Kill pop-up ads

You’re happily surfing the Web when suddenly a barrage of annoying advertisements in tiny windows covers the screen. How annoying.

What’s so bad about pop-up ads?

Advertisements that pop up in small windows on your screen aren’t just annoying: they can slow down or even damage your computer.


Pop-up ads can be part of a phishing scam designed to trick you into revealing sensitive personal or financial information as you surf the Web.


Some pop-up ads can open even when you’re not surfing the Web, which could indicate that your computer is infected with spyware.


Spyware and other unwanted software may perform certain behaviors such as displaying advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first.


Here’s how you can help get rid of those pop-up ads with a few simple tools that you might even already have on your computer.


Internet Explorer 7 includes a pop-up blocker.


To turn on Pop-up Blocker:


1.       Click Tools.

2.       Point to Pop-up Blocker.

3.       Click Turn on Pop-up Blocker.


To download Internet Explorer 7, visit the Internet Explorer Web site.


Some pop-ups can be part of a phishing scam, but Internet Explorer 7 also includes a phishing filter that’s built in. You just have to turn it on.


To turn on Phishing Filter:


1.       Click Tools.

2.       Point to Phishing Filter.

3.       Click Turn on Automatic Website Checking.

4.       Click OK.


Turn on Phishing Filter


Windows Defender helps protect against spyware (sometimes called adware) that could deliver continuous pop-up ads to your computer. If you use Windows XP, you can download Windows Defender for free at the Microsoft Download Center. If you use Windows Vista, Windows Defender is built in.


For more information, see the Windows Defender home page.


Are pop-up ads ever good?

Not all content in pop-up windows is advertising. Some sites use pop-up windows for specific tasks and you might need to view the window in order to complete that task.


If the Internet Explorer Pop-up Blocker blocks a pop-up window from a site you trust you can decide to temporarily allow pop-up ads from that site or to always allow pop-ups from that site.


To adjust the setting in the Internet Explorer 7 Pop-up Blocker:


1.       Click Tools.

2.       Point to Pop-up Blocker.

3.       Click Pop-up Blocker Settings.



About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »