uBlock Origin: how to remove any element from a page permanently

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 21, 2017
Updated • Feb 21, 2017

The following guide explains in simple terms how to remove any element on any web page permanently using the browser extension uBlock Origin.

Ublock Origin is a content blocker that works really well out of the box. It supports lists that you can subscribe to, to improve the blocking of certain types of annoyances on the Internet (e.g. social media plugins, malware domains, trackers), options to whitelist sites to support them or make them work, a custom filter list, and an element picker that you may use to remove elements permanently from pages.

While uBlock Origin works well out of the box, you will get the most out of the extension if you know about the features that it offers besides that.

This article looks at the extension's Element Picker feature. It can be used to hide elements permanently on pages that the default set of rules do not block.

Side note: Most browsers enable you to block page elements temporarily.

Note that uBlock Origin is available for several web browsers including Firefox and Chrome. To the best of my knowledge, all support the Element Picker functionality.

Blocking elements on web pages permanently using uBlock Origin

The first thing that you need is uBlock Origin (doh). Visit the extension's GitHub page, and either download the extension from it directly, or follow the links on the main page instead to the add-on repositories for Firefox and Chrome.

You may use the feature of uBlock Origin to hide YouTube comments, recommendations, suggestions, or any other element on a page that you don't need, find distracting, or find annoying.

Hiding elements on pages permanently using uBlock is a two-step process.

Step 1: Selecting the element that you want to block

You have two options to invoke the blocking functionality of uBlock Origin. You may either right-click on any element in the browser and select the "block element" option from the context menu.

Once you select the option, the element right underneath the mouse cursor is highlighted in red, while the remainder of the page is darkened.

block page element

You may adjust the selection by moving the mouse cursor and clicking once elsewhere. This enables element picking mode which highlights the element the mouse is on at any point in time.

So, if the action did not pick the right element right away, you need to click once, and move the mouse around until it gets it right.

Click again to lock the selection. The extension's element picker mode uses two different icons that indicate its status.

The stop button indicates that an element has been locked. You will notice that elements are not selected anymore when you move the mouse. The selection icon on the other hand is easy enough to spot as it selects elements the mouse cursor hovers over.

Step 2: adding the new rule

Now that you have made a selection, it is time to add the rule to uBlock Origin so that the selected element is removed from the page.

This step can be a bit confusing, as there is no real indication what to do at this point. You need to move the mouse cursor to the lower right of the browser window once you have locked an item to reveal the semi-transparent rule creator.

Take a look at the screenshot above to see where it is located on a page.

A click on preview removes the selected element temporarily so that you see how the page looks like without it.

Click create to add the rule to uBlock Origin. If you do that, the selected element is removed from the page. It stays hidden even if you reload the page.

Note: some sites use dynamic identifiers for some elements on their sites. This may result in you blocking the element on one page, but not on any other page of the site. The only option you have in this case is to find a common denominator and block that instead. It is usually best to use the built-in developer tools for that to go through the page source.

Removing filters again

Now that you have set some filters, you may at one point in time want to remove filters again. You do that by right-clicking on the uBlock Origin icon in the browser and selecting the options link.

Switch to "my filters on the page that opens. There you find listed all custom filters that you have added earlier or imported.

You need to remove all lines of a filter. This is rather easy to do as filters are always separated by a space, so that you know where filters begin and end.

Select apply changes afterwards to save the selection again.

Closing Words

The browser extension uBlock Origin makes it super easy to block content on web pages you visit. All it takes is a couple of clicks, and sometimes some manual adjusting, to block elements permanently.

Now you: do you use custom blocking rules for sites?

uBlock Origin: how to remove any element from a page permanently
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uBlock Origin: how to remove any element from a page permanently
The following guide explains in simple terms how to remove any element on any web page permanently using the browser extension uBlock Origin.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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