Mar 31 2008

How To Disable Snap Shots on Blogs

Mikel recently made a plea to people who use “Snap Shots” on their blogs to please reconsider. Snap Shots (sometimes referred to simply as “Snap”) is that highly annoying feature that pops up an ad-filled preview of the target whenever you roll your cursor over a link on a Web page (usually a blog). Here’s an example:

An example of Snap Shot in action

Just by rolling over the link, the huge Snap Shots window pops up, obscuring the text that you’re trying to read. This is annoying because 95% of the time it happens unintentionally. People roll their cursors around the screen as a matter of course, and when a blog has Snap Shots enabled, these unexpected and unwanted previews pop up.

I agree with Mikel. Snap Shots is really annoying, and if you’re using it on your blog, you are annoying your readers.

If your blog is hosted at WordPress.com (which is not the same as hosting a WordPress blog yourself), then your blog will have Snap Shots enabled by default. I’m quite convinced that many WordPress users use Snap Shots because they don’t realize they have a choice and can turn it off. (If your blog has “wordpress” in its address, such as “myblog.wordpress.com,” then this applies to you.)

I will show you how you can do exactly that. In fact, I present two sets of instructions below; one showing [name].wordpress.com blog owners how to turn off Snap Shots in WordPress, and the other showing everyone else how to prevent Snap Shots from activating when you find yourself on a Snap Shots enabled blog.

To Turn Off Snap Shots in WordPress.com

This is really easy, and I strongly urge anyone with a WordPress.com blog to do this.

  1. Log into WordPress and go to your Dashboard
  2. Go to Presentation, then to Extras
  3. Uncheck the item that says “Enable Snap Shots on this blog.”
  4. Save the setting by clicking the “Update Extras” button on the right (not seen in the screenshot below)

Disable Snap in WordPress

That’s it! No more Snap Shots on your blog.

To Prevent Snap from Activating in Your Browser

For the rest of us, here’s how to prevent other people’s Snap Shot enabled Web sites from popping up those Snap Shot windows:

  1. Go to a Web site that uses Snap ShotDisable Snap
  2. Roll over a link and let Snap Shot do its dirty work
  3. On the pop-up that appears, roll your cursor over the icon in the upper-right corner (the one that looks like a sprocket); it will drop down a menu with “Options” and “Disable”
  4. Click “Options”
  5. On the Options menu that appears, check Disable for “ALL sites”Disable Snap Shot
  6. Click “Save”

In theory, that will stop Snap Shot from working anywhere you find it. In reality, it just slows it down, because Snap Shots always seem to come back at some point.

I think it’s based on cookies, so when you disable Snap Shot like this, it works until you clear your cookies. After clearing your cookies, the “Disable” setting will also be cleared and you’ll have go through this procedure again.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by blork.org.

Categorized under Weblogs

17 comments so far

17 Comments on “How To Disable Snap Shots on Blogs”

  1. DAVE IDon 31 Mar 2008 at 10:33 am

    THANK YOU for the tutorial, hope people will pay attention. I find this feature the most annoying feature of all and wish everyone would disable it. It was cute when it first came out… but not it’s like a bug, please turn the windshield wippers on.

    And I didn’t know you could turn it off for all sites. AWESOME :)

  2. Disable Snap | this is mikel.orgon 31 Mar 2008 at 11:13 am

    [...] 31st, 2008 | From Blork, a great follow-up to my complaints about Snap.com the other day: How To Disable Snap Shots on Blogs. Step-by-step instructions about how to spare your readers from this annoying [...]

  3. the millineron 31 Mar 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks Ed. Was just talking to Michel about this the other day as we’re setting up our baby blog. At first it seemed convenient being able to see a photo / reference of what I was referring to. But, as you said, as I started to play around and it appeared inadvertently, covering what I was trying to read. And well, it got old pretty fast.

  4. blorkon 31 Mar 2008 at 1:01 pm

    That’s exactly it. It seems pretty cool when you first see it, but then it becomes really annoying, especially on pages that have a lot of links.

  5. brendadadaon 31 Mar 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Really useful. Thank you!

  6. Françoison 31 Mar 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Ed, did you know that?

    For those who wish to keep and make Snap Shots less annoying.

    Now with Snap Shots, you can create snap code that will not activate when the mouse is passing over the text link but only over the little Snap icon added beside the text URL when this option is selected. Maybe configuring a longer delay to activate the pop-up can help too? I believe that if we combine those two options, it can make a big difference.

    Avec plaisir,

    François

  7. Françoison 31 Mar 2008 at 9:02 pm

    By the way Ed, your time is one hour late in your blog! ;-)
    You don’t want to get old?

  8. [...] they’re a good corporate citizen, and there are always crazy people out there who are afraid of new technology, Snap even provides a way for people to opt out of the system, disabling it [...]

  9. Michelon 01 Apr 2008 at 10:06 am

    I thought, because we use Hydro power, that the effect of Snap.com wasn’t felt as greatly among citizens of Quebec.

  10. Paul from Nukoo Hostingon 02 Apr 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Snap shots are useful, because they allow a user to see where they are going, but I understand that they sometimes are more of a hassle to the user trying to read the article. They can seem like advertisements, when they are infact just incontext links.

  11. blorkon 02 Apr 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Paul, I can see where a link is going by rolling over it and seeing what shows up in the status bar. (Or at least I can see where the link is pointing.) I suppose the popup preview can be useful in some cases, but from what I hear and read, most people have very little desire to preview links and a big desire to not be annoyed by popups.

    BTW, those popups DO contain ads.

  12. DAVE IDon 03 Apr 2008 at 11:50 am

    Yer a Hero Blork :D

  13. Brianon 06 Apr 2008 at 6:58 am

    Thanks Blork,
    Got rid of the little f—–s on couple sites anyway.

  14. jakeon 19 Apr 2008 at 11:50 am

    …amazing

  15. Blog Storyon 12 May 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Au diable les Snap Shots!…

    Gadget très répandu sur les blogues, mais aussi sur certains sites WEB, le module Snap Shots est plus emmerdant qu’utile pour les visiteurs. J’ai donc décidé de le retirer de mon blogue afin d’offrir une expérience plus agréable à mes visiteu…

  16. joshon 28 May 2008 at 12:36 pm

    THANK YOU. Those things are so freakin’ annoying. Seems to have gotten worse just recently. Unfortunately there are other “vendors” of this kind of thing popping up. I think it is actually worse than spam, it is so invasive when you’re trying to read a page.

  17. Josetteon 26 Jun 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Oh yeah, those snap previews are darn annoying. Luckily I found this post of yours! I’m going to go disable those snap previews from OTHER blogs now. :)