How to migrate from Adblock Plus to uBlock Origin

If you want to migrate from the content blocker Adblock Plus to uBlock Origin, you may be able to do so in mere seconds depending on whether you have added custom rules to Adblock Plus or not.

I don't want to get into reasons for migration away from Adblock Plus. Some users prefer the extension over others, but it is undeniable that uBlock Origin is a very popular extension as well.

There are two main use cases when it comes to migrating from Adblock Plus to uBlock Origin:

  1. Custom filters are used in Adblock Plus.
  2. Custom filters are not used, but some changes may have been made, for instance to the subscription listing.

Please note that migrating works in all browsers, even across different browsers. The best use case for the migration is obviously if you just use vanilla Adblock Plus without any modifications whatsoever.

How to migrate from Adblock Plus to uBlock Origin

The second use case allows for a straightforward migration that won't take longer than a minute to complete in best case.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Install uBlock Origin in the browser in which Adblock Plus is installed. It is not recommended to run both content blockers at the same time normally, but doing so makes it easier to migrate.

Step 2: Open the Adblock Plus Settings, and check the filter lists. Are you subscribed to additional lists?

adblock plus filter lists

Step 3: If so, keep the page open, and open the uBlock Origin settings and go to the 3rd-party filters tab. If you see the lists there, check it if it is not checked already to subscribe to it.

Read also:  Remove Firefox address bar whitespace

ublock filters

Step 4: If the list is not listed by default, go back to the Adblock Plus settings and open the source of those lists. In Firefox, you'd click on the cogwheel icon next to the list, and select source for instance.

adblock plus sources

Step 5: The source is a URL that you then copy and paste on uBlock Origin's custom listing on the 3rd-party filters tab.

ublock custom filters

Step 6: Open whitelisted websites afterwards in the Adblock Plus settings. These sites are allowed to run advertisement.

whitelisted sites adblock

Step 7: Copy any URL you see listed there, open the Whitelist tab of the uBlock Origin settings, and paste the selection in the text field there.

whitelist ublock

That's all there is to it. You have migrated to uBlock Origin. You can disable Adblock Plus for now, and start using the new content blocker.

The process requires another step if you have added custom filters to Adblock Plus. Custom filters are rules created by users of the software, usually for sites, services and elements that are not blocked by the subscribed rule sets.

Step 1: Open your filter list in Adblock Plus, and copy all filters

migrate custom rules adblock-plus-ublock origin

Step 2: Open the My Filters listing of the uBlock Origin settings. Paste the filter list entries from Adblock Plus in the field.

ublock origin import filters

 

Summary
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How to migrate from Adblock Plus to uBlock Origin
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Find out how to migrate from the content blocker Adblock Plus to the content blocker uBlock Origin in any browser that is supported.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to How to migrate from Adblock Plus to uBlock Origin

  1. Dave November 9, 2017 at 4:56 am #

    Why?

    Really, why? What is everyone's problem with Adblock Plus suddenly? The only problem I ever have is pages blocking me because I use an adblocker. Fine by me, I never visit those sites again.

    I'm curious. I keep seeing all this talk about uBlock Origin so I tried it about a month ago.

    I saw ads. Ads in places I've never seen them while using Adblock Plus.

    So WTF gives?

    • RN November 9, 2017 at 5:29 am #

      Good point up to the recent Adblock Plus 3.0 where the context menu no longer has "Open blockable items", "Disable on ..." variants, and the hook into Element Hiding Helper. The ABP forums are full of unhappy users and the only answer is to rollback to v2.9. The devs say it is due to the change in FF's extension policy. I plan on sticking with Waterfox and 2.9 until something better comes along. Element Hiding Helper is far better than uBlock's equivalent or the current v3.0 element selector and the sortable blockable items list is also essential. The suggested v3.0 workarounds are clumsy.

    • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 6:29 am #

      "The only problem I ever have is pages blocking me because I use an adblocker."

      With uBlock Origin no problem making rules to bypass that kind of behavior.

      • Purist November 9, 2017 at 6:59 am #

        Well it's fair if the site blocked me because I'm using adblocker. The one who bypassed it is the dishonest one. If you don't want to allow ads, then don't visit their page.

      • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 7:42 am #

        Maybe "fair" but at their own risk:
        https://thestack.com/world/2016/04/21/sites-that-block-adblockers-seem-to-be-suffering/

      • www.com November 11, 2017 at 3:19 am #

        @Purist, if they don't want me visiting that page then they need to hide behind a paywall. Or get off the internet altogether.

        Injecting adware and tracking cookies into my browser is dishonest.

        Fortunately uBlock has ways around this.

