Block Animated Gifs With Gif Block For Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 22, 2012
Updated • Jun 27, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Animated Gifs are still popular on today's Internet, albeit for different purposes. Back in the beginning days of the public Internet, webmasters used them to add animated content to their websites. This soon died out when they realized that repeating ten second animates had a damaging effect to their website's reputation.

Today, animated gifs are mainly posted on social networking sites like Facebook or Google+, and messaging apps. Their biggest advantage over video is that they can be posted nearly everywhere. Videos on the other hand need to be embedded, and sites usually allow only some embed codes or even no external codes at all.

If you do not like animated gifs, you probably would like to block them right away on all sites you visit regularly. And that's exactly what the Firefox add-on Gif Block does.

Gif Block

The add-on places an icon in the browser's status bar that you can use to enable or disable gif images with. Just right-click the icon and select enable or disable to switch the state. Keep in mind though that this will block all gif images and not only animated gifs. If you visit websites regularly that post non-animated gif images, then this extension might not be for you as you would have to enable and disable the blocking regularly whenever you switch sites.

When enabled, gifs are not loaded at all. If you open the gif directly in Firefox, all you get is a blank screen starring back at you. On pages, where the gifs are posted in HTML files, you see a broken image marker instead.

block animated gifs

You can use these as indicators that gif images have been blocked. If you want to see them, simply disable the blocking of gif images in the status bar and reload the page. The gifs should now be displayed correctly on the page.

Gif Block is a useful extension for Internet users who do not want to come in contact with animated gifs. It can also have a positive effect on page loading speeds as animated gifs can have sizes upwards of one Megabyte.

Update: Firefox users can change the default animated gif behavior in the browser's configuration. All that needs to be done is to enter about:config in the address bar to open the browser's advanced configuration menu. Filter for image.animation_mode in there, double-click the preference and change it to one of the following values:

  • none — will prevent image animation
  • once — will let the image animate once
  • normal (default) — will allow it to play over and over

Thanks Dougle for the tip!

Update 2: Gif Block, while still available in the Mozilla Add-ons store, is no longer working in newer versions of the Firefox browser. Check out our new guide on blocking animated gifs in Firefox for options.

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  1. Michael L. said on November 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Dougle’s tip (in the Update) is exactly what I was looking for today. Works.

    That gif spinning/flashing/scrolling/chiron-ing is such a visual allergen! Tacky…

  2. Hamed said on May 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    image.animation_mode setting will download gif images :)

  3. joa13 said on February 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Jojo, thanks for good tip. :)

  4. Dougle said on February 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Just add:

    user_pref(“image.animation_mode”, “once”);

    Change “once” for:

    none — will prevent image animation
    once — will let the image animate once
    normal (default) — will allow it to play over and over

    To your user.js, or if you don’t use one, make the change in about:config.

    1. Jojo said on February 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Tried this before and it never worked for me.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Now that is awesome, thanks for posting.

  5. Jojo said on February 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Just push the Esc key on your keyboard to block animated GIF’s.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Good tip Jojo. It works best though if you come upon animated gifs occasionally. If you are on a forum with some on nearly page, you might prefer an automated solution after all.

  6. joa13 said on February 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I installed this plugin in CometBird and it not working. CometBird it is my internet browser to test extensions for Firefox.

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