Pop-ups in Safari on your Mac? Here’s what to do

By , May 10, 2016

Safari random popup window

I hate pop-ups, and chances are, you probably do too. They’re not only a nuisance, but most of the time they’re also designed to get in your way to purposely try and scam you and get you to click on malicious material.

Safari in OS X comes with anti-pop-up measures, but those with malicious intent are always coming up with ways to get around those measures.

In this post, we’ll talk about what you can do in a scenario when you get these annoying pop-up messages on your Mac and why you might be getting them.

Why am I getting popups in Safari on my Mac?

Pop-ups are meant to grab your attention, and more often than not, they hover over the web browser window so that they’re in your way. This prompts you to give the pop-up a higher priority than your web browser itself.

Sometimes the pop-ups come up when you visit questionable websites containing adult content, and sometimes they pop-up on regular third-party websites claiming that you’ve won something big or that there’s a problem with your Mac. Typically, these pop-ups never appear on legitimate websites unless you have some kind of adware installed on your Mac.

There are various ways to deal with the problem. Most of the time, you just need to close the pop-up window, but in scenarios like the one shown above, you may need to leave the web page entirely because the pop-up will be persistent.

What to do when faced with pop-ups in Safari

Because popups are, 99% of the time some sort of misinformation or scam to get you to click on something you don’t want, you should always be wary of where they’re trying to send you and what kind of information they’re telling you.

The best thing to do in most scenarios is to simply close the pop-up window. There should be a red X button at the top left of the window like there are in any other OS X window, but in some cases, all you get are two option buttons and no button to close the window.

If you’re using Safari 9.1 or later on your Mac and there’s no close button for the pop-up window, you can simply close out of the tab you’re browsing in, or quit (or force quit if necessary) Safari completely.

If it comes to it, you can force quit Safari by holding down the Option key on your keyboard and right-clicking on the Safari icon in your dock to reveal the Force Quit option.

Safari Force Quit

In some earlier versions of Safari, you may see an option in the pop-up window that says something like, “Don’t show alerts like this” or “Don’t show more alerts from this webpage.” You should put a check mark in this box and then proceed with closing the pop-up window.

Pop-ups are showing even on legitimate sites

If you’re visiting completely legitimate sites like Apple.com, Google.com, Microsoft.com, and others like these, and are still plagued with pop-ups, then chances are you have some kind of adware installed on your Mac and it’s going to show these pop-ups no matter what website you visit.

Adware can be tricky to remove, but there are some great apps out there that can remove adware, such as Malwarebyte’s for Mac, which is a free download, that you can install and run and hopefully remove the adware with.

Adware can be a security issue because it’s essentially a type of malware that lives on your Mac and plagues your machine with fraud-like pop-ups that try and trick you into buying things or entering personal information. You’re going to want to deal with these issues promptly so you don’t end up with any other major problems.

Fortunately for OS X El Capitan users, Apple has made the latest version of OS X El Capitan in such a way that it removes all adware as soon as you log back into your computer after a restart. If you suspect adware to be an issue, you can simply restart your computer and log back in to see if the problem goes away.

Wrapping up

There is absolutely no benefit to having annoying little message boxes showing up and pestering you when you just want to use the website you’re visiting.

Pop-ups can show up at any time, not just on XXX rated websites, so arm yourself with how to deal with pop-ups and prevent yourself from falling victim to online scams.

Also read:

Do you encounter pop-up messages often? How do you deal with them? Share below!

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  • 9to5Slavery

    I use ublock. It doesn’t block everything, but it does so well and low memory in chrome safari and everything. no mobile though..

  • Bronson

    uBlock Origin and AdBlock plus solves a lot of problems…

  • wincros

    I get them that block a lot of functions the same way a Mac error message works. Closing Safari does not work sometimes and a power button shut down is required. Problem is it reopens the same web page You have to be quick and close it before it fully loads.

  • Marcus

    OS X: uBlock Origin or uBlock
    iOS: Minimal Hosts Blocker