uBlock Origin (pronounced 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. 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 pop-up interface
|Original author(s)||Raymond Hill (gorhill)|
Raymond Hill, Nik Rolls
Deathamns, Chris Aljoudi, Alex Vallat
|Initial release||23 June 2014|
|Available in||44 languages|
Microsoft Edge extension
As of 2017[update], uBlock Origin continues to be actively developed and maintained by founder and lead developer Raymond Hill. Hill withdrew his support for uBlock, an older branch of the software, citing "serious incompatibilities in the spirit of the project."
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 to leverage 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 alternative browsers.
Through April and May 2015, the uBlock project was forked by Chris Aljoudi at github.com/chrisaljoudi/uBlock. While uBlock Origin reflected the continuing effort by the original developer Raymond Hill at github.com/gorhill/uBlock/ Since April 2015, uBlock Origin has been completely unrelated to the web site ublock.org.
Raymond Hill, the founder and original author of uBlock, continues to work on the extension under the name uBlock Origin, sometimes stylized as uBlock₀. As of October 2017, the uBlock Origin Chrome extension has more than 10 million active users, and the Firefox version has more than 4 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.
Ellis Tsung (e1lt) released a beta version of uBlock Origin for Safari on December 9, 2016.
The project specifically refuses donations.
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."
Prior to the division, Safari and Firefox support was publicly introduced with versions 0.8.5.4 and 0.8.5.5 by the developer "Deathamns" who since left the project along with founder Raymond Hill. Firefox responsibility was transferred to developer Alex Vallat at Hill's request. Vallat has subsequently contributed code to uBlock Origin as well.
The project's development stopped in August 2015 but started again in January 2017. The security certificate of the website expired in May 2016 and was renewed on June 30, 2016.
Blocking and filteringEdit
uBlock Origin and uBlock 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. As of version 0.8.7.0, dynamic filtering in uBlock can act as a complete replacement of RequestPolicy, or similar add-ons.
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). Site-specific switches to toggle the blocking of pop-ups, strict domain blocking, cosmetic filters and fonts were also added in recent releases of uBlock Origin. The Firefox version of uBlock Origin has an extra feature which helps to foil attempts by web sites to circumvent blockers.
Technology websites and user reviews for uBlock have regarded the extension as less resource intensive in comparison with 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 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.
- Firefox (desktop, version 29 and later; uBlock and uBlock Origin)[note 1]
- Firefox for Android (mobile; uBlock and uBlock Origin)[note 2]
- SeaMonkey (desktop; uBlock 0.9.3.5 and later, uBlock Origin 0.9.9.2 and later.)
- Pale Moon (desktop; uBlock 0.9.3.5 and later, uBlock Origin 0.9.9.2 and later.)
- Thunderbird (desktop; uBlock Origin 1.3.0 and later.)
