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Q&A: When I go to websites, I get all these pop-up ad windows. It’s really annoying! Is there anything I can do to block them?

Originally published in MOREnetworking Vol. 1 No. 6, March 6, 2003

When I go to websites, I get all these pop-up ad windows. It’s really annoying! Is there anything I can do to block them?
Jean H.

There are a variety of options available to you, Jean, in the ongoing battle against popup ads.

The simplest method is to just close the windows by clicking the X in the titlebar. Some windows, of course, have had their titlebars removed. You can close these by pressing Alt+F4 in Windows or Cmd+W in MacOS.

If you go to a search engine and do a search for “block popups,” you’ll get several pages of links to products advertised to block popup windows. Most of these products cost from about $10 to $40. Doing the same at Download.com will display a number of software products that you can download — some freeware, some shareware and some demos for commercial products.

Newer versions of some Web browsers have built-in the ability to block popup windows. This feature is not yet available in Microsoft Internet Explorer, but it is in Mozilla, available at http://www.mozilla.org/, and also in Opera, available at http://www.opera.com/. (Note that, although this feature is available in Mozilla, it is not available in Netscape, which is based on the Mozilla browser.)

If these options don’t work for you, a drastic option is disabling JavaScript in your browser. However, there are a lot of legitimate uses for JavaScript, and turning it off may disable some functionality that you need to have on a website.

Also, keep in mind that by blocking all popup windows, you may be blocking out important information from the website you actually want to see, and in some cases may even be blocking your own access to the content on the site.

Send your questions to communications@more.net for MOREnet to answer in this column.

hendersonl | Thursday, March 6, 2003 | |

 

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