How Can I Stop Annoying Windows from Popping Up on My Screen?

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TekspertJoop2Looking for computer help? Every week, our Tekspert answers one question about digital technology. Computers, tablets, phones, cameras…

When you’re browsing the internet, you’ve probably come across the annoying phenomenon known as “pop-ups,” those boxes or windows of text and images that literally pop up over the webpage you’re reading.

Pop-ups can be third-party advertising messages or messages from the website itself. And they behave in one of two ways:

  • Often in the case of ads, you’ll see a notice telling you how many seconds the ad will show before it disappears to reveal your webpage, or before you can click on an X on the top right of the pop-up window to make the ad disappear.
  • Site messages – for example, a newsletter signup invitation – usually will disappear when you click the X in the upper-hand corner of the popup window.

But sometimes you’ll land on a site where no sooner have you clicked a pop-up shut, than another one pops up.



How to Get Rid of Pop-Ups Altogether

All the major Internet browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari, let you block all pop-ups. Here’s how:

In Internet Explorer

1. Click the icon in the upper right-hand corner, then select “internet options,” which will display this window:


2. Click the “privacy” tab, check “Turn on Pop-up Blocker,” then hit “Apply.” Click the X to close the box and you are all set.


In Mozilla Firefox  

1. Select the tab marked tools in your browser toolbar and select “options”


2. In “options” select “content” and check “block pop-up windows,” hit OK and you are all done.



In Google Chrome

1. Click on the icon and select “Settings.”  On the settings page, click on “Show advanced settings” at the very bottom of the page:


2. In the “Privacy Section” click the “Content settings” button

3. In the “Contents Setting Box,” scroll down to Pop Ups and select “Do not allow any site to show pop-ups (recommended)”



Hit OK and you are good to go.

In Safari (Apple’s browser)

Apple makes it easy to stop pop-ups:

1. Go to the  icon in the upper right-hand corner.

2. Then check “Block pop-up windows.”


That does the trick.

After You Block Pop-Ups

Sometimes after you’ve blocked pop-ups, you’ll see a bar in the top right of your browser screen telling you that a pop-up is trying to open. Often, this is because you’ve landed on a webpage where the pop-up is an integral part of the site experience; for example, you might be on a shopping site, and the pop-up might be a detail view of the item you’re looking at.

When the pop-up bar appears, it will give you a choice of allowing the popup; allowing all popups on this site for this and future visits;  or continuing to block popups on this site. Your choice – if you say “yes,” your browsing on other sites will still be pop-up free.

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  1. DaleB says:

    I have not yet tried this, but there is a free program called AdBlocker that is supposed to block most or all ads. It also can depend on the web browser that you are using. For example, Google Chrome allows you to block many ads by going into your Privacy settings and opting-out of them, but doesn’t allow you to block all ads. And it depends on whether you are trying to block ads on your computer, an iPhone, iPad, etc. Mercury is a free web browser for your iPad and iPhone that is supposed to have built-in ad-blocking.

  2. Aprille says:

    That did not work for me. The popup blocker was checked already but I am still getting these annoying ads popping up. They show products with comparisons. Is this a program on my computer that I can uninstall?

  3. nancy your co-chair! says:

    Thanks JOOP!!!!

  4. Donna says:

    Is there a way to block pop ups on Pinterest?

  5. nwehman says:

    Clicking to block pop up ads had no affect on the appearance of pop up ads.

  6. MS Max says:

    This does not stop the pop ups in the lower right hand corner… they come one right after the other. Sometimes you can’t even click them shut.

  7. tami says:

    why does the icon check your login and password keep coming up in the right hand corner of my tablet? This happens every few minutes every day for the past 2 weeks!

  8. Bill says:


    I have finally uninstalled my Iris Scan Mouse that I received at Christmas. In spite of all my efforts, it continues to send a popup every morning to my screen asking do I want to upload to Twitter. I don’t have a Twitter account and don’t want one. The program has instructions for discontinuing popups, but it involves unchecking a box that is not checked in the first place. I can’t get Windows to stop it and no amount of hacking at the components has succeeded. My communications to scan mouse have been unanswered.
    The issue, of course, is that the popup begins sending material of some nature somewhere; in short, it is a spy program.
    Please pass the word about this program.
    William Reeves

  9. DaleB says:


    Several folks have complained about annoying pop-ups. I had them too. All of my web browsers were already set to block pop-ups, but I was still receiving them, even after I deleted the pop-up’s window. Chances are, you have Malware providing you with these pop-up ads. I was able to get eliminate them by downloading, installing, and running MalwareBytes – an Anti-Malware program. There is a free (“lite”) version, and it worked. This program will take a long time to check your hard-drive.

    When ran MalwareBytes showed that my 250 GB HD had approx. 600,00 file/folder items checked. A full scan took just over 5 hours…so you need to be patient. You may want to do it while you are not sleeping, in case a dialog box pops-up asking you a question. This may occur…it is part of the process. I have had a couple of runs where this occurred. MalwareBytes quarantines the “suspicious” files, which you can then delete.

    Here’s the link to their main web page:

    • DaleB says:

      I made a typo In my previous email.

      The number 600,00 should have been 500,000 – five-hundred thousand. So, you will need a lot of time to allow MalwareBytes to diagnose you hard drive…but it is worth the time spent.

  10. Ashley says:

    I have a really different problem..When I go on a game or something a picture pops up instead of a character!While playing a game I noticed one of the characters had mario’s head on it!It’s really weird and stops me from playing PC games.The thing is I don’t know if you can fix it or not. :(

  11. PECOSBILL1 says:

    need to know how to pin printer to task bar,yup iam new at this,thANKS

  12. Radioflyer says:

    I have been having trouble with ads placed on the screen by the site.Because these are ads posted by the site they cannot be “X” out of! And they block the content!
    I have a blog spot. When I go to edit my site,
    the screen is filled with ads blocking what I need to do! And if you click on one ad and X out, another replaces it! This is new! it has not happened before! And your remedy to fix pop ups will not work on Internet Explorer or firefox on ANY thing else! I have tried on 3 windows systems, XP VISTA and WINDOWS 7 with no luck What can I do?
    Radioflyer, Tribe leader

  13. Mel Young says:

    I have already done everything you suggest to block pop ups but the damned things keep sneaking in from the right of screen – one about every 15 seconds! Any suggestions before I kill my p.c.?

    • Radioflyer says:

      This not the fault of your PC This is coming from the site your going to, and this is new! they want to sell you something even at the cost of you stop going to their site. This new idea really sucks! but there is nothing you can do but write the web site and yell and scream at them about it!

      • awarelisa says:

        Yeah, it is f**ing obnoxious!!!

  14. mreeves says:

    this does not help with the pop up banner ads at the bottom or side of the page