How to allow pop ups on a Mac

Do you need pop-ups on your Mac? Here's how to enable them

There are plenty of reasons to enable website pop-ups, from making sure tricky functions work properly (including professional and school services) to simply wanting to see everything a trusted website has to offer.

It can be annoying when you’re looking for a pop-up window and your browser has quietly blocked it, so let’s talk about how to allow pop-ups on a Mac for popular browser options.

Enable pop-ups on Safari

Safari pop-up settings on a Mac

The default browser on your Mac makes managing pop-ups very simple. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: While active in a Safari window, head to the upper left corner of your Mac and select Safari, then select Preferences.

Step 2: Click the Websites tab at the top, then click the Pop-up Windows entry in the left-hand column.

Step 3: You now have a couple of choices. To enable pop-ups on a specific website, click the drop-down box next to that website’s name in the main window and click Allow. If you want to allow pop-ups on all websites, go to the When visiting other websites section at the bottom of the preference pane, click the drop-down box, then click Allow.

Finally, when Safari actively blocks a pop-up, a little notification will appear in the address bar of your browser window to let you know it happened. If you need this pop-up to enable a feature then you can quickly retrieve it. Just click on the notification and Safari will give you an option to view the pop-up. It’s not a great way to manage pop-ups in general, but it is useful if you occasionally view a pop-up but don’t want to change any of your settings permanently.

Enable pop-ups on Firefox

Firefox Popups

Firefox is also a very common browser choice for Mac users, especially since it got its Quantum revamp. So if you use Firefox, let’s talk about how to enable pop-ups there as well.

Step 1: While in a Firefox window, select Firefox in the top-left corner, then click Preferences.

Step 2: Look for the Privacy & Security option on the left-hand side and click it, then look for a section called Permissions. You should see a heading called Block pop-up windows with a check box beside. Un-check this box to allow pop-ups on all websites.

Firefox Allow Popups

Step 3: You may not want to turn all pop-ups on, especially on more questionable or annoying websites. As an alternative, you can choose to click on Exceptions instead. This will open a new window where you can input a specific site where pop-up windows will be allowed. Copy the right address from address bar (head to the home page of the site to help make this applies to the entire website you are on), and paste it into the Exceptions address form, then select Allow. You can add as many websites as you want to your exceptions, and remove them as needed when you are done.

Enable pop-ups on Chrome

A lot of Mac users also like hopping aboard the Chrome browser, so let’s look at how Chrome manages pop-ups and what you can do about them (check out a more in-depth guide here to learn the details):

Chrome Popup Management

Step 1: Open up a Chrome browser window, click Chrome in the menu bar, then select Preferences. This will open a new tab with settings options: Scroll to the very bottom of this window and select Advanced to continue.

Step 2: Advanced will open up another section called Privacy and security, which you should see immediately. In this section, look for a section called Site settings and click it.

Step 3: This will open up yet another section, which should have an entry called Pop-ups and redirects. Select it and it will take you to a new window where you will see an option to switch between Blocked (recommended) and Allowed. Switch to Allowed to allow all pop-ups.

Chrome Popups Allowed

Step 4: This section also has an option called Allow where you can list individual sites that you want to allow pop-ups from. This will work well if you have another list of allowed sites that you can copy and paste into Chrome and save.

Step 5: You also have an option to automatically allow pop-ups from any site you visit on Chrome. When a page in Chrome blocks pop-ups you will see a small icon in the address bar called Pop up blocked, which looks like a window with an X on it. You can click this icon to allow the pop-up or choose to allow pop-ups from that particular site.

What about third-party apps?

Chrome Web Store

You may also use third-party, ad-blocking apps like Adblock Plus to get rid of ads and pop-ups. These apps typically create a little icon on your browser toolbar that show you how many ads are being blocked.

You may need to enable pop-up windows on these apps as well (they try to identify innocent pop-ups, but it doesn’t always work), so when you come to a site where you need pop-ups, click on the AdBlock icon and look for a way to add the site to your own whitelist or disable the block for that specific site. Most ad-blocking apps should allow you to do this: It’s an important step that you don’t want to forget.

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