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How do I stop websites from opening unwanted windows/tabs?

Posted

I am using the latest updated version of Firefox on my MacBook. The MacBook has Snow Leopard OS with all updates installed. Recently I have been using a website to watch TV shows on the computer (http://http://streamallthis.me/). It has the nasty habit of opening tabs in the background while I watch the show. The site it always opens is http://http://www.putlocker.com/file/B119FD2BAC80777D . I have the prevent pop-up option checked but that doesn't stop it. Once it opened 61 tabs in the background. Sometimes it opens so many tabs so quickly that Firefox hangs. It even has frozen the computer while doing it's thing. I have checked and have no viruses or malware installed. I tested Safari also and it does the same thing there. Does anyone know a solution for this problem?

Chosen solution

I may finally be on to something and I don't know how I figured this out. The button on my track pad has been sticking occasionally (the computer is 7 years old) and when I press or accidentally press the button, the web site opens the ad pages. I figure that the button got stuck in the pressed position causing many web ads to open at once. I have been very careful to not press the button today and only occasionally opened an ad. Also, when I move the computer while watching a movie, the button seems to press on its own too. I never would have guessed this was a hardware problem. It is also the reason the same problem happened with Safari. Unfortunately I have no money to replace or repair the computer so I will have to live with it. Thanks for sticking with me on this problem. I will post in the next few days that the issue has been solved if nothing more happens.

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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.8 r800
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Displays Java applet content, or a placeholder if Java is not installed.
  • Glims Plug-in for Safari

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:23.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/23.0

More Information

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
528 solutions 5041 answers

Hello,

Try Firefox Safe Mode to see if the problem goes away. Safe Mode is a troubleshooting mode, which disables most add-ons.

(If you're not using it, switch to the Default theme.)

  • You can open Firefox 4.0+ in Safe Mode by holding the Shift key when you open the Firefox desktop or Start menu shortcut.
  • Or open the Help menu and click on the Restart with Add-ons Disabled... menu item while Firefox is running.

Once you get the pop-up, just select "'Start in Safe Mode"

If the issue is not present in Firefox Safe Mode, your problem is probably caused by an extension, and you need to figure out which one. Please follow the Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems article for that.

To exit the Firefox Safe Mode, just close Firefox and wait a few seconds before opening Firefox for normal use again.

When you figure out what's causing your issues, please let us know. It might help other users who have the same problem.

Thank you.

Question owner

Thank you for your reply. I restarted Firefox in safe mode and the windows/tabs still occurred. I didn't think it was any extensions because it also happens in Safari. I had also tried opening Safari without extensions and the unwanted windows/tabs still occurred also.

The streamallthis.me web site has obviously found someway around the block pop-up option in Firefox.

Any other suggestions?

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
528 solutions 5041 answers

It is likely a universal program not in firefox's control, remove any suspicious program(s) from the Mac Control Center (what ever they call the place to uninstall stuff).

Question owner

Thanks again for your reply. I went through all installed applications and found nothing installed I did not recognize. Also, there have been no new applications installed in months and the only changes to applications have been updates to familiar applications like Firefox. I also ran many new scans of my computer for anything not ordinary and found nothing. I again scanned for trojans and viruses and found none. I am convinced that the streamallthis.me web site has found a way to circumvent pop-up stoppers. Thanks again for your suggestions.

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
528 solutions 5041 answers

If you really want to see if it stops (trust me it will annoy you), you can try to reset firefox.

Question owner

I finally decided to Reset Firefox when an excessive number of tabs (31) and windows (6) were opened with ads. To make things worse, the ad websites now popped open a dialog box telling me I have AdBlock installed and should get a paying account. This dialog would stop the video and had to be dismissed before continuing the video. Often the website would create additional ads while the dialog box was displayed and so overwhelmed Firefox that it hung. So I reset Firefox. You were right, reset and reconfiguring takes much time but I felt I would have a clean experience. I first tried the offending website with no preferences changed and no add-ons installed. Dozens of tabs immediately started appearing. I reinstalled all the add-ons as before and then scoured Firefox add-on for something which would prevent additional tabs and prevent the JavaScripts used to open the offending tabs. I found many choices like Disable Anti-AdBlock, AdBlock's own blocker and many more. Some stopped everything from happening. I tried options for hours and finally have Disable Anti-AdBlock and NoScript installed. After configuring them to block/stop offending sites, the pop-ups seem to have ended. I will update this question with additional information when I get it. It is obvious to me that they know how to circumvent Firefox's blocker. Thanks.

Question owner

A quick update: the ads and dialog boxes are back. They have opened dozens of tabs again with that dialog box that stops the video and eventually overwhelm Firefox. I will keep trying to stop them. Anyone with any ideas? Does anyone know how to stop certain JavaScripts and not others on the same page? Also, when Firefox gets overwhelmed, my track pad button seems to get stuck in the pressed position and causes quite a few other problems. Sometimes all I can do is restart the whole computer.

Modified by steckel54

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2348 solutions 20818 answers

The pop-up blocker is designed to prevent sites from generating new windows (or tabs) without a user taking action. However, this site seems to require a lot of button clicks and to load new documents in frames, and this may enable it to bypass the popup blocker.

Are you in a jurisdiction where you are not allowed to watch the legitimate versions of these programs on their source sites, e.g., on Hulu?

Question owner

To Cor-El:

I scanned my entire computer with ClamXav and Bitdefender-Virus-Scanner and found no viruses and no malware.  Maybe the installed add-ons work most of the time because I got no extra tabs during the last show I watched and only a few all day.  I will keep on configuring though.

To jscher2000: Hulu has few shows for free anymore and all my favorites are for pay. I am very strapped for money and cannot even afford Hulu's prices. The pop-up blocker within Firefox simply doesn't stop these websites.

Chosen Solution

I may finally be on to something and I don't know how I figured this out. The button on my track pad has been sticking occasionally (the computer is 7 years old) and when I press or accidentally press the button, the web site opens the ad pages. I figure that the button got stuck in the pressed position causing many web ads to open at once. I have been very careful to not press the button today and only occasionally opened an ad. Also, when I move the computer while watching a movie, the button seems to press on its own too. I never would have guessed this was a hardware problem. It is also the reason the same problem happened with Safari. Unfortunately I have no money to replace or repair the computer so I will have to live with it. Thanks for sticking with me on this problem. I will post in the next few days that the issue has been solved if nothing more happens.