How to Get Rid of Pop Up Ads
Pop ups can be irritating; they can get in the way, slow down your system and even serve as a gateway for malware. The Internet is a blessing, but these little advertisements can make this simple luxury an infuriating challenge. Unfortunately, no computer is immune to pop ups and sometimes they’ll show up regardless of what preventative measures you take. While you’ll never be able to completely get rid of them, there are ways to limit their exposure and improve your network security.
Pop ups may seem like a harmless annoyance; however, they are often a hotbed for malicious software. Many will plant adware directly into your registry, which in turn can be used to gain access to your computer and personal details. Malicious software costs the global economy millions every year and approximately 40% of people have experienced problems at some stage in their lives. While the dangers may seem like an overstated work of fiction, they are a very real threat.
How to get rid of Desktop Pop Ups
Not all pop ups are malicious. In fact, the most common desktop pop ups are actually generated by Windows as a way to warn you of potential hazards. If you have installed a virus checker or firewall that’s gone out of date you’ll probably get notifications letting you know. While installing updates is recommended, it’s not always a necessity. In most circumstances, you can simply turn off the reminders. If, however, you have no use for the software anymore it’s probably better to uninstall it and turn on Windows Defender instead.
To uninstall an out-of-date program:
- Click on the “Start” button and navigate to “Control Panel”.
- Double-click on “Programs and Features”.
- Select the program you want to remove and press “Uninstall”.
- Confirm your choice and restart your computer.
NOTE: Keeping antivirus software installed and up-to-date is highly recommended. Most of them will stop pop ups appearing when browsing the Internet.
Beware of malicious software. Malware can conceal itself as antivirus software and pretend your computer is infected. If you receive pop up messages from antivirus software that you haven’t installed on your computer, run a thorough virus check using a trusted program.
For information on how to remove malicious software read our guide: How to Remove Malware
Turning on your pop up blocker via your Control Panel will also prevent pop ups from occurring if you have issues with programs you’d like to keep.
To turn on your system pop up blocker:
- Click on the “Start” button and navigate to “Control Panel”.
- Double-click on the “Internet Options” icon. This will open a new window.
- Click on the “Privacy” tab and check the box next to “Turn on Pop-up Blocker”.
- Set the Blocking Level to “High” using the drop-down menu below. This will enable the highest filter settings.
- Press “OK” to complete the action.
The only danger of using the Windows pop up blocker is that it may prevent pop ups that are genuinely important; therefore, you should always try to turn off unwanted pop ups via the program itself before undertaking this process.
How to get rid of Internet Pop Ups
Internet pop ups are the real danger. In fact most forms of malicious software are delivered by tricking people into clicking harmful advertisements.
How to Remove Pop Ups with Google Toolbar
Antivirus software and Windows will not be capable of blocking every Internet pop up. Downloading a toolbar will give you an extra layer of protection.
- On the right-hand side of the Google toolbar, press the “Wrench” icon.
- Navigate to the “Tools” tab.
- Check the box next to “Pop Up Blocker” and click “Save”.
While these instructions are written for Google Toolbar, every search engine has its own toolbar with a pre-programmed pop up blocker.
Click here to download Google Toolbar.
How to Remove Pop Ups from Mozilla Firefox
If you are having issues specifically with Mozilla Firefox you should first try the reset feature. This will take all of your bookmarks, history and settings back to their default state.
- Click on the Firefox menu in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
- Press the “Help” button and navigate to “Troubleshooting Information”.
- Click on the “Reset Firefox” button.
- Confirm your request and press “Finish” when the reset has completed.
When you have completed the reset, a folder containing all of your old data will be placed on your desktop named “Old Firefox Data”. If the reset didn’t solve your pop up problems you can restore your previous data.
How to Remove Pop Ups from Google Chrome
- Click on the drop down menu (represented by horizontal lines) in the upper right-hand corner of the page and select “Settings”. With most Chrome configurations the settings will appear in a new tab.
- Select the “Advanced Settings” tab at the bottom of the page.
- Click on the “Reset Browser Settings” button. This will bring up a new tab.
- Press the “Reset” button to complete the process.
Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser in the world with a market share of 45%. Because it has an open source code it’s compatible with a wide array of pop up blockers, many of which have been developed by IT professionals who simply want to improve on what Google have supplied.
How to Remove Pop Ups with Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes is an industry standard anti-malware program that’s free to download. It is able to detect and remove viruses, Trojans, worms, rootkits, rouges, spyware and other malicious software which could cause unwanted pop ups to appear.
- Close all of your programs and open Malwarebytes.
- If you have never used the software before a wizard should appear with a button that reads “Fix Now”. Click on this button. Alternatively, you can simply click the “Scan” tab.
- Select “Threat Scan” by checking the corresponding box.
- Press “Scan Now” and wait for the process to complete. Malwarebytes may prompt you to download the latest version of the software if it’s out-of-date.
- When the scan has completed you’ll be presented with a list of threats. Click on the “Quarantine All” button and press “Apply Now”.
- After the quarantine is complete reboot your computer.
- Repeat this entire process to ensure there are no threats remaining.
The free version of Malwarebytes is perfectly fine in most circumstances; however, only the premium version offers real-time scanning. Both the free and premium versions of Malwarebytes can also run alongside other virus software without hindering system stability.
Click here to download Malwarebytes.
Useful Preventative Measures
Pop ups are unpredictable; therefore, you’ll often encounter issues when you least expect them. Never visit a suspicious looking URL or download from torrent websites. Enabling your pop up blocker via your web browser and turning on your pop up blocker via Internet Options is highly recommended if you want to maximise protection.
Always stay vigilant and don’t trust everything you read online. Even the most trusted websites out there can be hacked and used as a medium for transporting malicious software. By using your common sense and taking these tips on board you’ll have no reason to worry.