One of the greatest annoyances I experience almost daily while browsing the intertubes are popunder advertisment windows. Usually, they are triggered by clicking on the window somewhere, thus converting my desire to bring focus back to the webpage into a purposeful click on an advertisement link. Its a d___ move and imho the equivalent of tricking me into clicking on an ad.

The thing is, I do appreciate being served all this awesome content by people who create and host it. I am more than happy to view advertisements and click on those ads I feel are interesting. Its part of the provider/consumer implicit contract that keeps the superhighway trucks full of awesome cool caturday pictures and other things.

Because of this, I do not want to use some generic adblock-type software that removes all advertisements from websites.

What I'm looking for is some kind of plugin/addin/app that only blocks popunder advertisements spawned by clicking on non-content parts of a webpage, or that can be configured to provide only this type of ad block.

Primarily looking for Chrome, as that is my browser of choice. +1s for suggestions for other browsers.

  • "Usually, they are triggered by clicking on the window somewhere, thus converting my desire to bring focus back to the webpage into a purposeful click on an advertisement link". I don't understand what you mean by this; surely if it is a pop-under ad then the main window is not losing focus? See wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop-up_ad#Pop-under_ads – James P Aug 9 '11 at 9:31
  • Do you have a link to a site that uses such ads? Not a dodgy site though please :-) – James P Aug 9 '11 at 9:56
  • @James: Not offhand. Many news websites do this, however. If I hit one and remember your comment, I will update. – user939 Aug 9 '11 at 10:20
  • @James re: not losing focus... You are now reading SO, and the browser is focused. Now, go focus another window (open up Notepad or something). Now, bring focus back to SO by clicking on the wide open witespace to the left of the content on the page <---- notice how, once the window has focus, it does not open a new window and shuffle it under the browser window? That is the behavior I hate. – user939 Aug 9 '11 at 10:22
  • In Firefox there is a setting for allowing sites to change window focus. Go to Tools -> Options -> Content. Then click the Advanced... button in the top section. Make sure both Raise or lower windows and Move or resize existing windows are unchecked. This won't stop the windows from appearing but it should mean that they can't be hidden. Don't forget you can choose to enable/disable popups on specific sites. Right-click the main window then click View Page Info -> Permissions then change the Open Popup Windows setting. – James P Aug 9 '11 at 10:59

In my opinion you are best to use AdBlock plus. You can disable it on sites that don't have the ads you are talking about. On the ones that do have such adverts, you can look at the filters that are actually being put into effect (use Open blockable items) and work out whether you want to keep them or disable them. By refreshing the page you can work out which filter blocks out a specific advert. It will be a case of trial and error but look for filters like this one which are clearly designed to block the sort of ads you are talking about:


In more difficult cases where the pop-under windows are being created in an external script, Adblock will tend to use a filter rule that blocks the script itself. However, in my experience such scripts tend to be quite specific and belong to individual advertisers, so you should find that most other adverts are not affected.

Adblock gets its filters through subscriptions and it would be nice if one existed that let legitimate adverts through whilst blocking out more underhand tactics but they all seem to be aimed at blocking ads in general.

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Poper Blocker for Chrome - "The first dedicated pop-under blocker"

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