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Pop-up ads or popups are a form of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to increase web traffic or capture email addresses. It works when certain web sites open a new web browser window to display advertisements. The pop-up window containing an advertisement is usually generated by JavaScript, but can be generated by other means as well.

A variation on the pop-up window is the pop-under advertisement, which opens a new browser window hidden under the active window. Pop-unders do not interrupt the user immediately and are not seen until the covering window is closed, making it more difficult to determine which web site opened them.

Pop-unders can be extremely annoying for people who are used to leaving several tabs prepared for another session, as unnoticed pop-unders will be considered by the browser as the last open window. This will cause the browser to open the ad at the next start, instead of the prepared tabs.

Opera was the first major browser to incorporate tools to block pop-up ads; the Mozilla browser later improved on this by blocking only pop-ups generated as the page loads. In the early 2000s, all major web browsers except Internet Explorer allowed the user to block unwanted pop-ups almost completely. In 2004, Microsoft released Windows XP SP2, which added pop-up blocking to Internet Explorer.

Other common forms of website advertising include banner ads, slider ads and hover over ads. To clean up your machine from nasty pop up ads and to block you getting them again use this free scanner.

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