How to turn off favicons in Google search results
January 16, 2020 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Recently, it appears that Google has started showing "favicons" next to every single search result, completely cluttering the results pages. Has anyone discovered a way to turn this off, or developed a browser extension (or similar) that will do so?

(FWIW, this piece argues that Google did this not to improve the appearance of its results but in fact to make them worse so that AdWords would blend in more.)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah, I blocked those last night with a uBlock Origin rule like ##.xA33Gc (the class ID for the favicon) or something like that. They seemed really loud to me too.
posted by Wobbuffet at 1:52 PM on January 16


I blocked those last night with a uBlock Origin rule like ##.xA33Gc (the class ID for the favicon) or something like that

Can you elaborate on how to set this up?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 2:29 PM on January 16


If you are using uBlock origin, you can right click on the favicon and pick "Block this element" from the contextual menu. This will open up a weird little box on the side of your browser with some code in it.Clean out that code, enter

## .TbwUpd
## .mn-dwn-arw

and then hit the orange Create button. That will block the URL, the favicon and the little down arrow that points to whether the page you are going to click on is cached or not. If you want to leave the little down arrow, delete the second line before you hit Create.
posted by jessamyn at 2:35 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I blocked those last night with a uBlock Origin rule like ##.xA33Gc (the class ID for the favicon) or something like that

I'd really appreciate a step-by-step walk-through for this too.
posted by essexjan at 2:41 PM on January 16


Okay, I've managed to do it. This is what you do:

Click on the Ublock Origin icon. Open the dashboard (which is beneath the big blue 'on/off' icon, on the right, it looks like three lines with dots on them).

Go to 'my filters'.

Place your curser at the end of the list, put in a return. Then add: google.com##.xA33Gc

Click 'Apply Changes'

If you use any other google, e.g. co.uk, you have to add a filter for that too, in the same way.

Close Ublock Origin and that should do it.
posted by essexjan at 2:47 PM on January 16 [7 favorites]


Thanks! essexjan's method seems the simplest and appears to work well.

While we're at it, what's the best way to hide these partial URLs that are now showing up on top of website names? You can see what I mean here.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:14 PM on January 16


Have a look here, CCo'do'd. This is where I got the fix from for the favicon (then I searched again for how to do it in Ublock Origin). It shows you how to remove all sorts of crap from the google search.
posted by essexjan at 3:45 PM on January 16


Wow, nicely done! The only thing I can't get rid of (per these instructions) is the little arrow. Have you had any luck with that element?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:54 PM on January 16


Sorry, I only blocked the favicon, I don't mind the other parts.
posted by essexjan at 3:59 PM on January 16


I mentioned above how to get rid of the little arrow.
posted by jessamyn at 4:02 PM on January 16


Ah whoops missed that, Jessamyn! Thanks!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 5:13 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Just a warning; these changes based on class names like "GHDvEf" may stop working in a few days, next time Google pushes a redesign.

I followed the advice on how to block all the new stuff (icon, url, and downarrow). There's now extra blank space there where the text used to be. Removing that is trickier than usual because Google actually hardcoded a naked <br> in there.
posted by Nelson at 8:08 AM on January 17


Removing that is trickier than usual because Google actually hardcoded a naked
in there.


Any ideas on how to manage that?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:24 AM on January 17


I'm sure there's some CSS selector you can use to find the br before the thing with some class, but I can't be bothered. Again, my fear is any changes like this are going to be very fragile in the face of Google page changes.
posted by Nelson at 10:58 AM on January 17


FWIW these selectors have been stable at least since August.

Here's a set of rules that gets rid of the whole line, including the br and "Translate this":
www.google.com##.r > a > div + br
www.google.com##.yWc32e
www.google.com##.TbwUpd
www.google.com##.mn-dwn-arw

There may be more conditions that could pop up extra stuff around that point though--I'm happy with just the favicons gone.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:05 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


This change has been so unpopular, prompting many people (including me) to just switch to DuckDuckGo.
Google announced today they are "going to experiment further, Our experimenting will begin today. Over the coming weeks, while we test, some might not see favicons while some might see them in different placements as we look to bring a modern look to desktop….
posted by Lanark at 3:48 AM on January 25


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