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; 5 years ago (2014-06-23)[2]
Stable release
uBlock Origin
1.24.2 / November 22, 2019; 57 days ago (2019-11-22)[3]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJavaScript
Operating systemCross-platform
Available in63[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: Chrome, Chromium, Edge, Firefox, Opera and releases of Safari prior to 13.[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.[1]



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.[12] uBlock Origin was developed by Raymond Hill to use community-maintained block lists,[13] while adding features and raising the code quality to release standards.[14] First released in June 2014 as a Chrome and Opera extension, by winter of 2015, the extension had expanded to other browsers.

The uBlock project official repository was transferred to Chris Aljoudi [15] by original developer Raymond Hill on April 2015, due to frustration of dealing with requests. However Hill immediately self-forked it [16] and continued the effort there. This version was later renamed uBlock Origin, and it has been completely divorced from Aljoudi's uBlock.[17] Aljoudi created ublock.org to host uBlock, promote the extension and request donations. In response, uBlock's original 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.[18] In July 2018, uBlock.org was acquired by AdBlock,[19] and began allowing "Acceptable Ads",[20] a program run by Adblock Plus that allows some ads which are deemed "acceptable", and the publisher pays Adblock Plus.[21]

uBlock Origin remains independent and does not allow ads for payment.[22]

uBlock Origin[edit]

Raymond Hill, the founder and original author of uBlock, as of 2015 continued to work on the extension under the name uBlock Origin, sometimes stylized as uBlock₀.[23] As of January 2018, the uBlock Origin Chrome extension had 10 million active users, and the Firefox version had 5 million active users.[24][25]

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.[26] The report attributed the growth to the desire of users for pure blockers outside the "acceptable advertising" program.[27]

In January 2016, uBlock Origin was added to the repositories for Debian 9 and Ubuntu 16.04.[28][29] The extension was awarded "Pick of the Month" by Mozilla for May 2016.[30]

Nik Rolls officially released uBlock Origin for the Microsoft Edge browser on December 11, 2016.[31]

The project specifically refuses donations.[5]


Blocking and filtering[edit]

uBlock Origin supports 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).[32][33] 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.[34] The Firefox version of uBlock Origin has an extra feature which helps to foil attempts by web sites to circumvent blockers.[35]


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.[36][37][38] A benchmark test, conducted in August 2015 with ten blocking extensions, showed uBlock Origin as the most resource efficient among extensions tested.[39]

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.[40]

Supported platforms[edit]

uBlock Origin is actively developed for applications based on 4 major engines.[13][36][41]

  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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Contributors to gorhill/uBlock". GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Changelog for the first versions". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "Releases · gorhill/uBlock". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "Completed translations". Crowdin.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "uBlock / README.md". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Henry, Alan (January 27, 2015). "uBlock, the Memory-Friendly Ad-Blocker, Is Now Available for Firefox". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (October 10, 2014). "How to add custom filters to Chrome ad-blocking extension µBlock". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Schofield, Jack (January 29, 2015). "Are there any trustworthy sources for downloading software?". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Whitwam, Ryan (February 12, 2015). "µBlock aims to block ads without draining system resources". ExtremeTech.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  10. ^ "uBlock". github.com. GitHub. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Gardiner, Michael (November 5, 2015). "Adblock Plus vs. Ghostery vs. Ublock Origin: Not All Adblockers Were Created Equal". International Business Times. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  12. ^ "uMatrix". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Brinkmann, Martin (June 24, 2014). "uBlock for Chrome is a resource-friendly adblocker by the HTTP Switchboard author". ghacks.net. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  14. ^ Hill, Raymond. "Changes from HTTP Switchboard". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Hill, Raymond. "Please clarify uBlock₀ vs. uBlock". Github.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "uBlock". April 27, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  17. ^ Hill, Raymond (October 21, 2017). "uBlock Origin is completely unrelated to the web site ublock.org". GitHub.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  18. ^ "uBlockAdmin/uBlock". GitHub.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  19. ^ "An update on uBlock". ublock.org. July 13, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "uBlock Incorporates Acceptable Ads". February 23, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  21. ^ "About Adblock Plus". adblockplus.org. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  22. ^ "MANIFESTO.md". GitHub.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  23. ^ "Official uBlock Origin add-on lands for Firefox". Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  24. ^ "uBlock Origin". chrome.google.com.
  25. ^ "Statistics for uBlock Origin". addons.mozilla.org.
  26. ^ Levine, Barry. "The Ad Blocker Landscape: What You Need To Know Today". Marketing Land. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  27. ^ "The state of ad blocking - September 2015". Sourcepoint and comScore. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Debian Sid - uBlock Origin". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Ubuntu - uBlock Origin". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  30. ^ DeVaney, Scott (2 May 2016). "May 2016 Featured Add-ons". Mozilla Add-ons Blog. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  31. ^ Rubino, Daniel. "uBlock Origin adblocker now available for Microsoft Edge via the Store". Windows Central. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  32. ^ Hill, Raymond (15 July 2017). "uBO-Extra: A companion extension to uBlock Origin". Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via GitHub.
  33. ^ "uBO-Extra README".
  34. ^ "uBlock wiki". GitHub. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  35. ^ "Inline script tag filtering – Overwiew". GitHub, gorhill/uBlock. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Kesari, Varun. "Adblock Plus vs uBlock Origin | Which one to Choose In 2017? | RMG". rootmygalaxy.net. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  38. ^ Harper, Christopher (2015-05-02). "uBlock Origin - Better Than AdBlock Plus? - Make Tech Easier". Make Tech Easier. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  39. ^ "10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance". Raymond Tech Resources. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  40. ^ "Notes on memory benchmarks, selfies". uBlock GitHub documentation. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  41. ^ "Apple - Safari - Safari Extensions Gallery". Apple. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  42. ^ "el1t/uBlock-Safari". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  43. ^ "Catalina compatibility · Issue #156 · el1t/uBlock-Safari". GitHub. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  44. ^ "Explanation of the state of uBlock Origin (and other blockers) for Safari".

External links[edit]