How to stop pop ups on a Mac


Given that the online industry makes millions and millions in ad revenue it is no surprise that pop-up ads are so numerous. Although you can block pop-ups those that develop them are finding ingenious ways around the ad blockers and show the ad.

Although ads are not in of themselves harmful to your Mac they do adversely affect your computing experience. They tend to spring up and demand your attention and your action to close them. They tend to be everywhere, such is the need and desire to make money from ads.

In fact, it is probably easier to protect your Mac from malware and viruses than to block a pop-up ad. The only good thing is that they do not hack your system and or steal your information.

So how to stop pop ups on mac and regain your computing experience? Read on to find out.

Sources of Pop-up Ads

Pop-ups come from several sources including:

  • Extensions and plugins
  • Google Display Network
  • Browser hijackers
  • Ad networks
  • In-app notifications

If left unchecked pop-ups can be a real pain and make your computing experience highly unpleasant.

It also helps to protect your ads from malware and adware as it prevents nefarious pop-ups from appearing.

How to Stop Pop-up Ads on Your Browser

Blocking ads from your browser is a good first step. Configuring blockers are browser specific and happily all browsers come with a feature to block ads. To switch it on do the following depending on the browser you use.


  • Chrome, Settings.
  • Privacy and security, Site settings.
  • Pop-ups and redirects and switch pop-ups off.

Ensure you have the most up to date version of Chrome as the more up to date ones are better at blocking cyber security threats.

When you have finished checking Chrome, check your extensions.

  • Launch Chrome and type in the address bar: Chrome://extensions. You can also find extensions via Settings.
  • Remove extensions you don’t want or recognise.

Finally, reset Chrome.

  • Chrome, Preferences.
  • Advanced, Reset settings.

That should prevent pop-ups from rearing their ugly head.


Safari goes one step further than Chrome as pop-up management is site specific. 

  • Safari Preferences, Website tab. You’ll see a list of websites.
  • Choose which sites can and cannot show pop-ups.

When finished go Safari, Extensions.

Like with Chrome, remove any extensions you think are a little suspicious.


For Firefox it is important you are using the most up to date version for security reasons.

In the Firefox address bar type:

  • about:preferences. If you prefer you can access via Settings, Privacy & Security.
  • Tick Block pop-up windows.

Again, check extensions by:

  • Launching Firefox and enter about:addons in the address bar.
  • Click Extensions on the left-hand side.
  • For each extension you don’t want, remove it by clicking the three dots next to it.
  • Reset Firefox by accessing Help, Troubleshooting Information, and click Refresh Firefox.

Preventing pop-ups is good practice as it helps protect your Mac as well as making for a better experience. For more information on pop-ups visit Apple Support


Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.


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