Firefox trick du jour: Blocking popups from plugins

Here’s a neat trick. Firefox has outstanding popup blocking in by default. I’m always amazed watching IE users as they close popup after popup, and take it in stride as ‘normal’.
Recently Firefox has started showing popups. The clever (?) ad writers are now writing their annoying functions in plugin-based languages, such as shockwave and flash. The page runs a flash program, which generates a popup. A popup blocker in HTML misses this, and you suddenly have a blinking bouncing button on your screen. Ew.
To tell Firefox not to allow popups from plugins, do the following:

  1. Type ‘about:config’ in your tool bar
  2. Right click anywhere, and select “New->Integer”
  3. Type in: privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins
  4. Set the value to ‘2’

Voila! The fellow who showed me this simply said “Hey, not my trick.” 🙂

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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8 thoughts on “Firefox trick du jour: Blocking popups from plugins

  1. Oo, that looks handy. I may use that (it has an awful lot of ‘known bugs’ entries… Hmm 🙂 – mostly it’d be nice to block flash animations that are just CPU-sucking nightmares. An idle page in one of my firefox windows (and I may have 20+ of them open at once – in various tabs), can really slow down the machine 🙁
    Thanks for the pointer!

  2. The only problem I’d foresee with that is it would be difficult to single out any times you _do_ want to allow a popup from a plugin. Which is to say, is there any granularity to it?

  3. Which is to say, is there any granularity to it?
    There isn’t in this one (though Cathy’s pointer above is a little smarter). But I can’t for the life of me think of when I’d want a plugin to pop up an external window. All the flash games and other toys I’ve tinkered with have used embedded windows, which are fine.

  4. mostly it’d be nice to block flash animations that are just CPU-sucking nightmares.
    Indeed. That’s exactly why I installed it. =) I don’t want to completely disable Flash support in my browser, but I also don’t want to see every Flash-based ad in existence.

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