Remove popup overlays on websites with Overlay Blocker for Chrome

So-called overlay popups are a form of advertising on the Internet that many users find highly annoying. These ads pop up on the same site you are on on top of the page's content unlike regular popups, which are launched in a separate window in front or back of the browser window.

Not only are those ads displayed on top of content, it is often also the case that the rest of the page is dimmed to put the full focus on them.

Overlay ads on legitimate sites display a close option, usually an x icon that you can click on to close it to access the underlying content.

Some implementations support clicks anywhere outside the overlay to remove it from the screen.

Some sites on the other hand display overlays that are not as easily removed. The close icon may be hidden or moved to a position where it cannot be identified easily. At other times, they may launch several overlays at once and display multiple close buttons to confuse users and get them to click on the ads displayed on the screen.

Note: We have removed the link to Overlay Blocker, and suggest you check out Behind the Overlay instead linked below. The reason for removing the other extension is that it is limited in the free version, and because there is a better alternative available.

popup overlay ad

The Google Chrome extension Overlay Blocker offers a solution for these kind of overlay ads. It adds an option to the browser's right-click context menu to close all overlay ads on the page.



It needs to be noted that it works only when overlay advertisement is displayed on a site and that similar forms of advertisement such as interstitial pages are not supported by it.

Read also:  NooBoss for Chrome: excellent extension management

Whenever you encounter an overlay advertisement on a site you can use Overlay Blocker to get rid of it even if it does not display a close icon prominently or at all on the screen. In fact, activating the extension will get rid of all overlays currently visible on the screen.

Update: The team behind the extension has updated Overlay Blocker. First, overlays are now blocked automatically when they encountered which takes care of the -- rather annoying -- need to activate the extension whenever you encounter overlays. This way it is truly automated and more useful. Also, the extension is no longer collecting anonymous use stats.

The caveat is that it is now divided into a free and paid plans. The free plan is only good for a number of blocks. Paid plans start at $4.99 per month or $19 per year and allow for unlimited blocks. End

A comparable extension is BehindTheOverlay. It is also available for Chrome and supports clicks to get rid of ads but also keyboard shortcuts.

To use it press Ctrl-Shift-x and the overlay ad will be removed from the page automatically.

Closing Words

Overlay Blocker and BehindTheOverlay are not automated solutions but they are the next best thing. A whitelist option with automatic removal of overlays on all other sites would be the next step though as it would makes things more comfortable for Internet users.

Now You: Which ads do you dislike the most?

Summary
Article Name
Remove popup overlays on websites with Overlay Blocker for Chrome
Description
Review of the Google Chrome extension Overlay Blocker which enables users of the browser to hide popup overlay advertisement on websites.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Remove popup overlays on websites with Overlay Blocker for Chrome

  1. Guilherme December 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    what's the option for firefox, please?

    • Martin Brinkmann December 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

      BehindTheOverlay is also available for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/behind_the_overlay/

      • intelligencia December 13, 2014 at 5:54 am #

        Mr. Brinkmann!

        THANK YOU so much for the link to Behind The Overlay (for Mozilla Firefox)!
        It is really the Bomb (in a good way).
        I am now using it in conjunction with AdBlock Edge and Bluhell Firewall . . . and What a Combination:
        I now find that websites are loading faster and for the real test: I went to the Online newspaper for my hometown (several times) and this is the first that I am actually able to scroll up and down a page without it having to stammer; pause and wait for movement! In other words, its website pages no longer freeze up especially when I open multiple windows!
        It really looks like Smooth Sailing from here on in (Literally).

        Again, My BIG Thanks!

        i

  2. Dwight Stegall December 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    When I was using Firefox I used to install Web Developers Toolbar. When I came to a site that used those I disabled JavaScript and reloaded the page. But after that you must enable it or it will stay disabled everywhere you go.

  3. BKV December 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Adblock + NoScript + Stylish

  4. Tom Hawack December 12, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Adblock + Stylish + Policeman Firefox add-on (similar to RequestPolicy & NoScript combined, more powerful than the former, not as developed as the latter) remove (or avoid them being loaded) the vast majority of this kind of parasite, even if sometimes legitimate for example a bank warning of phishing attempts.

    These popup overlays are sooooo... annoying that I cannot imagine they be productive in any way.

  5. Xmetalfanx December 12, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    +1 to Adblock Edge + Noscript + Policeman (which I have to note I found Policeman from a Quidsup (Youtuber) video ... very good addon (Policeman) though it takes some configuring ... something I hope they have (since I use Firefox on many different Operating Systems) is an Import/Export feature for customizations.

