Web advertisements can contain annoying or unsuitable content. We explain how to select and use the best advert-blocking tools
Online adverts can be intrusive. They pile up, slow your web browser to a crawl and some can be unsuitable for children.
Fortunately, most web browsers include simple advert blockers.
We will explain how to get the best from the advert tools in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera, and how to use free tools and add-ons to remove any adverts that detract from your web browsing.
Types of online adverts The first step to getting rid of adverts is knowing about the different types. Pop-ups, where the advert appears in a new window on top of the page you are trying to view, are the most obvious and obtrusive adverts and the ones that most of us want to remove.
Other types include standard web adverts, often known as banner and tower adverts. These are pictures inserted into a web page, and most are simple to ignore, but they can be blocked if you wish.
Other adverts use a technology called Flash. This was designed to make animations on websites, and is also used to show the videos on the BBC iPlayer and Computeractive TV.
If an advert flies out or across the page then it’s probably using Flash.
A newer type of advert pops up whenever you move your mouse cursor over particular words.
Using a modern web browser is key to blocking adverts and, for Internet Explorer users, ensuring the latest Windows updates are installed is important too.
The instructions in this article are for the most common recent versions of each browser.
Explore pop-up options Although Internet Explorer 8 is now available, most people are still using version 7 (IE7). To check pop-ups are being blocked in IE7 click Tools and then Pop-up Blocker.
If the option marked ‘Turn On Pop-up Blocker’ is deselected, select it. By selecting Pop-up Blocking Settings in this menu you can make the Blocker more defensive.