How to block pop-ups on a Mac computer’s web browser, so you’re never interrupted by spam

You can block pop-ups on your Mac using the built-in Safari web browser, or on other web browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox.

Blocking pop-ups on your Mac can help protect your computer by fending off phishing attempts or potential scams. Some websites use pop-ups to help features run properly if this is the case on a site you’re using, you can set your Mac to allow pop-ups on that site only.

Blocking pop-ups on your Mac’s web browser can save you from unwanted advertisements, protect you from potential scams and phishing attempts, or just help to reduce distractions.

However, many websites, like banks, colleges, and e-commerce sites like Amazon, use pop-ups as a central component of their platforms.

If you’d like to block pop-ups on your Mac when using Safari, you can do so by accessing Safari’s Preferences menu, where you can also change the default settings for certain sites. You can also block pop-ups on your Mac using Google Chrome, or Firefox.

Here’s how.

1. Launch Safari.

2. In your menu bar at the top of the screen, click “Safari.” Find and click “Preferences” in the drop-down menu.

In the upper left-hand corner, open the Safari drop down menu and find Preferences.

In the upper left-hand corner, open the “Safari” drop down menu and find “Preferences.”

3. Once in Preferences, click on “Websites” the icon that looks like a globe.

4. In the menu on the left, click “Pop-up Windows.”

In Websites, find Pop-up Windows.

In “Websites,” find “Pop-up Windows.”

5. At the bottom, you will see “When visiting other websites:” and a dropdown menu. Click on it.

6. Select “Block” and Safari will begin automatically blocking all future pop-ups. If you’d like, you can also select “Block and Notify,” which will make Safari alert you whenever a pop-up tries to appear, and allow you to choose whether you’d like to allow it or not.

To allow pop-ups for some sites and block them for others, make sure the specific website you want to edit the settings for is open in Safari when you access “Preferences.”

1. With the selected website open, go to Safari > Preferences.

2. Click “Websites,” and find “Pop-up Windows” on the left-hand menu.

3. Here, under “Currently Open Websites,” you’ll see the URL of the site you have open in Safari and a drop-down menu with two blue arrows. Click on it.

4. Select “Block” or “Block and Notify” to block pop-ups on this individual website.

Under Currently Open Websites find which one you'd like to block pop-ups for.

Under “Currently Open Websites” find which one you’d like to block pop-ups for.

Again, some websites, like Amazon, use pop-ups for beneficial purposes, so you may need to occasionally unblock pop-ups to use certain websites.

1. Launch Safari. Then go to Safari > Preferences.

2. In Preferences, find “Security” the icon resembling a lock.

3. Make sure the “Warn when visiting a fraudulent site” box is checked. This will enable Safari to warn you before you visit an already flagged “blacklisted” site, typically containing malware or phishing content. Safari uses Google Safe Browsing, a service known to check sites for potential threats.

If you'd like Safari to notify you if you stumble onto what it deems a fraudulent site, first launch Safari.

If you’d like Safari to notify you if you stumble onto what it deems a fraudulent site, first launch Safari.

No matter what web browser you’re using on your Mac computer, you should be able to block, or allow pop-ups. But most browsers do it in a different way than Safari, which is tied to your Mac’s settings.

Mozilla Firefox comes pre-packaged with a pop-up blocker, but if you’d like to turn it off.

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