How to Stop Unwanted Pages From Popping Up on Chrome

by Irene A. Blake

One of the most frustrating aspects of using the Internet is the sudden pop up of an unwanted page. Sometimes, the pop-up is a window covering part or all of an open tab containing content you want to see, or a new tab opens redirecting you away from chosen content. Unwanted pages also pop up sometimes when you click a Google Search results link. Google and other app developers offer several solutions to stop pop-ups.

Enable Chrome’s Pop-ups Blocker

Chrome has an internal pop-up blocking feature. To check if this feature is disabled, click the Menu button marked with three gray horizontal lines and select “Settings” to go to the Settings screen. Scroll to the Privacy section, click “Content Settings...” to open the Content Setting dialog box and then scroll to the Pop-ups section. If “Allow all sites to show pop-ups” is enabled, click “Do not allow any site to show pop-ups (recommended)” and click “Done.”

Block Ads With an App

To combat unwanted ads, install a free ad-blocking app on Chrome, such as Adblock Plus, AdZap, Classic Popup Blocker or Poper Blocker. Type “chrome.google.com/webstore” in Chrome’s address bar to go to the Chrome Web Store. Type “block pop ups” in the “Search the Store” field, press the “Enter” key and click “More Extension Results.” Review the available apps, click “+ Free” for the one you like and then click “Add,” when prompted.

Scan for Malicious Software

Another source of unwanted pages is malware that hijacks Chrome or your computer and redirects you to pop-up advertising, graphic or sexual content or pages designed to spread additional malware or steal data. Run a computer scan using anti-virus software. If you don’t find anything, run a second scan using another program, such as AVG, Avast, McAfee or Trend Micro (links in Resources). When you're finished, go to Chrome’s Settings screen and select “Enable Phishing and Malware Protection” in the Privacy section if it's not already active. Additionally, use anti-virus software and a firewall when you're online.

Restore Chrome Default Settings

If you suspect malware has changed Chrome’s settings to allow pop-ups, but scanning your computer hasn’t revealed anything, restoring the browser back to its original default settings can sometimes correct the problem. Access the Settings screen, scroll to the bottom and click “Show Advanced Settings...” to reveal the rest of the screen. Scroll to the bottom, click “Reset Browser Settings” and then click “Reset” to confirm the selection.

Report Google Search Redirects

Another way to stop unwanted pages is to report any instance when a Google Search result has redirected you to a suspicious page. Go to the “Report a Malware Redirect” form (link in Resources) and follow the onscreen instructions to provide your email address, the URL of the search results page and the URL of the suspicious page. Google also requests, and instructs you on how to provide, the HTML of the search results page, a copy of any pop-up messages and a HijackThis report.

Warnings

Chrome’s pop-ups blocker doesn’t prevent pop-ups in Incognito mode. Resetting Chrome removes all custom settings except for passwords and bookmarks. The process also deletes site data and cookies and disables apps and themes. Information in this article applies to Chrome v30 as of October 2013.

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.

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