< How to block Firefox Flash popups >

Have you noticed that even though you have your Firefox browser set to block popups, some popups seem to be slipping through mysteriously? Learn what causes those annoying popups and how to get rid of them.

Author: Nana Långstedt < nana.langstedt at gmail.com >
tuXfile created: 15 November 2005
Last modified: 15 November 2005

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< Where do the popups come from? >

Don't worry, your browser's popup blocking feature hasn't stopped working. Some greedy advertisers have just figured out they can get around Firefox's popup blocking settings by launching popups from Flash. So, the popups that seem to slip through your blocker are most likely Flash popups.

< How to block plugin popups >

You don't have to uninstall the Flash plugin to get rid of Flash popups. You can simply change your browser's settings so it won't allow popups from plugins. Here's how to do it:

  1. Type about:config into the address bar. This lets you access advanced Firefox settings.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the pref list page, and select New -> Integer. This creates a new preference that can have a number value.
  3. Name it privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins
  4. Set the value to 2

Congrats! The greedy bastards won't be able to throw unwanted popups at your face anymore!

Note that this works for Firefox 1.0, Mozilla 1.7.5, and later versions of those browsers. This preference should work immediately, but if it doesn't, just restart your browser. Also note that this blocks all popups from plugins, not only Flash popups. For example, popups from Java applets will be blocked, too.

< More options >

The value for privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins doesn't have to be 2. It can be any of the following four:

0 = Allow all popups from plugins.
1 = Allow popups from plugins, but limit the number of popups to dom.popup_maximum
2 = Block popups from plugins.
3 = Block all popups from plugins, even on whitelisted sites.

If you decide to allow popups, either regular ones or plugin popups, I'll suggest setting the value of dom.popup_maximum to a reasonably low number, such as 2. The default value in Firefox is 20, but there aren't many legitimate reasons for a web page to launch more than two popups at a time, and definitely not 20!

Most likely dom.popup_maximum already exists, so just find it in the pref list, right click it, select modify, and set the new value to 1, 2, or something reasonably low. This will prevent the unfortunate occasions where your screen will be filled with majorly unwanted and often gross popups that refuse to go away.

Linux help > Tips and cheat sheets > How to block Firefox Flash popups

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