Removing Chat in Google+ (and GMail)

Written by jeremy on April 3, 2013

Google PlusI’ve been using google+ more recently and while I don’t mind chat being on the right side of the screen I wanted to remove it. No I’m not talking turn it off and have it looking at me. Or minimizing it somehow. I mean turn it off. Gone. For good. So I looked around the internets for a solution and all I could come up with was to sign out of chat. While some may find that as acceptable I didn’t. There had to be a way to just have nice white space on the right side. And there is! Here is how I did it in Firefox:

  • Download the amazing Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox
  • Right click in the chat area on the right in google+
  • Click on Adblock Plus: Block frame…
  • I just chose the defaults and hit the Add Filter button

Then boom. It is gone. And you can sigh in relief as you have de-cluttered and removed another distraction from google+ so you can browse your feed in peace. Sure there will be times when I may want to have chat in google+ and for those times I will just disable Adblock Plus for the plus.google.com domain. Then refresh the page.

This does not get rid of chat in GMail however and because GMail does not put chat into a frame we can not use Adblock to remove it. Fortunately that is a much easier process. Just go into your gmail settings, to the chat settings and turn it off. Easy peasy.

Ok so if you have gotten this far you may be asking yourself “Why get rid of chat!?! I need chat!!”. Well I have been using the Messages.app on my Mac to supply my google chatting and iMessage needs. I will also use Adium when the need arises which also supports google chat and other chat client protocols. Another huge reason for me is because I’m using a MacBook Pro Retina laptop with a discrete plus internal graphics cards. Google chat voice and video plugin was triggering the discrete graphic card and draining the battery. No Beuno! I plan on writing a follow up blog post on how best to handle the discrete vs internal video card battle. So stay updated on new posts by signing up to my newsletter on the right.

This solution assumes you are using Firefox and not Chrome. I know there is an Adblock type extension for chrome, but I have not tried it out yet. Let me know in the comments if you try it out and please if anyone has a better way of doing this let me know. Thanks!

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