Three Ways To Stop Pop-Up Ads In Chrome

Pop-up ads are not only annoying; they can be harmful to your computer. Here are three ways to stop pop-up ads in Chrome.

Ensure pop-ups are blocked for the site you're visiting by clicking on the padlock in the address bar and selecting Site Settings. Install AdBlockerPlus as an extension, and restore your browser’s default settings. If you think you have bigger problems, use the Find Harmful Software feature in Chrome’s advanced settings.

Let’s go through each of these steps in detail because there are a few things to be aware of along the way.


Block Pop-Ups For The Sites You Visit

Chrome and most other browsers block pop-ups by default, so if you’re still seeing them frequently, it’s a concern. The first thing to check is that Chrome is correctly configured to block pop-ups.

Do this by right-clicking the padlock in the address bar and selecting Site Settings.

Site Settings display a list of permissions for websites wanting to access your computer. These access controls include whether a website is allowed to save Cookies, provide Notifications, or have access to your computer’s camera and microphone. 

Don’t be too alarmed by these settings.

For example, it’s not unusual, or necessarily a bad thing, that a website is allowed to save Cookies on your computer. Similarly, if you use Chrome for remote conferencing, such as WebEx, it will need permission to use your microphone and camera.

In Site Settings, check the two permissions, ‘Pop-ups and Redirects’ and ‘Ads’, are set to: ‘Blocked (default)’.

You can also check that pop-ups are disabled by default for all websites by clicking on Privacy and Security in Chrome’s settings menu, choosing Site Settings, and selecting ‘Pop-ups and redirects’ under the Content category.

It’s confusing, but if the switch is set to off, it means Pop-ups are being blocked for all sites by default.


Install The Ad-Blocker Plus Chrome Extension

Start by clicking on the three dots menu icon.

  • You'll find it in the top right corner of the Chrome window.

Hover over More Tools and select Extensions.

This will open Chrome's Extensions Window.

Click on the three bars to view the Extensions menu.

  • It’s located in the top left corner of the window.

Open the Chrome Web Store.

Type 'Adblocker Plus' in the search field.

Click Add to Chrome followed by Add Extension.

Installed Extensions appear next to the address bar.

Click the jigsaw puzzle icon to show more Extensions.

Pin the icon to keep it displayed.

AdBlocker Plus will block all ads on sites you visit.


Restoring Chrome To Its Original Settings

The last task I recommend is to delete all the temporary data created by Chrome and the websites you’ve visited. This will reset Chrome, and in doing so, remove any customizations you’ve made, such as homepage and pinned tabs. It will also disable the AdBlocker Extension we just installed and any other Extensions you use, but I’ll show you how to re-enable them. It won’t delete your passwords, account information, or bookmarks.

Open Chrome’s settings again, as described above.

Choose Advanced from the menu options, and ‘Reset and Clean Up’.

Click on ‘Restore settings to their original defaults

You’ll receive a pop-up message (oh, the irony!), describing what’s involved in the process.

When you’re ready, hit ‘Reset Settings’.

To re-enable your Extensions, simply click the Jigsaw Puzzle icon, and choose ‘Manage Extensions’.

Here you can enable the extensions you wish to continue using.


If All Else Fails...

If you’ve gone through the steps above and you're still seeing annoying pop-ups, then there’s possibly something more amiss with your computer than just Chrome.

That said, Chrome has a nifty little tool to help resolve this situation. In the same ‘Reset and Clean Up’ area that we were just in before, there is a second option to ‘Clean up computer’.

Choosing this option will display the ‘Find Harmful Software’ button. Note that clicking the Find button not only finds the harmful software but also quarantines it. In the unlikely event Chrome hits upon a false positive and remove a file or program incorrectly, they can be recovered from the quarantine folder.

In Windows  the quarantine folder is located in, %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome Cleanup Tool\Quarantine.

Simply copy this path and paste it into Windows Explorer. Note, this path will only exist if Chrome did quarantine any files.

For Mac users, simply check the Recycle Bin.


I hope you find this advice useful. I'd like to hear your thoughts or ideas, so please drop me a comment below.


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