How to Stop Pop-Ups in Your Web Browser

Tips and tools to reduce and eliminate pop-up advertising in your Web browser

They just keep appearing. If you shut one down, sometimes many replace it. It seems that the “shadier” the website you are visiting, the more likely you are to encounter a seemingly endless cascade of pop-up web advertisements. But, even reputable sites like Weather.com or Lifewire.com might use pop-up ads as a marketing tool. So how do you stop pop-ups in your web browser?

For computers not kept up to date with patches from the operating system and respective application vendors and machines that aren’t running current antivirus or firewall software, these pop-up windows could also pose a security risk.

junk food ads online - girl on computer
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Pop-up Ads

By using malicious code hidden within the HTML that makes up the web page, an attacker can wreak all sorts of havoc on an unprotected computer. Even something as simple as clicking on the ‘X’ on the pop-up window to shut it down can lead to installing a Trojan, worm, or other malware. Of course, if you don’t keep your machine patched and don’t protect yourself with some sort of firewall and antivirus software, it is probably only a matter of time before you have much more significant issues.

You can’t block these ads by turning off a feature or service in the operating system, and you can’t prevent the port at the firewall because they are regular port 80 web traffic like the sites you want to visit. Blocking the port would also cut you off from the rest of the World Wide Web.

Thankfully, there is a whole slew of tools and 3rd-party utilities to help you regain control over when and how pop-up or pop-under or any other ad appears on your screen. Current versions of MS Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and even some old versions of Internet Explorer contain native functionality to block pop-up / under ads.

The list of available products is long and growing fast as users struggle with how to handle the onslaught of pop-up ads, and developers seek to capitalize on their frustration by releasing products to help the users deal with the invasion.

If you want to kill two birds with one stone and get more protection for your whole system while blocking pop-up ads, check out a firewall. They also provide other features to help protect your privacy while surfing the web, which may help reduce the amount of spam email you receive. Of course, they also restrict or control traffic into and out of your computer as a firewall should.

Advertising on the Web is somewhat of a catch-22. The websites, whether reputable and legitimate or of a slightly lower moral character, have to make money. Advertising is one of the key revenue generators for most sites. But, because websites don’t take commercial breaks, they have to get your attention somehow.

Nobody likes those little business reply cards that fall out of every other page of a magazine either, but they get your attention, so they keep doing it. Marketers will always come up with new and smarter ways to get their message in front of you. You just need to try and keep up and take back some control over how and when you choose to view their message.