What Are Pop-Up Ads?

Pop-up ads are defined as a form of online advertising within the World Wide Web.

A pop-up window is a graphical interface that displays a small window that will suddenly emerge whenever you have visited a specific webpage.

What Are Pop-Up Ads

The advertisement that is contained within a pop-up window is normally generated using JavaScript software. This software incorporates cross-site scripting alongside Adobe Flash.

These advertisements can sometimes be generated via security holes in your browser.

A pop-under advertisement is a variation of the pop-up ad. This is when an advertisement opens an entirely new browser window alongside the active window.

These may not interrupt you straight away, however, they do appear whenever you close the active window which makes it more difficult to ascertain which website they have derived from. 

The History Of Pop-Up Ads

Pop-up ads originally stemmed from the tripod.com webpage hosting site during the 1990s. Javascript provided the option for web pages to open an alternative window.

The ability to launch advertisements in separate windows derived as a response to complaints from advertisers about the type of websites that their advertisements were appearing on.

How To Block Pop-Up Ads

Web development technology allows for you to associate any action with any item on a pop-up window.

Due to negative experiences and apprehension about the damage that these windows may cause, some do not interact with them at all.

They may also leave the site entirely. Browsers responded by incorporating tools that can be used in order to block pop-up ads from appearing in the first instance. 

The Mozilla browser improved these functions by blocking pop-ups that load at the same time as the page does.

At the start of the millennium, all of the major browsers provided users with the option to block unwanted pop-up windows. Internet Explorer did not incorporate this option until the launch of Windows XP SP2 in 2004.

This enabled users of Internet Explorer to finally block unwanted pop-ups. The majority of modern browsers will allow you to block pop-up ads, as well as filter any advertisements that you are presented with.

False Close Buttons

Those who use web applications and websites that continually experience unwanted pop-up ads will often report experiencing fake close buttons.

These buttons have been created in order to ensure that the user engages with the advertisement, clicking on a ‘false close button’ that stimulates another range of pop-up advertisements to open up.

This is also how viruses corrupt computer systems as these false buttons can lead to unwanted files being downloaded onto the user’s device.

How Do I Circumvent Pop-Up Blockers?

Javascript will impose advertisements over web pages using a transparent layer. This advertisement may appear in a number of forms.

For instance, it may contain an Adobe Flash created animation that links directly to the advertiser’s website. However, these advertisements can look as simplistic as a normal window.

Third party ad blockers can be used to block these javascript advertisements and the best ones to use are AdBlock and AdBlock Plus.

URL Redirection

URLs can be redirected towards advertisement pages through the use of URL redirection. These URLs can open up in an entirely new pop-up tab that replaces the content of the background tab entirely.

More often than not, these redirections will switch the tab that the user is currently on and change it to the advertisement tab.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned third party software can’t block this specific type of redirection.

What Techniques Are Used In Pop-Up Ads?

1) Specific varieties of downloaded content, including free music and images, can cause pop-ups to occur. Therefore, these should not be downloaded blindly.

2) Pornographic sites are filled with a plethora of pop-ups. These ordinarily look like web pages, however, the name and a graphic of the website will appear.

3) Most websites will use pop-up ads in order to display additional information without disrupting the current page. For instance, they may want to redirect you to a subscription form for the website itself.

The majority of pop-up blockers will allow this type of pop-up to occur. However, some of these may unintentionally reload the page and remove any information that has already been entered. 

Pop-Under Ads Technology

Pop-under ads are very similar to pop-up ads. The only difference is that the ad window will appear beneath the main browser window as opposed to being superimposed onto it.

What Are Pop-Up Ads (1)

As pop-up ads have become renowned for being intrusive and obstructing the original screen, many companies choose to advertise their products using pop-under ads.

These ads do not impede the overall content and generally remain undiscovered until the main browser window has been minimized. 

A pop-under ad utilizes two different JavaScript functions that were introduced in 1995. Many modern day publishers and advertisers will use this technology in order to load their advertisement and send it behind the main browser window.


To conclude, pop-up ads can be a nuisance. However, they are often used by advertisers as a means of redirecting you to their website.

You can install third party software that prevents the majority of pop-up ads from appearing on your screen. However, URL redirections are not able to be prevented using this software.

Some websites will use pop-up ads in order to get you to subscribe to the website itself. These ads are not usually blocked by third party software.

The vast majority of pop-ups that are considered to be harmful to your computer will be blocked by installing software like AdBlock and AdBlock Plus.

You should note that some advertisements that are delivered to you via a pop-up window may contain false close buttons that will redirect you to the advertiser’s website, or download unwanted files to your device.

I hope that you have found this article to be informative. Thank you for reading.

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