    I do have to note that the "configuring" is nothing really more than what you would do with Noscript or RequestPolicy ... just ANOTHER option for people to use

    -Xmetal

  6. Y.D December 12, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Does this include the sites that force you to complete a "survey" to access their content ?

    • Martin Brinkmann December 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      I don't think that it does as these sites do protect contents so that it is not enough to simply remove the overlay.

      • Y.D December 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

        Thank you. I will keep this tool in mind nonetheless

  7. Evgeniy December 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Oh! I started using Overlay Blocker several days ago and was surprised to find its description here. I like it. Firstly I was using NehindTheOverlay but then I prefered Overlay Blocker. Why? OB does not put an icon into my toolbar, currently there are enough icons. The right-click context menu is more convinient for me.

  8. Robert December 14, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    Thanks! I don't like the popup sites at all, in fact I don't have any among my favourites. So, I need to find one to test the addon, anyone can tell me one?

    • Robert December 14, 2014 at 1:16 am #

      Ok, I've found this site for testing: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/work/adolescent.html
      But using Behind The Overlay for Firefox I have to click the icon each time instead of the X, I don't see any advantage. It would be interesting if we could add that site to a list (as in ABP) and never see the popup again.

      • Overlay Blocker Team January 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

        Hi Robert,
        Thank you very much for testing and a writing review on Overlay Blocker. We were surprised to find your exhaustive post.

        Yesterday, January 5th we rolled out the update. Now you can enable an icon in the Chrome Omnibox to close overlay popups instantly in one click. Also you can enable keybord shortcut CTRL+Shift+K. So meeting any overlay popup close it clicking the icon or pressing the shortcut.

        As for collecting data, so we collect anonymous data as any web service provider. This information allows us to improve our service. And we collect anonymous data only, not personal. We do not track someone's personal web activity. We respect user's privacy.

        Have a better time surfing the web!
        Overlay Blocker Team

  9. Musa December 14, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    Thank you for such a nice post. Can you tell me how can I block such pop ups on Safari?

  10. Jonny December 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    From the description:
    "Note: By downloading the Overlay Blocker extension for Google Chrome you join a global panel of users helping us to measure and rank the web. This makes you part of an exciting and ambitious project to improve and expand the world’s knowledge of internet trends. To achieve this, we collect some anonymous data such us browsing patterns, trend statistics and how our features are used. Your browser will talk to our servers and help us improve our technology. You can find more details in our privacy policy."

    • Martin Brinkmann December 14, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      Interesting, did not spot that when I reviewed the extension. Will update description.

    • Rick December 15, 2014 at 2:50 am #

      http://addons-privacy.com/

      Yeppers - a nasty piece of work. It's not the first addon that I've seen that uses the exact privacy policy link.

      Highlights include:

      Our addon may use third-party advertising companies in order to serve advertisements. Such parties may use cookies placed on your computer in order to a adjust the advertisements presented on Our addon. (ie. you will be getting ads very soon!)

      We do not offer our products or services for use by children. If you are under 18, you may not use the Extension or our Products without involvement of a parent or a guardian. We do not knowingly collect information from, and/or about children. (ie; those ads can be adult in nature)

      Our addon performs regular checks for product updates on our servers and may download such updates when needed. (ie: we can change the coding to pretty much do anything without your approval)

      I wouldn't touch this adware!

    • Overlay Blocker Team January 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Johnny,

      We collect anonymous data as any web service provider. We use this information to improve our services. And we collect anonymous data only, not personal. We do not track someone's personal web activity. We respect user's privacy.

      Have a better time surfing the web!
      Overlay Blocker Team

  11. Evgeniy January 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Overlay Blocker gets updated. Now keybord shortcut [CTRL+Shift+K] and icon in Chrome omnibox can be enabled.

  12. Scott October 1, 2016 at 5:42 am #

    Overlay Blocker DOES NOT state that its a trial, good only for 9 tries after which it pesters you to upgrade - for a sum of course.
    I HATE BAIT-AND-SWITCH THINGS LIKE THESE.
    WHAT A PIECE OF S***

    • Martin Brinkmann October 1, 2016 at 7:35 am #

      Scott thanks for letting me know. I have updated the article to reflect this.

  13. Aaron May 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    Cute... Pop-up blocker that immediately displays a POP-UP to extort money from you before you even have a chance to see the extension in action. Closed window and checked extension and it offered a number of blocks before payment. Sleazy, there is NO FREE version as this website still states only trial version. Immediately uninstalled. I actually prefer to pay for software vs seeing ads but not this one.

    • Martin Brinkmann May 28, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

      Aaron, thanks for letting me know. I have removed the extension link from the article. Have you tried BehindTheOverlay? It is free and works well.

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