Pop Up Blockers for Mac: How to Block Pop-ups on Mac

Picture this: You’re about to download an important file or software from a website and click on the shiny download button. Suddenly, half a dozen windows pop-up in your browser all at once, advertising a product or service to you. Sound familiar? 

If you’ve been an internet user for a while, chances are you’ve seen pop-up ads on your Mac and want to get rid of them. 

Fortunately, there is a way around pop-up ads: using the pop-up block feature. 

This article will explain everything you need to know about blocking pop-ups on Mac. So keep on reading to find out how you can get rid of those annoying pop-ups on your Mac once and for all. 

What Are Pop-Up Ads? 

Simply put, pop-ups are Graphical User Interface (GUI) windows that “pop up” from another window. 

Popup Blocker Mac

By extension, a pop-up ad is an advertisement that is displayed in a pop-up browser window, usually from a web page. 

JavaScript, sometimes in combination with cross-site scripting (XSS), is often used to generate pop-up ads. Other times, browser security holes can lead to vulnerabilities that site owners can exploit to generate pop-ups. 

Pop-up ads were popular during the mid to late 2000s, when Adobe Flash was all the rage. Nowadays, they’re less common but still can appear from time to time. 

Do I Need a Pop-Up Blocker On Mac? 

No matter how they’re built, we can all agree on one thing: pop-up ads are annoying, especially if you are using a Mac application with multiple windows such as Parallels desktop. 

One of the first solutions that may come to mind for stopping pop-up ads is a pop-up blocker or ad blocker. For Windows users, third-party ad blockers were the software of choice in the early days of pop-up ads. 

The million-dollar question is, do you need a third-party pop-up blocker on Mac? 

The answer is, no; the macOS native browser, Safari, already has a built-in pop-up blocker. In other words, there’s no need to install a separate third-party pop-up blocker on your Mac. 

That said, if you still want to use a third-party ad blocker, you can still download one. However, before showing you the third-party ad blocker we recommend, let’s first go over how to block pop-ups on Mac using the Safari web browser. 

How To Block Pop-Ups In Mac 

When it comes to blocking pop-up ads in Mac, you have two options: you can either block pop-ups locally, or block pop-ups globally. If you block pop-ups locally, you’ll disable them for a single website. Blocking pop-ups globally, on the other hand, disabled them for every website. 

Here’s how you can do both on your Mac using Safari browser:

Option 1: Block Pop-Ups Locally 

Step #1: Open the Safari browser on your Mac and go to the website whose pop-up ads you want to block. 

Step #2: Next, on the right side of the Apple logo, click Safari > Preferences > Websites. 

Step #3: Once you’re in the Websites tab, scroll to the bottom of the left window list and click Pop-up Windows. 

Step #4: Now, you should see a list of websites under Currently Open Websites in the Websites tab. This list should be under the textbox titled “Allow pop-up windows on the websites below:” to the right of the window. 


Step #5: Finally, you can now select the option for pop-ups from the drop-down list next to the Currently Open Websites listings. You have three options when it comes to configuring local websites: 

  • Allow: Lets pop-ups appear on the website. 
  • Block: Doesn’t let pop-ups appear on the website. 
  • Block and Notify: Doesn’t let pop-ups appear on the website, but prompts you if you wish to enable pop-ups every time you visit a website with pop-ups. 

For the website that you wish to block pop-ups for. choose either the Block or the Block and Notify option. Your Safari will now block pop-ups for that website on your Mac. 

Option 2: Block Pop-Ups Globally 

Step #1: Follow Steps 1-3 exactly from the previous section. 

Step #2: Now, when you click on Pop-up Windows, navigate to the “When visiting other websites:” and click on the drop-down list next to it. 

Step #3: As before, you have three options when it comes to blocking pop-ups: AllowBlock, or Block and Notify. Choose either of the block options to enforce blocking pop-ups globally. 

Step #4: If you wish to make exceptions to the global rule and have previously configured websites, you can do so from the Configured Websites list. This list should be right under Currently Open Websites 

That’s all there is to it! If you’ve followed the steps above, you should successfully be able to block pop-ups on any or all websites you choose. 

Option 3: Download a Third-Party Pop-Up Blocker 

Although we do not recommend this option, you can also use third-party pop-up blockers on your Mac. You might find this option useful if you use an alternate browser to Safari, or if you do want some added web privacy functionality. 


Here are some of the best third-party pop-up blockers you can download for Mac today: 

Final Thoughts 

Pop-up ads might be one of the most annoying features of the internet. Fortunately, they’re relatively easy to take care of. 

If you’re a Mac user, you don’t really need a third-party pop-up blocker; Safari browser has built-in pop-up blocking functionality. Still, there are a few third-party pop-up blockers available for you to choose from. 

No matter what route you decide to go, try out one of the options on our list for blocking pop-ups on Mac. Once you do, we guarantee you’ll be on your way to a seamless browsing experience in no time! 

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