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Close annoying web popups with Overlay Blocker (Chrome)

12 December 2014, Mike Williams

Overlay BlockerIt happens all the time. You’re browsing a website, engrossed in the content, when suddenly an overlay appears and blocks your view. Annoying, even when it’s displaying useful information.

Usually clicking the “x” close button will get rid of the popup, and you can carry on as you were. But if there is no “x”, or it’s been carefully hidden, then you might need a little help.

Overlay Blocker is a simple Chrome extension which makes it easy to close any popup overlay, whether it has a close button or not.

The add-on makes only one visible change to Chrome: right-click any page and you’ll see a new “Remove overlay” menu option. If you’re presented with an overlay, right-click it, select “Remove…” and it should immediately disappear.

Overlay Blocker

Right-click. Select “Remove Overlay”. That’s it.

That’s essentially it. Despite its name, Overlay Blocker doesn’t remember or store your actions, so it won’t block the same overlay in future, and there are no lists of sites and pages to manage. It’s solely about removing overlays on demand.

Still, the add-on worked well for us, and if it’s a problem you recognise then we’d give it a try.

Please note, though, Overlay Blocker collects anonymised data on how it’s being used. As the developer explains: “we collect some anonymous data such as browsing patterns, trend statistics and how our features are used. Your browser will talk to our servers and help us improve our technology.”

There’s also a clause which says the addon may “use third-party advertising companies in order to serve advertisements”, although that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.

On balance we see nothing particularly unusual about what they’re doing, but if you’re concerned then check out the privacy policy before you install.

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