Disable Google Search's page preview feature

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 25, 2012
Google, userscripts

Google for some time now displays page preview options on Google Search that users of the search engine can make use of to look at a sample screenshot of web pages that are linked in the search results. While some Google users may like the feature, as it provides them with a preview of what they can expect, other's may find it irritating since it can be triggered accidentally by moving the mouse cursor over the preview icon.

The core benefit of previews showing up in Google Search is that you can often use the screenshots to determine a website's quality without visiting it. Sometimes you may see a parked page that does not offer the contents anymore that you are looking for, at other times a low quality site with little actual contents and lots of ads.

If you do not like the page preview feature on Google Search at all, you can install third party scripts to disable it. The userscript Disable Google Page Preview works well in the Firefox web browser with Greasemonkey installed, and not in Chrome where I tested it as well. To install it in the Firefox browser install the Greasemonkey add-on first. You need to restart the browser before it is fully installed. Once done, visit the page of the userscript linked above and click on the install button on it to trigger the installation.

A popup is displayed that highlights the websites the script will run on. Once you have completed the installation you will notice that the page preview icon does not appear anymore on Google Search when you hover the mouse over a search results link.

google search disable page previews

Please note that you will also disable access to the cached link that is displayed when you open page previews. Webmasters and users who need access to that do not really have another choice but to keep the page previews option enabled on their systems, or use a different browser whenever they need to access cached website contents.

The userscript works on the main google.com website but also on localized versions of the search engine and for http and https connections.


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  1. marius t said on December 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I have always used “Hide google instant previews” script!

  2. Nico said on December 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Martin, if you want the “cache” link as well, a better option is to install the “Resurrect Google Cache & Related links” script (hides the previews too)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 26, 2012 at 1:25 am

      Thanks for the link, will take a look.

  3. Nebulus said on December 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    @Ken Saunders: “Cached” link is available above the page preview, it is not a link in the search results anymore.
    For me, it is simple: I use a combination of AdBlock and NoScript addons to disable scripting for all Google sites. However, I have a separate profile in Firefox, specifically made for accessing Google services, and I can see page previews and Cached pages using it.

  4. Ken Saunders said on December 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I tested this lightly, but this works too for those that don’t use Greasemonkey

    @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
    @-moz-document domain(“google.com”) {
    .vspib {
    display: none!important;

    I’m not sure why, but the Cached link isn’t visible for me. Even before writing the userstyle.

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