Notable release milestones
|Version||Release date||Notable Changes[note 3]|
|0.1.0.0||June 23, 2014||Initial release created by Raymond Hill (gorhill).|
|0.2.0.0||Jul 13, 2014||Interactive element picker enhancement.|
|0.2.3.4||Jul 22, 2014||Privacy lists feature added.|
|0.4.0.0||Aug 14, 2014||Element hiding performance.|
|0.6.0.0||Sep 10, 2014||Snapshot performance enhancement, purge of filter caches feature added.|
|0.7.0.0||Oct 7, 2014||Dynamic filtering added, backup and restore feature added.|
|0.8.5.4-beta.0||Jan 15, 2015||Firefox beta build released; Deathamns|
|0.8.5.5||Jan 17, 2015||Safari version released; Chris Aljoudi, Deathamns|
|0.8.7.0||Feb 8, 2015||Enhanced default deny rule feature.|
|0.8.8.0||Feb 15, 2015||Enhanced loading of block lists; dynamic rules temporary by default.|
|0.8.9.0||Feb 27, 2015||Launch speed enhancement.|
|0.9.0.0||Mar 7, 2015||Element picker wildcard support and filter labeling, backup and restore timestamps.|
|0.9.1.0||Mar 13, 2015||Firefox for Android version released; Alex Vallat, Deathamns|
|0.9.3.0||April 1, 2015||Per-site switches feature added, popups and strict blocking.|
|April 1, 2015||Project forked to two branches. Lead project development of uBlock branch was transferred to Chris Aljoudi|
|0.9.3.5||April 19, 2015||Cosmetic filtering integration with Web Inspector (Firefox), UI changes include elimination of font based icons; per-site switches and strict domain blocking removed.|
|0.9.4.0||May 5, 2015||Toolbar support for legacy Firefox browsers (e.g. Pale Moon), inline-script blocking for Safari, cosmetic filters in request logger.|
|Raymond Hill decided to stop developing uBlock branch.|
|0.9.5.0||June 1, 2015||Block resources from Web Inspector's network request log (Firefox).|
|Version||Release date||Notable Changes|
|0.9.4.0||April 11, 2015||Manual editing of per-site switches and cosmetic per-site switch features added.|
|0.9.5.0||April 24, 2015||Color-blind mode added.|
|0.9.6.0||April 29, 2015||Logging enhancements include addition of cosmetic filters|
|0.9.7.0||May 10, 2015||Unified logger feature imported from uMatrix.|
|0.9.7.5||May 19, 2015||New tab selector in logger.|
|0.9.8.0||May 27, 2015||Dynamic URL filtering feature with logger integration.|
|0.9.8.2-5||May 30-June 4, 2015||Privacy options to block browser pre-fetching and hyperlink auditing/beacon.|
|0.9.9.0||June 13, 2015||UI in the logger to create static filters, per-site switch to disable remote fonts, filter list identification for static filters in logger and strict blocking.|
|0.9.9.2||June 19, 2015||Toolbar support for Firefox legacy browsers (e.g. Pale Moon), additional filter list - Badware risks.|
|0.9.9.3||July 4, 2015||Privacy option to prevent local IP address leak through WebRTC.|
|184.108.40.206||July 18, 2015||DOM inspector tool in logger, additional filter list wiki subscription page integration.|
|220.127.116.11||August 30, 2015||Support for cloud storage. Firefox: Speculative pre-connections blocked in privacy options; development channel available in AMO.|
|1.2.0||October 7, 2015||Support for creation of specific inline script tag filters. (Firefox)|
|1.3.0||October 19, 2015||Basic Thunderbird support; Manuel Reimer|
|1.4.0||December 12, 2015||Support for redirection filters of blocked network requests, filters to block popunders and import of Adguard filters.|
|1.5.0||December 25, 2015||Ability to inject script resource from the resource library directly into a page.|
|1.5.3||January 6, 2016||Automatic filter list selection for current browser locale during install.|
|1.6.0||February 10, 2016||Options to block media elements by size and set the default state of per-site switches.|
|1.6.8||April 5, 2016||Integration of uAssets, a repository for volunteered filter creation and maintenance.|
|1.7.0||April 30, 2016||Element picker enhancements: preview, background images, media elements, all elements under mouse.|
|1.8.0||August 1, 2016||Addition of cosmetic filtering operators: :has(), :xpath(), :style().|
|1.9.0||August 27, 2016||Addition of cosmetic filtering operator: matches-css().|
|1.9.8||September 21, 2016||Static and cosmetic filter engines refactored and start-up performance enhancement.|
|1.10.0||November 28, 2016||WebExtension Firefox development version released. Experimental advanced panel and a read-only advanced panel added.|
|1.11.0||February 6, 2017||Asset managements was refactored, the user interface of the "3rd-party filters" pane has been revisited and new procedural cosmetic filter operators.|
|1.12.0||April 9, 2017||Static network filter option; enable users to create custom java scriptlets.|
|1.13.0||June 20, 2017||Addition of element zapper for removal of nuisance elements; static network filter support for Content Security Policy.|
|1.14.0||August 30, 2017||Official release as a Firefox WebExtension.|
- uBlock supports Firefox legacy browsers (v.24+) since 0.9.3.5, uBlock Origin from 0.9.9.2.
