Block pop-up ads and windows in Safari

Learn how to block pop-up windows and handle persistent ads on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Pop-ups can be ads, notices, offers, or alerts that open in your current browser window, in a new window, or in another tab. Some pop-ups are third-party ads that use phishing tactics such as warnings or prizes to trick you into believing they’re from Apple or another trusted company, so that you’ll share personal or financial information. Or they might claim to offer free downloads, software updates, or plug-ins to try to trick you into installing unwanted software.

Use these tips to help manage pop-ups and other unwanted interruptions.

Avoid interacting with pop-ups

Unless you’re confident that they are a legitimate ad, avoid interacting with pop-ups or webpages that seem to take over your screen.

  • If you see an annoying pop-up ad in Safari, you can go to the Search field and enter a new URL or search term to browse to a new site. If you don’t see the Search field on your iPhone or iPad, tap the top of the screen to make it appear.

  • Some pop-ups and ads have fake buttons that resemble a close button, so use caution if you try to close a pop-up or ad. If you're not sure, avoid interacting with it and close the Safari window or tab.

  • On your Mac, you can quit Safari, then press and hold the Shift key while opening Safari. This prevents Safari from automatically reopening any windows or tabs that were open.

Update your software

Always install the latest software updates for all of your Apple products. Many software releases have important security updates and may include improvements that help control pop-ups.

The safest way to download apps for your Mac is from the App Store. If you need software that isn’t available from the App Store, get it directly from the developer or another reliable source, rather than through an ad or link.

Check Safari settings

On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Safari.

  • Turn on Block Pop-ups.

  • Turn on Fraudulent Website Warning.

On your Mac, open Safari and choose Safari > Settings (or Preferences) from the menu bar.

If adware or other unwanted software is installed on Mac

If you see pop-ups on your Mac that just won’t go away, you might have unintentionally downloaded and installed adware (advertising-supported software) or other unwanted software. Certain third-party download sites might include software that you don’t want along with the software that you do.

If you think that you might have malware or adware on your Mac:

  • Update to the latest version of macOS. If your Mac is already using the latest version, restart your Mac. macOS includes a built-in tool that removes known malware when restarting.

  • Check your Applications folder to see if you have any apps that you don't expect. You can uninstall those apps.

  • Check the Extensions tab in Safari settings to see if you installed any unnecessary extensions. You can turn extensions off.

If you continue to see advertising or other unwanted programs on your Mac, contact Apple.

Learn more

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