uBlock Origin

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uBlock Origin
UBlock Origin.svg
uBlock Origin pop-up interface in basic mode
uBlock Origin pop-up interface
Original author(s)Raymond Hill (gorhill)
Raymond Hill
Deathamns, Chris Aljoudi, Alex Vallat[1]
Initial release23 June 2014; 4 years ago (2014-06-23)[2]
Stable release
uBlock Origin
1.18.16 / April 3, 2019; 15 days ago (2019-04-03)[3]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJavaScript
Operating systemCross-platform
Available in28[4] languages
Mozilla extension
Chrome extension
Forked (Unofficial):
Safari extension
Microsoft Edge extension
WebsiteuBlock Origin

uBlock Origin (/ˈjblɒk/ "you-block") is a free and open-source, cross-platform browser extension for content-filtering, including ad-blocking. The extension is available for several browsers: Safari (beta), Chrome, Chromium, Edge, Firefox, and Opera.[5] uBlock Origin has received praise from technology websites, and is reported to be much less memory-intensive than other extensions[6][7] with similar functionality.[8][9] uBlock Origin's stated purpose is to give users the means to enforce their own (content-filtering) choices.[10][11]

As of 2019, uBlock Origin continues to be actively developed and maintained by founder and lead developer Raymond Hill.[12]


uBlock Origin was initially named "μBlock". The name was later changed to "uBlock" to avoid confusion as to how the Greek letter 'µ' (Mu/Micro) in "µBlock" should be pronounced. Development started forking from the codebase of HTTP Switchboard along with another blocking extension called uMatrix, designed for advanced users.[13] uBlock Origin was developed to leverage community-maintained block lists,[14] while adding features and raising the code quality to release standards.[15] First released in June 2014 as a Chrome and Opera extension, by winter of 2015, the extension had expanded to alternative browsers.

Through April and May 2015, the uBlock project was forked by Chris Aljoudi,[16] while uBlock Origin reflected the continuing effort by the original developer Raymond Hill.[17] Since April 2015, uBlock Origin has been completely unrelated to the web site ublock.org.[18]

Shortly after the project division, Chris Aljoudi created ublock.org to host uBlock, promote the extension and request donations. In response, uBlock founder Raymond Hill stated that "the donations sought by ublock.org are not benefiting any of those who contributed most to create uBlock Origin."[5] The development of uBlock stopped in August 2015 and has been sporadically updated since January 2017.[19] In July 2018, uBlock was acquired by AdBlock.[20]

uBlock Origin[edit]

Raymond Hill, the founder and original author of uBlock, continues to work on the extension under the name uBlock Origin, sometimes stylized as uBlock₀.[21] As of January 2018, the uBlock Origin Chrome extension has more than 10 million active users, and the Firefox version has more than 5 million active users.[22][23]

A joint Sourcepoint and comScore survey reported an 833% growth rate over a ten-month tracking period ending in August 2015, the strongest growth of software listed.[24] The report attributed the growth to the desire of users for pure blockers outside the "acceptable advertising" program.[25]

In January 2016, uBlock Origin was added to the repositories for Debian 9 and Ubuntu 16.04.[26][27] The extension was awarded "Pick of the Month" by Mozilla for May 2016.[28]

Nik Rolls officially released uBlock Origin for the Microsoft Edge browser on December 11, 2016.[29]

The project specifically refuses donations.[5]


Blocking and filtering[edit]

uBlock Origin support the majority of Adblock Plus's filter syntax. The popular filter lists EasyList and EasyPrivacy are enabled as default subscriptions. The extensions are capable of importing hosts files, and a number of community-maintained lists are available at installation. Among the host files available, Peter Lowe's Ad servers list and Malware Domains are also enabled as default. Some additional features include dynamic filtering of scripts and iframes, and a tool for webpage element hiding.

uBlock Origin includes a growing list of features not available in uBlock, including a new mode to assist those with color vision deficiency, a new dynamic URL filtering feature, new logging functionality and interface enhancements including a DOM inspector, new privacy-oriented options to block link prefetching, hyperlink auditing, and IP address leaks via WebRTC (uBO-Extra is required to block WebRTC connections in Chromium).[30][31] Site-specific switches to toggle the blocking of pop-ups, strict domain blocking, cosmetic filtering, blocking remote fonts and JavaScript disabling were also added in recent releases of uBlock Origin.[32] The Firefox version of uBlock Origin has an extra feature which helps to foil attempts by web sites to circumvent blockers.[33]


