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Unwanted Ads, Pop-ups in Browsers - all problems resolved

Old 06-01-2014, 02:27 PM
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Default Unwanted Ads, Pop-ups in Browsers - all problems resolved

Forced absence from these forums for some months, much of it spent worrying about other matters, gave me much needed time to reflect, research, and finally, refine solutions to a problem that had steadily turned my forum experience into a nightmare ... a barrage of unwanted, unsolicited pop-up ads.

I was not alone. These pages contain plenty of similar complaints. Solutions offered seem to focus on "get Adblock" ... "chuck Firefox and install Chrome" ... or the reverse ... and much more of the same. Many recognized (correctly) that the ads are not generated within the forums, but within one's chosen browser. Many had experienced few problems. Many more followed suggested advice; installed an Ad Blocker and saw improvements ranging from fair to excellent. I did not, and again I have not been alone.

There was a need for careful analysis to reveal what was going on. Only then, might we find a relatively simple, universal and permanent solution.

The Problem:
  • I am not referring to the responsible "margin" advertising of our sponsors, but the sometimes animated, splashy pop-up ads that jump onto the screen as soon as the cursor passes over key words or even blank areas ... thereby covering the desired forum content, and requiring a separate mouse click on a sometimes poorly seen closure button in each instance ... only to have the same frustration reappear on every new screen.
  • Nor is the problem confined to any one browser, as revealed in tests of all current versions of IE, Firefox, and Chrome (all of which I use on various devices, so each was loaded onto all devices). All were affected to varying degrees by unsolicited pop-up ads.
  • To save repetition across different browsers, I will base the remainder of my findings and comments on the current Mozilla Firefox (version 29.0.1) but invite you to test your own browser.
A Partial Solution?:
  • Install the Add-On Adblock Plus (currently version 2.6) for Firefox by using the new Tools Menu > Add-ons > Get Add-ons.
  • I was unimpressed, because even with the option to allow "responsible" ads disabled by un-ticking, too many intrusive ads and pop-ups leaked through.
  • More research pointed to a potential improvement.
An Improved Solution?:
  • Install the Add-On Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon (version 0.9.2) for Firefox by using the Tools Menu > Add-ons > Get Add-ons as before.
  • Despite an endorsement from the original Adblock developers that this third party enhancement was a genuine improvement, I was again unimpressed because there were still too many ads getting through.
  • However, there was one area of vast improvement. Now when I reported the issue, I was immediately slapped with a "Known Problem" window that pointed to conflicts arising from "too many Filter Preference Lists".
The Final Solution:
  • Click on Filter Preferences under the Adblock icon menu and choose 1 Filter List (and only 1) to tick. Leave all others un-ticked, and as if by magic, all offending pop-ups disappear forever, provided you have opted to block everything in Filter Preferences. Why then, you may ask, do the latest versions of Adblock include up to 6 different and (because they are pre-ticked) competing Filter Lists?
  • Use the Homepage hotlink button bracketed against each Filter List to read up on each.
  • Because of their clear blog on all this, I chose EasyList which now incorporates at least one other that was pre-ticked in my Filter Prefs.
Explanation and Results:
  • I can only guess that having 6 ticked and active Filter Lists for Adblock to operate on, would be somewhat akin to running 6 different AntiVirus programs simultaneously ... a somewhat loose analogy, but you get the broad idea of the infighting that results in Adblock giving up and hiding under the bed. I suspect this has been a process either overlooked or generated during recent updates.
  • Given that Adblock appear not to have a Filter List of their own creation, they seem to have fallen into a trap of empowering any and all available comers in their default configuration. I have referred this problem and solution to the developers involved.
  • In any event, by following the steps I have outlined, the past week has seen not a single ad or pop-up window emerge. Yaaaay!!!

Edit (and apologies for omitting earlier)
: *** You must exit browser then re-launch for any changes to take effect ***

I hope this has helped any others who, like me, were ready to bale out of their favored online activities as frustration replaced pleasure. Post any issues or feedback, but please be patient if I am slow to respond.

Best wishes all,


Last edited by cat_as_trophy; 06-02-2014 at 11:38 PM.
The following 3 users liked this post by cat_as_trophy:
JimC64 (06-01-2014), o1xjr (06-01-2014), Steve M (06-02-2014)
Old 06-02-2014, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brisbane,Australia
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Default Help appreciated.

I followed Kens solutions. It seems to be working,In chrome. I had the option to remove unwanted lists, so only had the "Easylist" to tick. It seems to be blocking around 12-18 adds every time I open a page in JF.
I previously paid far an adblock program,which was successful in blocking the adds but had to uninstall it as it played havok with my email and online banking/paypal etc.
I have been putting up with half page adds for months now,hopefully it keeps working like this. (blocking 14 on this page)


Last edited by o1xjr; 06-02-2014 at 11:54 PM.
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cat_as_trophy (06-10-2014)
Old 06-02-2014, 11:52 PM
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Thanks for feedback Clarke ...

Please note my edit regarding the need to exit then re-launch browser. As a final check after a week of not a single pop-up ad appearing, I hover over my Adblocker icon in the taskbar and it tells me that it is blocking no less than 20 blocked items on this JF home screen.

Previously, Adblocker may have been blocking all but 3 or 4 per screen, but to me, if they require a mouse click to close ... then that's 3 or 4 too many!

Catastrophe? No chance ... Harmony now reigns ... Now for world peace!

Best wishes.
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