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How To Stop GIFs From Loading In Firefox

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We love GIFs, everyone does. They’re a great way to react to just about everything. If you ever find a particularly active thread on Twitter it will be rife with GIFs. They’re so popular that dedicated keyboards like Giphy keyboard exist so you can easily search for and share GIFs. Both Facebook and Whatsapp support GIFs. Unfortunately, there is nothing stopping anyone from overusing or misusing a GIF. Buzzfeed has turned it into a post format where the content is more or less just GIFs, all under their own heading. It’s not alone. A lot of websites use GIFs unnecessarily. GIF Blocker is a Firefox add that can stop GIFs from loading.

Stop GIFS From Loading

Install GIF Blocker and enable it. It adds a button next to the URL bar. Click it to stop GIFs from loading in Firefox. When enabled, the add-on’s icon turns blue.

The add-on claims to insert a local vector image in place of the GIF but it failed to do so during our tests. It simply removed the GIF in question leaving behind its caption.

You can enable or disable GIF blocker from its toolbar button but, enabling or disabling it won’t load or unload GIFs. If you disable the add-on, you will have refresh the current page to view GIFs on it. If you enable the add-on, you will have to open the page in a new tab to remove GIFs from it.

Limitations

GIF Blocker works on websites that aren’t normally built to show you GIFs. It will not work on websites like Reddit or Imgur which are built to show you this particular type of image. It’s possible that the add-on will not work at all on file sharing and file viewing web apps. It’s also unfortunate that in order to load GIFs, you have to refresh the entire page. This not only means you have to wait for the page to load again but also that you can’t selectively view GIFs on the page. If a page has a lot of GIFs, and you’re only interested in viewing one or two, the add-on can’t help you. It’s an all-or-nothing deal.

We observed that the add-on, on rare occasion, will also block images that aren’t GIFs. We’re not talking about images that have the GIF extension but are static. We’re talking about a simple JPG file that GIF Blocker erroneously blocked. The add-on works for the most part but has its chinks. That said, if you’re tired of how enthusiastically everyone is embracing the GIF format, this add-on will bring sanity back to your browsing sessions.

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