Pop-up blocker settings, exceptions and troubleshooting

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This document explains all of the settings available in Mozilla Firefox for controlling pop-ups.

What are pop-ups?

Pop-up windows, or pop-ups, are windows that appear automatically without your permission. They vary in size but usually don't cover the whole screen. Some pop-ups open on top of the current Firefox window, while others appear underneath Firefox (pop-unders).

Firefox allows you to control both pop-ups and pop-unders through the Content panel in the OptionsPreferences window. Pop-up blocking is turned on by default, so you don't have to worry about enabling it to prevent pop-ups from appearing in Firefox.

When blocking a pop-up, Firefox displays an icon pop-up-icon-win pop-up-icon-mac in the location bar Popup-blocked-en-win.png Popup-blocked.png in the status bar, as well as an info bar if this has not been previously dismissed by the Don't Show Info Bar setting (see below).



When you click either the OptionsPreferences button in the info bar or the icon in the locationstatus bar, a menu is displayed with the following choices:

Blocking pop-ups may interfere with some websites: Some websites, including some banking sites, use pop-ups for important features. Blocking all pop-ups disables such features. To allow specific websites to use pop-ups, while blocking all others, you can add specific websites to the list of allowed sites.
Blocking pop-ups doesn't always work: Although Firefox blocks most pop-ups, some websites may show pop-ups using uncovered methods, even when blocked.

Pop-up blocker settings

To access the pop-up blocker settings:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Content panel.


In the content panel:

  • Block pop-up windows: De-select this to disable the pop-up blocker altogether.
  • Exceptions: This is a list of sites that you want to allow to display pop-ups.


    The dialog has the following choices:
    • Allow: Click this to add a website to the exceptions list.
    • Remove Site: Click this to remove a website from the exceptions list.
    • Remove All Sites: Click this to remove all of the websites in the exceptions list.

Note: Blocking pop-ups may not always work and may interfere with some websites. For more information about blocking pop-ups, see What are Pop-ups?.

Pop-ups not being blocked

Is the pop-up coming from Firefox?

The pop-up may not actually be coming from Firefox. You can determine where the pop-up is coming from by the appearance of the window.

  • If you see the Firefox button in the top left corner of the window (on Windows XP, the text "- Mozilla Firefox" at the end of the title bar)If you see the text "- Mozilla Firefox" at the end of the title barIf you see the text "- Mozilla Firefox" at the end of the title bar, it's a pop-up in Firefox.
  • If not, you may have malware on your computer that causes the pop-ups. Scan your computer for viruses and spyware.

firefox-popup-win7 firefox-popup-linux 86c0e1094489ddd5611008de57d0afed-1260046952-121-4.png

Is the pop-up blocker on and enabled for this site?

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Content panel.
  3. Make sure the Block pop-up windows checkbox is checked.
  4. To the right of Block pop-up windows, click the Exceptions... button. A dialog will appear that shows all the sites that are allowed to show pop-ups.
  5. If the site that's opening pop-ups is in the list, select it and press Remove Site.
  6. Click Close to closeClose the Allowed Sites - Pop-ups window.
  7. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

Is the pop-up shown after a mouse click or a key press?

Certain events, such as clicking or pressing a key, can spawn pop-ups regardless of if the pop-up blocker is on. This is so that Firefox doesn't block pop-ups that websites need to work.

Is it a true pop-up window?

Sometimes ads are designed to look like windows, but really aren't. Firefox's pop-up blocker can't stop these ads.

fake-popup-win7 86c0e1094489ddd5611008de57d0afed-1260046952-121-5.png