    • Purist November 9, 2017 at 6:53 am #

      As RN said, the new ABP 3.0 is really bad, you can read the new reviews on their mozilla addon page.
      While many people threatened to move to uBlock, I don't want to do it because:

      1. It's allowing some ads like you said, even with the same Easylist filter
      2. Element Hiding Helper is super feature that uBlock doesn't have, it's very easy to use and it's not included in the new ABP

      I've been hearing that many people said uBlock is faster and ABP is slow but I've been using it since long time ago and I don't have performance problem like many people said.
      I only use the default Easylist and few custom rules, I dunno what's their problem maybe they have too much filters it made ABP slow?

      • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 8:20 am #

        "It's allowing some ads like you said, even with the same Easylist filter"
        As I am very curious about this affirmation, could please give us an example?

      • linuxfan November 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

        > 1. It's allowing some ads like you said, even with the same Easylist filter

        I've never noticed that. On the contrary, uB0 blocks even more as it has an extended filter syntax (and reads and translates the extended filter syntax of Adguard) which makes creating more powerful filters possible.

        > 2. Element Hiding Helper is super feature that uBlock doesn't have,

        That's utter nonsense. uB0 has the Element Picker which lets you create network and cosmetic filters (aka element hiding filters): https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Element-picker

        BTW: I've noticed that you are always talking about uBlock. But this is about uBlock Origin!

      • max November 9, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

        @linuxfan
        uBlocks Element Picker is a laughable replacement for ABP's EHH.
        Just compare the options with keyboard-shortcuts in EHH with the total lack of changing the selected element in EP.

    • John November 9, 2017 at 10:37 am #

      Exactly Dave. Some people are all hot and bothered due to ABP's acceptable ad program. They have apparently done deals with companies to show ads. I personally have zero problem with this as long they aren't pop ups or auto-play. Let's all attack ABP for expecting to be a profitable business.

      • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

        "They have apparently done deals with companies to show ads".

        Not just "apparently", "they have done deals", this is well known.

        "I personally have zero problem with this""..

        Imagine Easylist or another same kind of list, or malware lists etc doing the same. I' am sure that you personally will have bigs problems.

    • gorhill November 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

      > I saw ads. Ads in places I've never seen them while using Adblock Plus.

      Care to provide evidence, specifics? Usually those making that sort of claims are unwilling to provide specifics, or when they do, it is found they left out that they had custom filters or extra filter lists in ABP. Hopefully this will be different this time.

      Both uBO and ABP use EasyList, so they minimally behave the same if you leave out uBO's extended filtering syntax.

    • Brad November 10, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Because Adblock plus sold out several years ago and is allowing companies to white-list there adds past it's service just like the other Ublock does. Only "Ublock Origins" does not whitelis add's.

      You probably just installed it and didn't add any of your custom block lists that you've added over the years to Adblock which is apples to oranges at best.

  2. Chris November 9, 2017 at 7:26 am #

    uBlock Origin doesn't have groups for custom filters. ABP does. Overall, the ABP interface is much better.

    • Brad November 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

      Well that's patently false on both counts.

  3. Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 7:43 am #

    uBlock Origin coupled with uMatrix is the must IMO., particularly if you want to continue using Firefox stable.

  4. HK-Rapper November 9, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    All these pointless arguments.

    1) Try both addons
    2) Use what works better for yourself
    3) Enjoy life

    And I believe to some degree quite a few people configured one of them wrong and had a bad experience because of it.

    You can easily block too little or too much and fixing a broken site can be quite a mess.

  5. clas November 9, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    yes, just switched from abp to origin and a surprisingly nice difference. with abp, when downloading at several movie sites, i got many pop-unders from all sorts of porn and game sites. these were full new window pop-unders. after installing origin they completely stopped. i have no rules set at all. it did this right out of the box. am running firefox 26.5 and new waterfox, both portable and sandboxed.

  6. Dave November 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

    @Purist - The root problem is Firefox which is why is switched to the ESR channel. I'm happy to see the new versions of ABP and Stylish are backwards compatible.

    @HK-Rapper - These 'arguments' have value to me as they provide information I may not have had, which is why I asked the question.

    @clas - I strongly recommend you get the Tor browser to access those sites or at the very least install NoScript.

    Thanks everyone for the replies.

  7. linuxfan November 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    @max

    > uBlocks Element Picker is a laughable replacement for ABP's EHH.
    > Just compare the options with keyboard-shortcuts in EHH with the total lack of changing the selected element in EP.

    Not true. The Element Picker and the Logger offer everything that's needed. And created filters can be edited in the My Filters pane.

    What hasn't been mentioned at all are great functionalities in uB0 which simply do not exist in ABP at all, namely Dynamic Filtering (https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Dynamic-filtering) and Dynamic URL Filtering (https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Dynamic-URL-filtering) which demonstrate again that uB0 is superior.

  8. Anony November 9, 2017 at 9:32 pm #

    @Dave thank you for asking the question that came to my mind.

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