To effectively block pop-ups, first you must understand where pop-ups come from. Originally, pop-ups only occurred when users navigated to websites that contained instructions to make the pop-up window "pop-up." Now, it is much more common (and annoying) that pop-ups are generated randomly by software that you are most likely not aware is installed on your computer, this software is called "spyware" or "malware" but even some legitimate applications like AOL Instant Messenger spawn pop-ups.
Steps you can take:
- Read the End User License Agreements (EULAs) before installing applications
- Download with caution and discretion
- Try another browser, such as, Mozilla Firefox
- Run a Spyware removal application, such as, Microsoft's Anti-Spyware
- Keep your version of Windows up-to-date, with Windows Update
Other useful tools (that have free pop-up blockers):