How to get rid of annoying website "lightbox" blocks


If you use RipIt or Yarip firefox/chrome plugins it is even easier to remove the offending element (rightclick + remove) and you can remove it permanently so it never shows back up as long as you use the site, even on return visits. You can also use the adblock plugin to block the element for a similar result.

Beware though, once you start the practice of web-fu it won’t stop there. before you know it you’ll be up to your elbows in greasemonky scripts and stylish css. :slight_smile:


On Firefox the “Nuke Anything Enhanced” extension shortens this procedure a bit by putting a “Remove this object” entry on the context menu. Very helpful also are the entries “Remove selection” and “Remove everything else”. There’s also an “Undo last remove”.


@doctorow This may have been true two years ago, but is hardly ever true any more.

The vast majority of websites behind paywalls do not download their content onto the client browser until you are verified. Therefore, no amount of web-fu will give you the content.

I was very pleased a couple of years ago when I realized I could just delete elements in order to see the article underneath. Now there is vary rarely any article “underneath” – usually there is just the first paragraph, and sometimes there isn’t even that – just a fuzzy .png of a pretend article.

Try it, for example, on an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

New York Times and others are the same (though harder to give a simple link to.)

Honestly, many web developers are dumb, but they’re not that dumb.


Doesn’t work on the majority of modern sites - certainly not The Times, FT, Telegraph, New Statesman

If you want to save time, you can make a “scrubber” bookmarklet. Create a new bookmarklet with the string below as the link address. Clicking on it will turn your mouse into an eraser; clicking on any part of the page will remove that part. When you’re done, press a key to deactivate the eraser.



How often is content available exclusively on one site? Maybe it’s better not to give page views and ad impressions to a site that uses these tactics. When I encounter this, I just click back to Google and find a site that gives it away for free.

I would add that I typically only encounter this when following links to news articles from Google news, so it’s easy to just back up and go somewhere else. Other people probably have different experiences.

I’ve noticed an annoying trend on web sites lately that is similar to this. On may sites now, when you first scroll the page you’ll get a light box inviting you to subscribe to their mailing list, or like them on facebook, or anything else.

Generally, these lightboxes allow you to to exit out of them, but it’s still annoying to be constantly interrupted. The OPs same sentiment holds true for this trend: “I’m just coming across your site randomly, I’ll probably never be back here. If you notice that I keep coming back, then maybe consider inviting me to subscribe. Otherwise, just let me browse in peace.”

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I see links to Quora in my Facebook feed occasionally. The signup “lightbox” is quickly dispatched just by appending “?share=1” to the end of the URL.

Otherwise, I tend to bypass such boxes by delicately mashing the Escape key once the page seems to have loaded. (Real old-school!)

I’m particularly interested in the last option. It would be great for the John Phillip Sousa tribute site I’m planning. Any tips on implementation?

There’s journalistic life beyond Reuter’s and AP. The key to running a subscription based site is offering articles that are largely restricted to subscribers.
Om the other hand, if I couldn’t share articles from nytimes I’d probably stop my subscription. So there is a bit of tension.

My solution to these is to close the page and evaluate how badly I want to read the content that I haven’t even seen yet. Especially the content created by people who would think anyone would like this kind of interaction.

If I still do, the same information is just a search away. There’s never only a single copy of anything on the Internet.


You need a Kinect for the stance, and a [live mic](( for the whistling. Beyond that, implementation is trivial and left as an exercise for the reader.

You seem to have a good idea. I tried a version where, as a security measure, the user had to mime the correct tuba finger-positions and embouchure for the same song; despite recent data-breaches it did not prove popular at the bank where I was employed. However, I’m rolling the technology into a new game concept called March, March, Revolution which you might be interested in contributing to (it’s a succesor to my WWI infantry-themed game Tramp, Tramp Revolution [which is not to be confused with the execreble “sexy transient FPS” Trampy-Tramp: Hobolution that I had no part with, despite what you may have read in the gutter press]).


In other news, I had one of these lightbox problems at a smaller paper, and I tried using a GreaseMonkey script… but since the elements were AJAX’d in, the script did not work. I could have extended it to check periodically (and quit after a certain number of tries), but then I discovered I could just block the elements’-server with AdBlock. Yaaaaay!

For sites like the WSJ and NYTimes, I grab the blocked articles URL and dump it into Google or Bing (DON’T JUDGE ME). Articles are served up from searc-engines unblocked. Hoorays!

There’s also the un-winable indie-game where you walk cross-country attempting to find the reclusive creator of Dragon Magazine’s Wormy - Trampier-Tramp (no solution).

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Just FYI, Trampier died in March

As I said, it’s un-winnable. I did note his passing. It is petty of me, but I was sad we’d never see Wormy tied up.

Basically, you hike around growing a (longer) beard, eat cheetos while lugging 40 lbs of Dragon Magazines in your backpack hoping you can get them signed, and constantly having to stop to pick up your dice where they’ve tumbled into the grass or storm drain PLEASE G-DS NO NOT MY LUCKY D20!!!

It’s played in real-time.

There’s also a chance you’ll die of dysentery, too (some code adapted from Oregon Trail).

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