I don't want to sign up for any newsletter
August 9, 2018 7:59 AM   Subscribe

You know those little popups/notices/overlays on some websites? Usually they ask you if you'd like to sign up for a newsletter, and then you can click "X" or "close" if you don't want to. I want to make them go away forever.

I'm running Chrome on OS X. I already have popup windows disabled, notifications blocked, and AdBlockerPlus running.

What is this kind of popup called, and how do I make it go away?
posted by danceswithlight to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure this would solve it, but go into your settings for AdBlockerPlus and make sure you're blocking everything. The app lets websites pay to have (some of) their ads whitelisted and not blocked. The default settings allow the whitelist, but you can turn this off. It might get rid of some of them.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:04 AM on August 9, 2018

Disabling JavaScript might do it but it will cripple a lot of other functionality on the website as well.
posted by like_neon at 8:09 AM on August 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have Ad Block Plus running at its most aggressive settings and it does not work on this.You can disable more of them by running a special filter which is described here, you can also block them on a page by page basis if, say, this is ten pages you visit multiple times and not 1000 pages you might visit once or twice each. I just added Fanboy's Annoyances list (by clicking a few times not doing anything dramatic) and I'l let you know how it goes.
posted by jessamyn at 8:16 AM on August 9, 2018

Jessamyn, isn't the "special filter" (option 1 of the top answer on the page you linked) basically the same as blocking them on a page by page basis?

And I already have Fanboy's Annoyances list enabled - it doesn't do anything.
posted by danceswithlight at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2018

It doesn't prevent them from popping up, but I use this Kill Sticky bookmarklet as a knee-jerk way to clear the damn things out without having to engage with them. It's mildly satisfying to imagine them squealing in outrage as I refuse to look at them even so much as to find their individual Close button.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:29 AM on August 9, 2018 [9 favorites]

Argh you're right, sorry about that.
posted by jessamyn at 9:36 AM on August 9, 2018

They are called modal/lightbox/overlay windows, and aren't (necessarily) "separate" pages, just content that is positioned "on top" of everything else with CSS/JS.

like_neon has the only fool-proof way to prevent them (by disabling JS). I'm sure there are extensions or GreaseMonkey scripts to try to mitigate them, but since there are a multitude of ways to generate them, I doubt there is anything 100% effective.

Also consider that some legitimate content (consent for EU laws around cookies, logins, etc.) may use them, so globally blocking them may not be ideal.

That said, I use uMatrix to block all 3rd party content by default, and while that sometimes needs some fiddling to get sites working correctly, it helps general web use a ton. Occasionally, the modal opens but with no other content than the X to close it (if it's 3rd party content). Also, you "leak" less tracking data which may be more important to you than the annoyance of having to dismiss modals.

Last tip, for many modal/lightbox/overlays, simply pressing the Escape key on your keyboard makes them go away. If the site has disabled that, then perhaps it isn't a good place to be in the first place. :)
posted by hankscorpio83 at 12:05 PM on August 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

This won't get rid of them today but may help in the future:
Mozilla is experimenting with a popup blocker to dismiss them automatically, and are curating a dataset for it. This extension provides an easy way to report pages that show pop-ups like this.

Firefox extension

Chrome extension
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:25 PM on August 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Behind the Overlay: Firefox, Chrome. Not automatic, but one-click and with a keyboard shortcut.
posted by WCityMike at 5:09 PM on August 9, 2018

So far, WCityMike's suggestion of Behind the Overlay is excellent. Don't even have to look at the thing. The keyboard shortcut can be customized too.

Here's hoping that browsers develop an automatic overlay blocker soon.
posted by danceswithlight at 9:48 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you WCityMike!
posted by JimN2TAW at 2:40 PM on August 29, 2018

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