uBlock Origin pop-up interface
|Original author(s)||Raymond Hill (gorhill)|
Deathamns, Chris Aljoudi, Alex Vallat
|Initial release||23 June 2014|
1.24.2 / November 22, 2019
|Available in||63 languages|
Microsoft Edge extension
uBlock Origin (// "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. uBlock Origin has received praise from technology websites, and is reported to be much less memory-intensive than other extensions with similar functionality. uBlock Origin's stated purpose is to give users the means to enforce their own (content-filtering) choices.
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. uBlock Origin was developed by Raymond Hill to use community-maintained block lists, while adding features and raising the code quality to release standards. 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  by original developer Raymond Hill on April 2015, due to frustration of dealing with requests. However Hill immediately self-forked it  and continued the effort there. This version was later renamed uBlock Origin, and it has been completely divorced from Aljoudi's uBlock. 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." The development of uBlock stopped in August 2015 and has been sporadically updated since January 2017. In July 2018, uBlock.org was acquired by AdBlock, and began allowing "Acceptable Ads", a program run by Adblock Plus that allows some ads which are deemed "acceptable", and the publisher pays Adblock Plus.
uBlock Origin remains independent and does not allow ads for payment.
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. As of January 2018, the uBlock Origin Chrome extension had 10 million active users, and the Firefox version had 5 million active users.
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. The report attributed the growth to the desire of users for pure blockers outside the "acceptable advertising" program.
Nik Rolls officially released uBlock Origin for the Microsoft Edge browser on December 11, 2016.
The project specifically refuses donations.
Blocking and filtering
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.
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. A benchmark test, conducted in August 2015 with ten blocking extensions, showed uBlock Origin as the most resource efficient among extensions tested.
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.
- Unofficial release. Fork by Ellis Tsung (el1t) for Safari from the official project.
- 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)
- Firefox for Android support added with 0.9.1.0 release.
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