How Do I Stop Links From Redirecting Me to Different Sites?

There are several ways you can stop links from redirecting you to different sites.
Image Credit: Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Redirects are among the most annoying aspects of the internet. You're trying to access one site, but it automatically reroutes you somewhere else, usually featuring intrusive ads, autoplaying videos or tasteless music. The good news is that there are ways to stop this from happening, even without downloading a purpose-built redirect blocker for Chrome or whatever browser you use. The options are usually easy enough to find in your browser's settings menu, but the process depends on your specific choice of browser.

Prevent Chrome Redirect

Chrome is set up to stop redirects by default, so you probably don't need to do anything to prevent them. However, there is a setting you can use to block redirects manually if it doesn't seem to be working. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the Chrome window and choose Settings.

Choose Privacy and Security from the options on the left of the screen and select Site Settings. On the screen is an option called Pop-ups and redirects, which should be set to Blocked. If it isn't, click the option and adjust the slider to block redirects.

On older versions of Chrome, the option is the same, but you might need to access it differently. Scroll to Advanced and choose Content settings in the Privacy and Security section. The rest of the process is the same as in the current Chrome version.

Stopping Redirects on Firefox

The process to block redirects in Firefox is similar to the one for Chrome. Click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of the window and choose Options or Preferences, depending on your Firefox version, from the drop-down menu.

Select Privacy & Security and scroll down to the Permissions section. In this area, there's an option to Block pop-up windows, and you need to check the box beside this if it isn't already checked. You can create exceptions using the Exceptions button if you don't want the block to apply to every website you visit.

Now scroll down to the Security section and the Deceptive Content and Dangerous Software Protection option. Check the box beside Block dangerous and deceptive content if it isn't checked. These two options together stop any redirect in the browser.

Stopping Redirects in Microsoft Edge

The option in Microsoft Edge is also accessed in basically the same way as in Chrome. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the screen and choose Settings from the drop-down menu that appears. The menu opens on the right of the screen, with four options along the side. Click Privacy & Security and scroll down to the Security option.

If they aren't already selected, move the sliders for both Block pop-ups and Windows Defender SmartScreen to the On position. The latter option is the one that stops redirects, but pop-ups do basically the same thing – just in a new window – so you might as well prevent both.

Stopping Redirects for Safari

For Mac users with Safari, open the browser and choose the Safari option in the upper left corner of the window. Choose Preferences from the menu that appears and select the Security tab. The option to stop redirects is the Warn when visiting a fraudulent website option from the Fraudulent Sites section.

Stopping Redirects for Internet Explorer

If you still use Internet Explorer, you can prevent redirects but with less specificity than many other browsers. Click the gear icon for Settings in the top right corner of the window and choose Internet options. Choose the Security tab and move the slider up to High. This action prevents redirects and also has other effects to increase your online security.

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