How to Avoid Pop-ups in Internet Explorer - dummies

How to Avoid Pop-ups in Internet Explorer

By Dan Gookin

Internet Explorer is configured to block all pop-up windows by default. If you don’t like the blocker warning or its associated beep, you can control the pop-up blocker’s settings.

When a web page tries to sneak in a pop-up window, a warning (displayed just below the tabs and toolbar) says Pop-up blocked. To see this pop-up or additional options click here. When you click the warning, a menu appears. Here are your choices:

Temporarily Allow Pop-Ups: Lets the pop-up sneak on through, but only because you gave it permission

Always Allow Pop-Ups for This Site: Lets you grant permission for the website (and all pages on the site) to toss pop-up windows your way

Settings: Displays a submenu that allows you to change how Internet Explorer reacts to pop-ups

More Information: Displays a Help window about pop-ups

Generally, you can ignore the warning by clicking the X on the right end of the pop-up blocker warning message, which dismisses the message. In fact, if you tire of the warning and just don’t want to be bothered or you don’t mind the warning but hate the beep, or both, you can control the pop-up blocker’s settings.

To make changes to the way Internet Explorer’s pop-up blocker behaves, from the Tools button menu, choose Pop-Up Blocker→Pop-Up Blocker Settings. You see the Pop-up Blocker Settings window.


You can use the Pop-Up Blocker Settings window to manually add sites for the pop-up blocker to ignore (though you may prefer to add each site individually as you encounter it). Most important is the option Play a Sound When a Pop-Up Is Blocked. If you don’t like random beeps, turn that option off.

Incidentally, the Pop-Up Blocker Settings window is where you can remove any websites you accidentally added to the Do Not Block list: Choose a site from the Allowed Sites list and then click the Remove button.

Click the Close button when you’re done messing around with the Pop-Up Blocker Settings window.

  • You can turn the pop-up blocker on or off by choosing the proper command from the Tools button menu’s Pop-Up Blocker submenu.

  • Pop-ups aren’t always ads, of course. Some websites use pop-ups to display information.

  • At the custom-level settings, pop-up windows are allowed whenever you click a button or link to display the pop-up.

  • If you set the filter level in the Pop-Up Blocker Settings window to High, all pop-ups are blocked, no matter what.

  • Blocking all pop-up windows may be a bad idea for some websites. That’s because items such as menus, slide shows, and other multimedia features on a web page may function by using pop-up windows. When you disable all pop-ups, you disable the features of the website and decrease its usability.

  • A new, nontraditional type of pop-up is even more annoying than the JavaScript pop-up: This Flash pop-up sometimes looks like a pop-up window but at other times appears to seamlessly float over the top of a web page.

    Internet Explorer’s pop-up blocker doesn’t block the Flash windows. The only way to block them is to disable the Flash ActiveX component, but that would also make many videos, media, and games cease to function on the Internet.