What is the most effective freeware pop-up blocker?

My friend is running AOL 7.0 on a Windows XP machine. She has a horrendous amount of pop-ups that occur everyday.

My question is: What (free) software would help to take away these pop-ups?

I have a general idea of what is causing it, but please, tell me everything and more about what I should know to help her defeat these.

Since using Mozilla, the only page which has got past the pop-up filter was one which puported to demonstrate the most cunning methods of popups which even Mozilla hadn’t defeated. And the next release is planned to destroy even those. www.mozilla.org

The google toolbar works for me.

Yea, I use Mozilla. Yea, the google toolbar would work great for IE.

That does not solve the problem, she insists on using the AOL browser.

The toolbar does not install for that, right?

Tell her to stop being stupid, and accept that the AOL browser is popup-prone. Either switch, or live with it. Just IMHO, obvioulsy :smiley:

I used to use Panicware’s Pop-Up Stopper, but the free version only supports IE and Netscape. Their Professional version includes AOL support, but it ain’t free ($29.95).

I don’t know if there are any freeware products out there for the AOL browser.

I’ll bet anything your friend’s PC is infested with spyware and adware that generates the pop ups. Have her download a free copy of AdAware and Spybot Search & Destroy, and clean all the spyware off her computer. Stubborn cases may require CWShredder as well. Before scanning, don’t forget to have each program check for updates. You should scan with all three programs, as they complement each other, and find things the other misses. Then use SpywareBlaster to block over 1200 different flavors of spyware.

I agree, most probably it is Spyware. However if she insists on using AOL, get her to upgrade to AOL 8 or AOL 9, both of which (IIRC, or just 9) have pop-up blocking built in, which however conveniently lets the AOL pop-ups through.

I: Eliminate AOL.
II: Use AdAware to get rid of spyware.
III: Get FireFox and Thunderbird.

All popups are gone.

Have her upgrade to AOL 9.0 which has popup controls.

But the best bet is to go to Mozilla. She can use it and still use AOL.

If she upgrades to AOL 9.0, it has a built-in and customize-able popup blocker, under Settings.

We’ve got both AOL 9.0 and the Google toolbar running, and popups are a thing of the past for us. And it was free.

[must learn to type faster than Reeder]


She could try Privoxy. This free software allows you to perform pretty much arbitrary manipulation of any document requested by any program. In particular, it will block pop-ups in web documents requested by AOL’s browser.

Privoxy is highly configurable, but it comes with a selection of default configurations that should work for most purposes. However, the sort of person who insists on using AOL’s browser may need some help setting it up.

My damn roomate insists on having AOL for broadband (I just minimize it and use IE), we also have 9.0 “optimized”. I use Free Surfer mk II, both before and after he set the pop-up controls on AOL it works like a charm. I can’t remember the last time I saw a pop-up. You can get it free at www.cnet.com

If she’d stop using the stupid AOL browser, I’d suggest Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. The pop-up blocker included therein works well for me, although it doesn’t have the handy-dandy counter that the Google toolbar does (which also works well).

I do love the counter in the Google toolbar. 4648 blocked!

I just tried to use Spybot with windows XP. It hangs up my computer at the same spot every time to the point were I can’t even ctr+alt+del. I have to restart by holding the off button down for at least 30 seconds. I tried this 4 times and even removed the software and replaced from a different mirror site. What’s up with this.

And I have read the faq and I searched the web for others with this problem.

Any hints?

At what point is it hanging? I used to think the same thing when Spybot seemed to hang every time I tried to download the updates. It would even show up as “Not responding” in the task manager, or just hang the whole OS, but it turned out it just handles the downloading poorly - if I wait longer it will finish what it’s doing and everything will go back to normal.

At what point is it hanging?]

It’s not hanging on the download. It downloads fine. It hangs my computer when I try to run it. It gets to about 2976/58?? at something cp.2.

At that point I can’t stop the program. I can’t close the program. I can’t end the task. I can’t ctr+alt+del. The only way out is to hold the on/off switch on my computer down for 30 seconds (Note this is usually an instantaneous off type thing).

I’ve removed it again.