How to Stop Pop-Ups in Internet Explorer

Introduction

This guide will help you clear pop-ups you may be getting in Internet Explorer to optimize your computer's performance, improve its privacy and prevent it from getting infected with malware.
Internet Explorer.

What are "scam" pop-ups?

Browser-based tech support scam "warnings" are becoming increasingly more common. They are designed to look official, pretending to be from Microsoft, Google, your internet provider, or another legitimate company.

These messages will claim that your computer is infected, that your data is at risk, or that your computer has been "blocked" because it has been hacked. At the end of their scary warning, they will provide a telephone number and urge you to contact them for support.

There is most likely nothing wrong with your computer.

Fake virus popup.

These are false messages designed specifically to frighten you into contacting the provided fraudulent "support" line, where an individual will attempt to sell you unnecessary support services or software, and will ask to remotely control your computer. By no means should you ever call one of these numbers or let them remotely control your computer.

In the vast majority of cases, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your computer. Unfortunately, the way these browser-based tech support scams are displayed, they can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to close via traditional means.

The following steps will walk you through terminating your browser to clear such messages, and help resolve other problems with pop-ups you may encounter.

1 Terminate Browser

The following steps can be used to terminate any browser, but the examples below will demonstrate using Internet Explorer.
  1. Open the Windows Task Manager.
    Using the Taskbar
    • Using your right mouse button, right-click on your Taskbar. Then select Task Manager from the menu.
      Mouse with Right Mouse Button highlighted.
      Taskbar right-click menu with Task Manager highlighted.
    Using a Keyboard Shortcut
    • On your keyboard use Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
      Keyboard with Ctrl Shift and Esc highlighted
    Using the Lock Screen
    • You can do Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard, then click on Task Manager.
      PC Desktop Keyboard with Ctrl-Alt-Del highlighted.
      GINA Screen with Task Manager highlighted.
  2. Select your browser, then select End Task.
    Basic View
    Task Manager basic view with browser and End Task highlighted.
    Advanced View
    Task Manager advanced view with browser and End Task highlighted.
When you next open your browser, if you are asked to restore a session / pages, select No, or close the message.

2 Clear Cache and History

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Under Browsing history, select Delete.
    Internet Options with Delete button under Browsing History highlighted.
  4. Go through the list of options here, to ensure the proper items are cleared.
    Once you have chosen your options, select Delete.
    Delete Browsing History options.
    Setting Checkbox
    Preserve Favorites website data Unchecked
    Internet Explorer segments out pages you have marked as favorites. We need to be sure to clear all data, not just some of it.
    Temporary Internet files and website files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Cookies and website data Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Form Data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Tracking Protection, ActiveX filtering and Do Not Track Personal Choice
    A number of pages will track your use of those pages, and if you've opted out of such tracking. This setting tends not to be well respected from page to page, and some pages simply do not give you the option. While it can affect how a page is displayed, it will only do so in the advertising or other 'personalized content' on that page; not the page itself. It is okay to check or uncheck this option.
     
  5. When complete, a message will open at the bottom of your browser letting you know the history has been deleted.
    History delete notification.
    It can take quite a while to delete the cache and history, please be patient.

3 Test Site

  1. Open Internet Explorer, and visit the website you had problems with at the start.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Make sure the page loads properly, and try following a few of the links from the page.

? Are you still seeing pop-ups?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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This guide will help you clear pop-ups you may be getting in Internet Explorer to optimize your computer's performance, improve its privacy and prevent it from getting infected with malware.
Internet Explorer.

What are "scam" pop-ups?

Browser-based tech support scam "warnings" are becoming increasingly more common. They are designed to look official, pretending to be from Microsoft, Google, your internet provider, or another legitimate company.

These messages will claim that your computer is infected, that your data is at risk, or that your computer has been "blocked" because it has been hacked. At the end of their scary warning, they will provide a telephone number and urge you to contact them for support.

There is most likely nothing wrong with your computer.

Fake virus popup.

These are false messages designed specifically to frighten you into contacting the provided fraudulent "support" line, where an individual will attempt to sell you unnecessary support services or software, and will ask to remotely control your computer. By no means should you ever call one of these numbers or let them remotely control your computer.

