The Good and Bad of Pop-Up Blocker Extensions

Advertising: where would we be without it? For one, we’d probably have made less unwise purchases. On the other hand, how else would we have been introduced to Puppy Monkey Baby ? Ultimately, advertising plays a huge part in our lives, whether we like it or not, and whether we realize it or not.

One place where advertising is often most blatant is along the tops and sides of our computer screens, and especially in pop-up ads designed to incite clicks. Banner ads interrupt our browsing daily, popping up in front of articles and videos at the worst moments. Odds are, you’re seeing an ad somewhere on your screen right now.

Of course, with a pop-up blocker extension, you might actually not be seeing a thing. For most of us, this is the desired result. We don’t want to be bombarded with ads when we’re trying to read. Naturally, our next course of action is to find a good ad-blocker and be done with it.

Like all decisions, however, there are pros and cons. While an annoying pop-up might prompt you to look into ad-blocking software, you may not realize that you actually are benefitting from pop-ups in other areas of your web browsing. It’s kind of like a bee-you don’t want it buzzing around your head, but you also have a jar full of honey in your pantry.

Pop-ups can be irritating, to be sure. And you’re justified in wanting to get rid of them. But don’t act too quickly or irrationally when deciding to do away with them. The fact is, there are a lot of benefits to pop-ups that you may not have even realized existed.

This post is meant to be a word of caution to those who wish to do away with pop-up ads by means of a blocker extension. While there are many pros, both obvious and more in-depth, there are also a few cons as well that might just sway your opinion. Take a look at the following pros and cons, and use them to decide if employing a pop-up blocker extension on your computer is the right move for you.

The Cons

Believe it or not, there can actually be some negative consequences that come as a result of using a pop-up blocker extension. In fact, a quick Google search of pop-up blockers will bring up a line of results along the lines of, “how to disable pop-up blockers” or, “turning off pop-up blockers.” While a world without pop-ups seems like a paradisiacal ideal, clearly there is some downside to using a pop-up blocker:

1 – Website Navigation Is Sometimes Limited

While pop-up blockers are built primarily to stop intrusive ads, many times, they’ll end up impeding your ability to advance through a website. The problem is that many websites use the same code to navigate within the site that advertisements use to pop up onto the screen. Thus, when you block the pop-up ads, you’re also potentially blocking your own ability to get to the next section of a webpage.

This can be especially frustrating when filling out a form or making a purchase. If you’re a student, for example, you may actually need to have pop-ups enabled to complete an assignment. Should a situation like this arise, using pop-up blocking software could end up doing more harm than good.

2 – Online Shopping Can Get a Bit Hazy

Many online stores use the same software employed by pop-up ad makers to zoom in on a product. When you install a pop-up blocker extension, you may be eliminating your ability to get a detailed view of the product you’re looking at . This can be important if, for example, you want a Louis Vuitton handbag, and the product you’re thinking that you’re about to get a great deal on is actually from Lewis Vooton.

This is a hypothetical, of course, but it is a legitimate risk you take whenever you shop online while also using a pop-up blocker extension. Oftentimes, you just want to get a closer look at an item before spending your hard-earned money on it, and you might not want to have that opportunity denied you because of your decision to use pop-up blocking software.

3 – Certain Opportunities Fall By the Wayside

While it may seem impossible, there are actually a ton of great pop-up ads out there. The only thing is, you don’t notice them because they’re well done. The reason pop-ups get such a bad rep is because so many of them are poorly made and annoying, but the fact is, a good pop-up ad can be incredibly effective.

Again, you likely don’t even realize that a lot of the ads you see are, in fact, pop-ups. When professionally made, a good pop-up ad does what it was always intended to do: namely, draw your attention, win your interest, and, with any luck, provoke a click.

In the end, it’s true that most pop-ups only serve as an annoyance. If we elect to totally cut ourselves off from them, however, we could be severely impeding our ability to effectively navigate the internet.

The Pros

While your ad-blocker may limit you somewhat, there are also a handful of huge benefits that come from eliminating pop-ups on your computer. Without a doubt, at some point, each of us has been annoyed by an ad or pop-up window that has nothing to do with the page we’re looking at.

In this day and age, nobody should be getting fooled into thinking that they truly are the one millionth customer and that there is a large cash prize just waiting for them if they “Click Here!” The following are some of the main benefits of pop-up blocker extensions.

1 – Pesky Ads Are Long Gone

This is the most obvious pro of using a pop-up blocker extension. Likely the main reason you had in mind when thinking of using a pop-up blocker, the refreshing absence of ads and uninvited windows is a huge plus.

Using a pop-up blocker extension can greatly clean up your browsing experience and save you from having to close useless windows. When you’re online, you want to do what you came to do, not be overwhelmed by invasive ads that you have no intention of clicking on.

2 – Simply Put, Your Computer’s Cleaner

An unfortunate reality of pop-up ads is that they often are of a less than savory nature. Maybe you’re on a streaming site, binge watching your favorite series that just got removed from Netflix. Maybe you’re looking online for some shopping options. Any time you go to a site you aren’t completely familiar with, you’re opening yourself up to seeing something inappropriate without your consent.

Using a pop-up blocker sanitizes your browsing experience. Incidentally, that makes getting a pop-up blocker extension exceptionally useful if you have kids that are using your browser. It will keep them from getting to sites you don’t want them on, and will give you more peace of mind as you browse.

3 – Safety to the Max

You may think that you have no use for a pop-up blocker extension. Maybe you don’t browse too much, or only go to sites that don’t use too much advertising. No matter your browsing habits, however, you can benefit from using a pop-up blocker extension., as it can go a long way in keeping your computer safe from viruses and malware.

A simple ad-blocker will do much of the same work that your virus protection will do, and likely at a far lesser cost. Using a pop-up blocker extension will block malicious windows intending on harming your computer.

4 – Good News: You Can Customize Your Pop-Up Blocker

If you have the right ad-blocking extension, this could be the trump card to the whole argument. Many pop-up blocker extensions actually allow users to filter what ads they do or don’t want to see. You may be able to disable your blocker for certain sites, or in certain situations.

This way, you’ll be able to get the pop-up ads you need (i.e. shopping or filling out forms) while still blocking the intrusive, inappropriate, and often harmful ads that pop up elsewhere. If you do have the right type of ad-blocker, your problems may just be solved for you.

In the end, your own browsing habits and priorities will decide whether or not you should get a pop-up blocker extension. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you as you use the internet and fit that into the benefits and detractors of blocking ads.

If you prefer safety over all else, a pop-up blocker is likely the right choice for you. If you want to make sure you’re not missing out on any information that could be available to you as you fill out forms, read articles, stream content, or shop online, you might not want to potentially limit yourself by using ad-blocking software.

The choice is ultimately yours when looking into pop-up blocker extensions. Each one will present a different set of benefits and drawbacks, and the best fit for you will depend on what your needs are.

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About the author

Photo of Erik Fullmer

Erik Fullmer

Erik was raised in many places but has long since called Utah home. Rooted in mountains, he spends a lot of time with his dogs in the mountains and in the winter he skis… a lot.

Erik is actively earning the necessary certifications and training to become a certified AMGA Ski Guide.

With over a decade of content writing experience, Erik finds passion when writing for the tech and outdoor recreation industries.