How Do I Stop Pop Ups on My Computer?

By Gregory Hamel

Computer pop ups are windows that appear on a computer screen that contain advertisements or other information that the user likely did not intend to see. Pop ups typically occur while surfing the Internet or after contracting a malware program, such as adware or spyware from the Internet. Most computer pop ups can be stopped by employing a few different Internet security measures.

Antivirus and Firewalls

The first step you should take to stop pop ups is to make sure you are using antivirus and firewall software when you are on the Internet. Firewalls are programs that can block unsolicited connections on the Internet, which can help weed out sources of pop ups from gaining access to your computer. Windows based computers can run a basic firewall called Windows Firewall, while third party firewalls can also be used to supplement Windows Firewall or protect a computer that has no firewall built into the operating system. Antivirus software protects a computer by monitoring it for suspicious activity and scanning the computer's data for viruses. Using an updated antivirus program can prevent malware like spyware and adware from getting on your computer and generating unwanted pop ups. If you are having problems with pop ups it is a good idea to run a full system scan with your antivirus program.


Since pop ups are a well known problem on the internet, many internet browsers contain build in pop up blocking capabilities. For instance, Internet Explorer running on Windows Service Pack 2 has built in pop up blocking. New versions of other browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Safari also contain internet security and privacy measures. If you are experiencing problems with pop ups, consider trying a different browser or altering the preference settings of your current browser. Increasing the strictness of security your browser is using may help eliminate some pop ups.

Pop Up Blockers

Apart from pop up blocking built into browsers, there are also programs designed specifically to block pop ups that can help any browser overcome pop up issues. Additionally, toolbar add-ons for existing browsers can often add extra pop up blocking functionality. While these programs and add-ons can work well to block pop ups, they can also use up system resources and take up space on your browser, so they are not always ideal.

Spyware Removers

If you have pop ups on your computer that don't seem to respond to anything you are doing, you might be infected with adware or spyware. Spyware and adware removal programs like Ad Adware and Spybot Search and Destroy are free to use and can help remove malware that might be causing pop ups. It is a good idea to keep a spyware removal tool on your computer at all times, keep it updated and scan your computer for malware threats every week or two.