You Can Block Those Annoying Cookie Banners on Every Website

You Can Block Those Annoying Cookie Banners on Every Website
Screenshot: Pranay Parab

There’s a long list of things that make browsing the internet feel like living in a dystopian hellscape, and annoying cookie banners and consent forms are right at the top of that list. Most websites are legally required to display these notices and take your consent for using cookies. However, it also blocks a big chunk of the website you’re trying to read. Let’s fix this on all of your devices.

Block cookie banners on desktop

No matter what platform you’re using, you can easily install a browser extension to block cookie notices. Super Agent is a free extension that works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. It’s built to automatically get rid of cookie banners and will come through for almost all the websites you visit. The extension’s preferences page allows you to customise which cookies you want to accept and which ones you want to reject. This is a key feature: You don’t want to use an add-on that automatically accepts all cookies on every websites you go to.

If you’d rather not install a dedicated extension for this purpose, you can use uBlock Origin as an alternative. It blocks a long list of annoyances by default, but you have to manually enable its cookie-notice blocking list. Click the uBlock Origin icon and go to Settings > Filter lists > Annoyances. Enable EasyList Cookie to hide cookie banners.

Be aware that automatically blocking cookie notices could prevent some websites from loading altogether, which is why you can consider using uBlock Origin’s element hiding feature instead. When you see a cookie notice on any website, you can click the uBlock Origin extension icon from the browser’s toolbar, and select the eyedropper icon.

This enters the element-picker mode: Hover the mouse cursor over the cookie notice till the entire banner is selected, click it once, and select Create Filter in the pop-up window. You may have to do this manually on multiple websites, but it’s a one-time effort for each website you visit and only takes a few clicks.

Block cookie banners on iPhone and iPad

As long as your iPhone and iPad are updated to iOS 15, you can use some great Safari extensions to block annoyances on the web. However, Super Agent is still the best cookie-notice handler for iPhone and iPad. It lets the cookie banner load and automatically accepts or rejects cookies based on your preferences. This takes a second or so after the website loads, but you don’t have to do anything after enabling the extension.

Block cookie banners on Android

If you use Firefox on Android, you can install the browser add-on for uBlock Origin to block cookie notices on all websites. If you don’t, your best bet is to use an ad-blocker like AdGuard for Android, which also blocks cookie banners on various websites. The unfortunate truth is that these types of apps are not allowed on Google Play, so you may have to sideload it on your phone.

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