follow these steps.

  1. Open Opera.
  2. In the upper-left corner of the screen, click the Opera menu button. icon.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Settings selector.

  1. On the left side of the screen, click Advanced Advanced button in Opera. and then select Privacy and security.

Privacy selector in Opera.

  1. In the Privacy and security section, click Site Settings.

Site settings selector in Opera.

  1. Scroll down the list and select Pop-ups and redirects.

Pop-ups and redirects

  1. Use the toggle switch to allow or block pop-ups.

Pop-up toggle switch.

Extensions

Another option for Opera users is to download and install extensions for blocking ads and pop-ups. These include the following: