Adding Pop-Up Blocker Exceptions via GPO

by Chris Sanders [Published on 22 Dec. 2005 / Last Updated on 22 Dec. 2005]

Occasionally there are sites that we as domain administrators need to allow pop-ups for across the board. This tip shows how to do this with Group Policy.

We recently began using a new web based information warehousing application that utilized a large quantity of pop-ups to display particular units of information. As you can imagine, the calls came pouring in regarding how several buttons produced no visible data to the user. Further investigation led to show that the reason for this was because the Internet Explorer pop-up blocker was catching these windows. Luckily our friends at Microsoft provide an excellent GPO setting to allow pop-ups for this website in all computers in the domain.

To get this setup follow these steps:

  1. Open your preferred GPO editor and create a new GPO.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer
  3. Double click on the item named "Pop-Up Allow List"
  4. Enable the GPO
  5. Click "Show" to show a list of allowed sites
  6. Click "Add" to add a new site to the list.
  7. Accept all of your changes and apply the GPO.
Remember when entering in allowed sites that only the domain name is allowed, so will work, but not Wildcards are allowed as well, so * is also valid.

One last important note is that when this GPO item is enabled it will override all user settings and not allow them to change or view the permanently allowed site list from the pop-up blocker options in Internet Explorer. They will still be able to temporarily allow pop-ups from sites, just not to add them permanently.

See Also

The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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