How to Disable Instant Previews On Google Search Results
By on November 17th, 2010

Google Instant previews, which was rolled out the earlier week allows users to previews websites on search result pages. With Instant previews, users are able to see a graphical overview of a search result which highlights the most relevant sections related to the search terms.

If you haven’t noticed the instant preview of search results on Google.com, here is an example:

This feature is useful but can be distracting at times. You hover the cursor over any link and an overlay window starts loading the screenshot of the webpage automatically.If you ask me, I have three words – “Unnecessary UI Clutter”

If you are like me who prefers simpler things and want a minimalist search interface, you may want to turn off instant previews on Google search result pages.

Though Google doesn’t provide any option to disable Instant previews yet, like they do for Google Instant search but you can use a Greasemonkey script for Firefox and Google Chrome and say good bye to Google Instant previews forever.

Firefox users can use this userscript, provided they have the Greasemonkey add-on installed already. Google Chrome users can install the userscript directly because Chrome supports userscripts by default.

Once the script is in place, you will notice a new link named “Disable Instant previews” on the right side of search result pages. Click that link and the thumbnails won’t appear, as long as you are on the same browser tab.

I tested the script in Google Chrome and it worked just as fine. The only downside is that when you open a new tab or restart the browser, you have to click the “Disable Instant previews” link again. Hope Google soon comes up with something in Google account preferences so that users who don’t want to use the Instant previews feature can turn it off permanently.

Script Source: Varun’s Scratchpad

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://varunkumar.me Varunkumar Nagarajan

    Thanks Amit for sharing this script. I have added new features for the downside you have mentioned here.
    1. Instant Previews will be disabled by default.
    2. Remember ‘Instant Previews’ setting across sessions. For e.g., if you have disabled the Instant Previews in the current session, the same setting will be remembered for the next session as well.

  • Devin

    Or you can just open the site to the right! fly through results instead! Sweet search keeps your google results on the left and loads them on the right.

 
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