- Firefox for Android Support added with 0.9.1.0 release.
- Notable releases for uBlock and uBlock Origin include new features, performance enhancements and platforms supported.
- "Deathamns". GitHub.
- "Changelog for the first versions". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Releases · gorhill/uBlock · GitHub (uBlock Origin releases)". 15 April 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- "uBlock Origin - Chrome Web Store". 18 May 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- "uBlock Origin :: Add-ons for Firefox". 14 May 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- Completed translations on Crowdin.
- "uBlock README".
- "uBlock, the Memory-Friendly Ad-Blocker, Is Now Available for Firefox". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "How to add custom filters to Chrome ad-blocking extension µBlock". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "Are there any trustworthy sources for downloading software?". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "µBlock aims to block ads without draining system resources". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "uBlock". github.com. GitHub. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
- Michael Gardiner (2015-11-05). "Adblock Plus vs. Ghostery vs. Ublock Origin: Not All Adblockers Were Created Equal". International Business Times. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- "Graph: contributors to gorhill/uBlock". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- "uMatrix - Github".
- Brinkmann, Martin. "uBlock for Chrome is a resource-friendly adblocker by the HTTP Switchboard author". ghacks.net. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Raymond Hill (2015-05-12). "Changes from HTTP Switchboard".
- Raymond Hill (2015-04-04). "Update README.md".
- "Official uBlock Origin add-on lands for Firefox". Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "uBlock Origin statistics". Chrome Web Store.
- "uBlock Origin Firefox Statistics". Mozilla Add-Ons.
- Levine, Barry. "The Ad Blocker Landscape: What You Need To Know Today". Marketing Land. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "The state of ad blocking - September 2015". Sourcepoint and comScore. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Debian Sid - uBlock Origin". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Ubuntu - uBlock Origin". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- DeVaney, Scott. "May 2016 Featured Add-ons". Mozilla Add-ons Blog. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Rubino, Daniel. "uBlock Origin adblocker now available for Microsoft Edge via the Store". Windows Central. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "el1t/uBlock-Safari". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- "chrisaljoudi/uBlock". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
- chrisaljoudi. "Dynamic filtering". GitHub.
- Hill, Raymond (15 July 2017). "uBO-Extra: A companion extension to uBlock Origin". Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via GitHub.
- "uBO-Extra README".
- "uBlock wiki". GitHub. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "Inline script tag filtering – Overwiew". GitHub, gorhill/uBlock. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- "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.
- Kesari, Varun. "Adblock Plus vs uBlock Origin | Which one to Choose In 2017? | RMG". rootmygalaxy.net. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
- Harper, Christopher (2015-05-02). "uBlock Origin - Better Than AdBlock Plus? - Make Tech Easier". Make Tech Easier. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
- "10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance". Raymond Tech Resources. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Notes on memory benchmarks, selfies". uBlock GitHub documentation. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Apple - Safari - Safari Extensions Gallery". Apple. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Releases · chrisaljoudi/uBlock · GitHub". uBlock GitHub Releases. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Chris Aljoudi - Home".
- "AlexVallat". GitHub.
- "chengsun (Cheng Sun)". GitHub.
- "Releases · uBlock Origin · GitHub". uBlock Origin GitHub Releases. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "uBlock Origin's Logger highlights the extension's activity". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- "uBlock Origin Now Blocking Access To SourceForge". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- "You can block WebRTC from leaking your IP now in uBlock Origin". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- gorhill. "Filter lists from around the web". GitHub.
- "M-Reimer (Manuel Reimer)". GitHub.
- "uAssets". Resources for uBlock Origin, uMatrix: static filter lists, ready-to-use rulesets, etc. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- Brinkmann, Martin (31 August 2017). "uBlock Origin released as a pure WebExtension for Firefox - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 5 November 2017.