In the vast majority of cases, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your computer. Unfortunately, the way these browser-based tech support scams are displayed, they can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to close via traditional means.

The following steps will walk you through terminating your browser to clear such messages, and help resolve other problems with pop-ups you may encounter.

The following steps can be used to terminate any browser, but the examples below will demonstrate using Internet Explorer.
  1. Open the Windows Task Manager.
    Using the Taskbar
    • Using your right mouse button, right-click on your Taskbar. Then select Task Manager from the menu.
      Mouse with Right Mouse Button highlighted.
      Taskbar right-click menu with Task Manager highlighted.
    Using a Keyboard Shortcut
    • On your keyboard use Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
      Keyboard with Ctrl Shift and Esc highlighted
    Using the Lock Screen
    • You can do Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard, then click on Task Manager.
      PC Desktop Keyboard with Ctrl-Alt-Del highlighted.
      GINA Screen with Task Manager highlighted.
  2. Select your browser, then select End Task.
    Basic View
    Task Manager basic view with browser and End Task highlighted.
    Advanced View
    Task Manager advanced view with browser and End Task highlighted.
When you next open your browser, if you are asked to restore a session / pages, select No, or close the message.
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Under Browsing history, select Delete.
    Internet Options with Delete button under Browsing History highlighted.
  4. Go through the list of options here, to ensure the proper items are cleared.
    Once you have chosen your options, select Delete.
    Delete Browsing History options.
    Setting Checkbox
    Preserve Favorites website data Unchecked
    Internet Explorer segments out pages you have marked as favorites. We need to be sure to clear all data, not just some of it.
    Temporary Internet files and website files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Cookies and website data Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Form Data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Tracking Protection, ActiveX filtering and Do Not Track Personal Choice
    A number of pages will track your use of those pages, and if you've opted out of such tracking. This setting tends not to be well respected from page to page, and some pages simply do not give you the option. While it can affect how a page is displayed, it will only do so in the advertising or other 'personalized content' on that page; not the page itself. It is okay to check or uncheck this option.
     
  5. When complete, a message will open at the bottom of your browser letting you know the history has been deleted.
    History delete notification.
    It can take quite a while to delete the cache and history, please be patient.
  1. Open Internet Explorer, and visit the website you had problems with at the start.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Make sure the page loads properly, and try following a few of the links from the page.

Extensions provide extra features to Internet Explorer. Sometimes, these Extensions are not coded well, break after an update, or because they change the way Internet Explorer works in a malicious way to show you advertisements.

Disabling Extensions can help resolve these problems.

It is recommended to disable all Extensions. Then enable your wanted extensions one by one, testing each time to find the extension that's causing problems.
  1. Open Internet Explorer, then select the gear icon in the upper right hand corner.
    Internet Explorer.
    Browser with Settings highlighted.
  2. Click on Internet options.
    Settings menu with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Click on Programs (1). Click on Manage add-ons (2).
    Internet Options with Programs tab and Manage add-ons button highlighted.
  4. The following steps can be repeated to disable multiple browser extensions.
    • This is the addons menu, you need to perform the next step in all sections (All add-ons, Currently loaded add-ons, Run without permission, Downloaded controls).
      Add-ons menu with different sections highlighted. Screenshot
    • Disable any add-on that was not published by Microsoft Corporation. The add-on you want to disable, if its active, it will say Enabled. Click on the add-on.
      Add-ons list with Enabled highlighted. Screenshot
    • Click on Disable.
      Add-on screen with disable highlighted. Screenshot
  1. Open Internet Explorer, and visit the website you had problems with at the start.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Make sure the page loads properly, and try following a few of the links from the page.
Unfortunately, your pop-up issue cannot be resolved via basic troubleshooting steps. Your machine will require hands-on service to determine the root cause of your pop-up issues.
If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here

You are seeing pop-ups on one webpage, but not on others.

This means that the website you're using has advertising built-into it on purpose.

  • You can choose to continue to use the web site, understanding that this is their advertising method.
  • You can contact the website administrator to ask them to change their advertising method.
  • You can stop using the page.
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