Technology websites and user reviews for uBlock Origin have regarded the extension as less resource intensive than extensions that provide similar feature sets such as Adblock Plus.[34][35][36] A benchmark test, conducted in August 2015 with ten blocking extensions, showed uBlock Origin as the most resource efficient among extensions tested.[37]

uBlock Origin surveys what style resources are required for an individual web page rather than reliance on a universal style sheet. The extension takes a snapshot of the filters the user has enabled. This contributes to accelerated browser start-up speed when compared to retrieving filters from cache every time.[38]

Supported platforms[edit]

uBlock Origin is actively developed for applications based on 4 major engines.[14][34][39]

  1. ^ Unofficial release. Fork by Ellis Tsung (el1t) for Safari from the official project.
  2. ^ uBlock supports Firefox legacy browsers (this includes SeaMonkey and Pale Moon, use the firefox-legacy release starting with firefox-legacy-1.16.4, see https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/releases/tag/firefox-legacy-1.16.4)
  3. ^ Firefox for Android support added with release.
  4. ^ Unofficial release. Fork by Nik Rolls (nikrolls) for Microsoft Edge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Contributors to gorhill/uBlock". GitHub.
  2. ^ "Changelog for the first versions". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Releases · gorhill/uBlock · GitHub (uBlock Origin releases)". Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  4. ^ Completed translations on Crowdin.
  5. ^ a b c "uBlock README".
  6. ^ "uBlock, the Memory-Friendly Ad-Blocker, Is Now Available for Firefox". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  7. ^ "How to add custom filters to Chrome ad-blocking extension µBlock". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Are there any trustworthy sources for downloading software?". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  9. ^ "µBlock aims to block ads without draining system resources". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  10. ^ "uBlock". github.com. GitHub. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  11. ^ Michael Gardiner (2015-11-05). "Adblock Plus vs. Ghostery vs. Ublock Origin: Not All Adblockers Were Created Equal". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  12. ^ "Graph: contributors to gorhill/uBlock". Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  13. ^ "uMatrix - Github".
  14. ^ a b Brinkmann, Martin. "uBlock for Chrome is a resource-friendly adblocker by the HTTP Switchboard author". ghacks.net. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  15. ^ Raymond Hill (2015-05-12). "Changes from HTTP Switchboard".
  16. ^ https://github.com/chrisaljoudi/uBlock
  17. ^ https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/
  18. ^ Hill, Raymond (21 October 2017). "uBlock Origin is completely unrelated to the web site ublock.org". GitHub.
  19. ^ "uBlockAdmin/uBlock". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  20. ^ "An update on uBlock". ublock.org. 2018-07-13. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  21. ^ "Official uBlock Origin add-on lands for Firefox". Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  22. ^ "uBlock Origin". chrome.google.com.
  23. ^ "Statistics for uBlock Origin". addons.mozilla.org.
  24. ^ Levine, Barry. "The Ad Blocker Landscape: What You Need To Know Today". Marketing Land. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  25. ^ "The state of ad blocking - September 2015". Sourcepoint and comScore. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Debian Sid - uBlock Origin". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Ubuntu - uBlock Origin". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  28. ^ DeVaney, Scott (2 May 2016). "May 2016 Featured Add-ons". Mozilla Add-ons Blog. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  29. ^ a b Rubino, Daniel. "uBlock Origin adblocker now available for Microsoft Edge via the Store". Windows Central. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  30. ^ Hill, Raymond (15 July 2017). "uBO-Extra: A companion extension to uBlock Origin". Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via GitHub.
  31. ^ "uBO-Extra README".
  32. ^ "uBlock wiki". GitHub. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  33. ^ "Inline script tag filtering – Overwiew". GitHub, gorhill/uBlock. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  34. ^ a b "uBlock ad blocker added to Mozilla's extensions site". Jim Lynch, Technology and Other Musings. Archived from the original on 2015-06-09. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  35. ^ Kesari, Varun. "Adblock Plus vs uBlock Origin | Which one to Choose In 2017? | RMG". rootmygalaxy.net. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  36. ^ Harper, Christopher (2015-05-02). "uBlock Origin - Better Than AdBlock Plus? - Make Tech Easier". Make Tech Easier. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  37. ^ "10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance". Raymond Tech Resources. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Notes on memory benchmarks, selfies". uBlock GitHub documentation. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  39. ^ "Apple - Safari - Safari Extensions Gallery". Apple. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  40. ^ "el1t/uBlock-Safari". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  41. ^ "nikrolls/uBlock-Edge". GitHub.

External links[edit]