Got Pop-ups?!

There are several ways you can get unwanted pop-up windows. Various options are discussed below:

**Windows System Pop-ups
If the pop-up windows you are getting are standard Windows system messages such as error messages, dial-up connection windows, etc., you need to find the source of these pop-ups. Often an unwanted dial-up connection window results from a program trying access the Internet. You may need to uninstall the offending program or change the preference to avoid launching the program on start-up.

**Remove Trojan programs
You could have a Trojan on your computer that is causing a barrage of unwanted pop-ups, often pornographic. These Trojans often also change your browser homepage even if you change it back to your original homepage.  The best way to get rid of Trojans is to have a current anti-virus program and scan your entire computer. Then you should run two free programs called Spybot and Ad-aware found on this page:

**Disable Messenger (Windows XP only)
This is not to be confused with Windows Messenger which is a chat program. Messenger is a program on Windows XP that allows network administrators to contact all the computers on a network and send them notices. Some advertisers have figured out a way to use this service to send you advertising pop-ups. To eliminate this possibility, all Windows XP users should disable this messaging service. Follow this path:
-Click on start in the left lower corner of you screen.
-Click on Control Panel
If your Control Panel has Pick a category at the top,
Click on Performance and Maintenance
Then click on Administrative Tools
If your Control Panel has 25-30 icons,
Click on Administrative Tools
--Double click on Services
--Double click on Messenger
--Change the Startup type to disabled

**Update your Windows XP to Service Pack 2
SP2 installs a new version of Internet Explorer which includes a good pop-up blocker.

**Switch to Netscape or Mozilla browsers
The Netscape and Mozilla browsers beginning with version 7.0 have built-in, effective pop-up blocking. You can get a free copy of Netscape at our office on CD.

**Install a Pop-up Blocking Toolbar
Download and install the Google or Netscape toolbar for your Internet Explorer. These toolbars are very slim and don't take up much of your screen, yet they effectively blocks pop-ups. You can download one of these free toolbars at: or

**Commercial Pop-up Blocking Software
There are several good pop-up blocking software packages available at local software outlets.

**Disable Scripts in your Browser
As a last resort, one certain way to stop pop-ups is to limit the running of scripts in your browser.  In Internet Explorer, click on Tools and the Privacy tab.  Then, change all of the ActiveX settings to either Prompt or Disable.   The Prompt option will let you decide whether to accept a pop-up or not.  Some websites may not work correctly afterwards.


This page last updated October 19, 2004

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