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How to block pop-ups in Safari

Let’s face it, pop-ups don’t have a great reputation. They can interrupt your work, slow down page load times, or even contain malware. Thankfully, blocking pop-ups in Safari is easy, because the browser features a built-in pop-up blocker to help manage them. 

This article contains:

    On Mac devices, Safari lets you block or allow pop-ups for specific websites. This is an important feature in a blocker, since some pop-ups do help you navigate sites and improve your user experience.

    You can also choose to block or allow pop-ups on specific sites with AVG Secure Browser, a free browser that puts security at the forefront. You can surf the web anonymously and fully customize your ad blocker to allow only essential pop-ups. Plus, enjoy a dozen additional privacy and security features.

    Block pop-ups on Mac

    Here’s how to enable a pop-up blocker on Safari. You can choose to block all pop-ups or just block specific pop-ups on Macbooks and iMacs.

    How to block all pop-ups on Mac

    Here’s how to stop all pop-ups on Mac:

    1. Open Safari.

    2. Under the Safari drop-down menu, click Preferences.

      A Safari drop-down menu with preferences highlighted
    3. Select the Security icon at the top and check the box for Block pop-up windows.

      Safari Security preferences menu with "Block pop-up windows" box checked and highlighted.

    You’re done — Safari is now free of pop-ups! 

    Notice a difference? Like clearing your search history or removing extensions from Safari, blocking pop-ups is one way to streamline and speed up your Mac.

    How to block pop-ups for specific sites on Mac

    Want to be more selective? Instead of a blanket ban, here’s how to turn off pop-ups on specific sites on Mac:

    1. Open Safari

    2. Under the Safari drop-down menu, click Preferences.

      A Safari drop-down menu with preferences highlighted
    3. Select the Websites tab and on the left click Pop-up windows. The website you’re on will be listed in the Currently Open Websites area. Click the arrows to the right of Block and Notify, and choose Block.

      Safari's Website menu tab opened, blocking pop-ups on current website.

    Pop-ups will now be blocked for the website you’ve chosen. 

    Note that when Safari is set to “Block and Notify,” you can allow pop-up windows right after they have been blocked by selecting the two boxes in the address bar.

    Block pop-ups on iPhone and iPad

    Pop-ups aren’t just on Macs. Here’s how to block pop-ups on iPhones and iPads:

    1. Go to Settings and choose the Safari app.

      settings menu on iOS. Safari app is highlighted.
    2. Scroll down to Block Pop-ups and toggle the button on.

      Blocking pop-ups in Safari on iPhone.

    Like a Macbook, an iPhone can get cluttered with more than just pop-ups. Take additional steps to clean your iPhone to keep it running at its very best.

    If you also use other browsers, you can manage pop-ups in Chrome, prevent pop-ups in Firefox, or get rid of them in Edge or IE.

    Are pop-ups in Safari dangerous?

    It depends, because there’s more than one type of pop-up. A pop-up is a small window that quickly appears while you’re browsing a website. Some pop-ups are harmless marketing or cookie consent forms, while other pop-ups can be misleading or downright malicious. You can always delete cookies later if you permit a website to place them in your browser.

    The more dubious pop-ups can contain false close buttons that actually run unexpected actions rather than closing the window. A hover ad or an in-page pop-up appears as a layer in front of a browser screen, falsely presenting itself as the webpage. 

    The most dangerous pop-ups can harm your system. They can bombard your browser in an adware attack. Or they can function as malvertising ploys, riddling your system with all kinds of malware. Staying informed about Mac cybersecurity threats is essential to keep you and your system safe. 

    Pop-ups are one of the main reasons to get an ad blocker. But there are downsides to a blocker snuffing out pop-up windows completely. Some pop-ups are necessary and contribute to a website’s overall usability. Other pop-ups contain important information or access features within a website — for example, an installer for an application. 

    Plus, ad blockers can sometimes block ads for products and services that can be genuinely useful to readers, like newsletter signup forms. With an ad blocker, you might also miss out on pop-up discounts or limited-time offers.

    How do I know which pop-ups to block?

    Since some pop-ups are irritating and others are useful, there’s no comprehensive solution to the issue of how to remove these ads on Mac. Consider allowing pop-ups on websites you know and trust, and blocking pop-ups if you’re unsure of a site’s safety. Definitely block sites with suspicious pop-ups and suspected malware. And always practice safe browsing habits

    You should also try AVG Secure Browser, a free browser designed specifically to prioritize privacy and security. While cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated, making use of pop-ups and other web features, AVG Secure Browser will help keep you safe. Get security and speed in one buttery smooth browser.

    How to allow pop-ups on Safari

    Are pop-ups more helpful than bothersome for you? Some pop-ups are designed to enhance your user experience by conveying helpful notifications or maintaining site functionality. 

    So if you disable a pop-up blocker on Safari — meaning you’ll allow pop-ups — you might actually improve your overall web browsing experience.

    Allow pop-ups on Mac

    You can disable the pop-up blocker on Mac for all pop-ups and or just for pop-ups on specific sites.

    How to allow all pop-ups on Mac

    Ready to open the floodgates? Here’s how to turn off the pop-up blocker on Mac for all pop-ups:

    1. Open Safari

    2. Under the Safari drop-down menu, click Preferences.

      A Safari drop-down menu with preferences highlighted
    3. Select the Security icon at the top and uncheck the box for Block pop-up windows.

      Safari's preferences menu on the security tab. The block pop-up windows option is unchecked.

    And there you have it — all pop-ups are now allowed on Safari!

    How to allow pop-ups for specific sites on Mac

    Want to be more careful? Here’s how to allow pop-ups only on specific sites:

    1. Open Safari

    2. Under the Safari drop-down menu, click Preferences.

      A Safari drop-down menu with preferences highlighted
    3. Select the Websites tab, and on the left click Pop-up windows. The website you’re on will be listed in the Currently Open Websites area. Click the arrows to the right of Block and Notify, and choose Allow.

      Safari's Website menu tab opened. Allowing pop-ups on current website.

    And that’s how to turn off the pop-up blocker on Mac for specific websites. You can collect a list here for all the sites you trust with pop-ups. 

    Note: When Safari is set to “Block and Notify,” you can allow pop-up windows right after they have been blocked by selecting the two boxes in the address bar.

    Allow pop-ups on iPhone and iPad

    On iOS, you can choose only to block or allow all pop-ups. Here’s how to allow pop-ups on iPhone and iPad:

    1. Go to Settings and choose the Safari app.

      settings menu on iOS. Safari app is highlighted.
    2. Scroll down to Block Pop-ups and toggle the button off.

      Settings menu of the Safari app on iOS. The Block pop-ups option is toggled to the left.

    Stop pop-ups and browse safely with AVG Secure Browser

    Pop-ups are a mixed-bag — some are annoying or dangerous, while others are helpful. You can manage pop-ups easily and decrease their risks by using AVG Secure Browser, one of the best browsers for security and privacy.

    AVG Secure Browser automatically blocks ads for a better, faster browser experience.AVG Secure Browser automatically blocks ads to make browsing faster.

    The free AVG Secure Browser can automatically block all ads. Or, you can set your preferences between Light, Basic, and Strict blocking. Plus, you can easily adjust all your privacy settings all in one place. 

    AVG’s cybersecurity experts designed AVG Secure Browser to protect you from malware, phishing, and other threats. Keep your browsing pop-up free and enjoy a safe and streamlined online experience.

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