Im sure this is a simple one and I have just changed a setting on AI but for a week now PNGs won't come across without a white square background?
Any one have any ideas?
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PNG files are suitable for wide usage and support transparency. In other words, they can be transparent or not. If the png file is not transparent, you should download it and remove its background in Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint before you put it into AI. You can use all available tools for selecting and erasing as soon as you have converted the image to a layer, not the background.
Your second option: Once you copied the png file directly to AI, draw a clipping mask that hides the background and other unwanted areas. You can edit the nodes of the drawn mask perfect before you apply it.