How to stop popup windows

Ever got a feeling that your computer is possessed? Does pop-up windows open up to obscure your current work or sneak under the other windows to be found later?

Some may say it is not that serious, just close them and go on, no harm done, right? We are of a contrary opinion. Pop-ups cause distraction and slow down your work. Closing 50 pop-ups a day takes time and makes you lose focus. What's worse, these annoying pop-ups can sometimes cause your computer to crash and you will lose your current work.

So, do you have to live with them? Not quite. Stand up, raise your hand and shout, "I've had enough! Je proteste!" Read on:

Step 1. Download a pop-up killer. A pop-up killer is a tool that runs in the background on your computer catching the pop-up windows automatically. This is the first step to get rid of all pop-up windows, mainly because it is easy to install and run a pop-up killer nowadays and most pop-up blockers does not need any configuration at all.
We recommend Stop-the-Pop-Up, which is free and compatible with most browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Mozilla, SBC Yahoo and NetCaptor.

Step 2. Scan your computer for adware and spyware. If the pop-up killer did not solve the pop-up problem completely you might want to scan your computer for adware and spyware. This dubious type of software usually monitors your internet activity to open pop-up ads that fit your preferences. They spy on you, pure and simple. GAIN and SaveNow are two notorious adware applications that open pop-up windows.
We recommend that you scan your computer with Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner which seems to be frequently updated. SpyBot is also a great spyware scanner.

Step 3. Drop Internet Explorer. Join Mozilla and Opera. Mozilla is an open-source browser developed by a community of developers. Netscape Corporation initiated the project was in 1998. The Mozilla browser is available for free and has a built-in popup blocker.
Another browser well worth mentioning is the Norwegian flagship Opera which impress with its speed and has a pop-up stopper feature. As Mozilla, Opera is also available for free. The only drawback with the Opera browser is that it displays banner ads in its user interface. Try one of these browsers if you don't want to install a pop-up killer.

Step 4. Disable the Messenger service. Recently a new type of pop-up windows started to litter users' desktops. Spammers found out they could launch pop-up windows at the user desktop even when the user was not surfing the web. The spammers take advantage of a bug in the Microsoft Windows Operating system, which allows them to open pop-ups window with knowledge of the IP number only. Do not despair; you can stop the Messenger Service pop-ups too. Read about the countermeasures in our previous "How to stop Messenger Service pop up spam" article.

Step 5. Make friends with the HOST file and block the ad servers. It is possible to block pop-ups and banner ads by editing the host file. You can find a description how to modify the file here.

Well, that's about it. We hope this article has put you in control of your online experience again. Let us know if you have questions.

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