Internet

Use Overlay Blocker to close pop-up overlays in Chrome

This Chrome extension adds a button to your right-click menu, providing a quick and consistent way to close annoying overlays.

overlay-blocker.jpg
Matt Elliott/CNET

Scourge is probably too strong a word, but the pop-up overlay is certainly an online annoyance. Like a pushy salesperson accosting you as you enter a store, the pop-up overlay greets you as you try to access a website, insisting you sign up for a newsletter or take a survey or some other activity you likely have no interest in pursuing. In many cases, the button to close the overlay is camouflaged or obscured in some way, making it more difficult to skip past the overlay than it reasonably should be.

Earlier this year, I wrote about BehindTheOverlay that provides a consistent button and keyboard shortcut to close those annoying website overlays. And a reader this week asked if I'd take a look at a similar extension called Overlay Blocker and weigh in on which one is better.

Neither extension forces you to sign up for an account or even restart Chrome, but they approach the goal of overlay avoidance in different ways. While BehindTheOverlay adds a button to Chrome and lets you assign a keyboard shortcut to close pop-ups, Overlay Blocker adds an item to your right-click menu. With Overlay Blocker installed, the next time you encounter an overlay, right-click and choose the Remove Overlay to close it.

Personally, I'm going to stick with BehindTheOverlay because it eradicates overlays in one click to Overlay Blocker's two clicks. Plus, on my aging MacBook Pro, there is often a delay between me right-clicking and the right-click menu appearing.

Thanks, Evgeniy, for the question.