So long, YouTube shorts!

Is that time of the year where I commit to being better, to be more present, to do more, to procrastinate less... you know... the whole New Year deal.

One thing I want more of is more control over my time and social media doesn't help me do that. Specially short format videos like TikTok, Instagram Reels or my ultimate nemesis: YouTube shorts. I manage to avoid the other two because I don't use TikTok and I download Instagram about once a month, check what's been going on with my friends and delete it again. But Shorts... damn Shorts. They pull me in and, even though I try very hard not to fall into their trap, I fall more often than I like to accept.

So to help me tackle this, I created a ridiculously simple browser extension for myself that simply removes Shorts from YouTube so I have the old school YouTube browsing experience. I won't go into too much detail into how extensions work –I learnt the very very basics to get this going here– but for anyone else wanting to stick it to the man, here's the code.

Stick all of these into a folder:

A manifest:

    "manifest_version": 3,
    "name": "Shorts Blocker"
    "description": "An extensio to block YouTube Shorts",
    "version": "1.0",
    "action": {
      "default_popup": "ui.html",
      "default_icon": "default_icon.png"
    "content_scripts": [
        "matches": ["https://**"],
        "css": ["styles.css"],
        "run_at": "document_end"

A CSS file:

/* styles.css */

a[title="Shorts"], [is-shorts], #shorts-container {
    display: none !important;

An HTLM file for the UI:

<!-- ui.html -->
    <h1>Shorts blocked!</h1>

And an icon. You can get one in the link above to the Chrome docs.

That's it. Now there's no visual queue to pull me into Shorts and if I navigate to /shorts it autoplays the first one but doesn't display anything and doesn't let me navigate. Hacky? Sure. Effective? 100%.

You can install this in any browser. I added it to Safari (docs here) and to Chrome (docs here).