This is the situation: I've been browsing the web for an hour in pursuit of some bit of technical information and have visited several dozen websites that I don't even remember anymore. I've finally found what I need so I start closing the web browser, only to discover that — aaargh! — there's a popup ad hiding underneath!

My blood boils. What insidious website is responsible for this circumvention of my browser's popup blocker? I want to make it pay for its crime. I'll write angry emails. Leave bad reviews. Even block it from my Google search results — yes, that'll show it!

But I've reached an impediment. The offending site has already been closed.

Is it too late to deduce the advertisement's origin? Or can I somehow un-pop the popup?


  • I'm asking about the case in which I have not been taking unusual preemptive actions. Watching my past browsing activity by any means that isn't operative by default is not an option.
  • Here's a test page. With only the popup left on your screen, can you deduce that it was caused by visiting PasteHTML?
  • Out of curiosity, I tried using Collusion to track my test popup. It didn't show any relationship between the popup and its origin:

    Popup advertisement visualized by Collusion for Chrome

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    On behalf of everyone else who uses the internet - THANKS! – David Oneill May 11 '12 at 13:35

You don't mention which browser you're using.

In Firefox, click on History->Recently Closed Tabs, and just re-open one after another until your popup ... well, pops up.

  • 1
    I did tag the question with it, but I suppose that doesn't make it obvious if you're accustomed to other sites that just use tags redundantly for categorization. Still, I'm using the default web browser, and — just like what you did regarding my browsing history settings — if I don't say otherwise, it should be safe to assume I'm using the default. – ændrük May 11 '12 at 13:17
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    Yeah, still pretty new here. Was dredging around looking for something about my cdr and decided to contribute. – Matt Barnes May 11 '12 at 15:31

I wouldn't bother myself.

I use FirefoxAdKiller (a Firefox add-on), and those occasional ads or pop-ups that I let past NoScript (an even better Firefox add-on) can be 'permanently banished' .. no image, no text, ever again ..

Good Luck.

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    My goal is not to silently prevent the popup from appearing again. I want to 1) inform the creator of the offending site about the detrimental effect that inappropriately aggressive advertising has on its users, and 2) inform other potential users about the unscrupulous practices of the site. – ændrük May 11 '12 at 13:24
  • I applaud your intent. Don't know if you will achieve much .. – david6 May 12 '12 at 2:10

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