Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Google recently added a black menu bar to its sites and a blue bar promoting Google+. I'll look at what you can and can't do to get rid of them.

I have an XP Home Service Pack 3 Firefox 8. I somehow acquired “Google+” and I want to remove it completely. There is toolbar showing “+you Web Images Videos ..... ”, and there is a blue box beneath this toolbar displaying “Click here to start sharing Google+.” This is both annoying and unsolicited. I have searched the web, but no one seems to have a solution that works. I really like Google and do not really want to use another search engine.

First, I want to be clear: You didn't acquire anything.

This isn't a toolbar in the normal sense, as it's not an add-on to your browser.

In fact, it's not on your machine at all.

It's all about Google's web pages, which are the only places you'll see them.

The Google menu bar

The black menu bar

Google recently added a black menu bar across the top of all of its web properties to enable easy access to more of Google's online services.

That black bar is not a toolbar at all, but rather just a menu that Google has added to most of its websites.

In other words, there's no way that I know of to get rid of it.

Personally, I find it handy as I use a number of Google services, although I wish it were more customizable so I could focus on just those services that I use.

But I totally understand that for many people, it's an unwanted annoyance.

The blue Google+ bar

The blue bar that says "Click here to start sharing on Google+" is Google's push to get you to sign up for and use their social media service, Google+ - most often referred to as a Facebook competitor.

I know of only one way to make it go away:

Sign in to your Google account.

Short of that, there's no way that I know of to tell Google that you don't care about Google+ and don't want that constant sales pitch.

I have read that the ad-blocking software "adblock plus" can be used to hide the blue bar, but as a site that relies on advertising for its very existence, I have a hard time recommending any ad-blocking tools as a solution.

Change is inevitable

Hopefully, Google will hear the same complaints that I'm hearing and will react by at least allowing us to turn that sales pitch off.

Maybe it's only temporary; one can always hope.

One thing that is certain, however, is that things will change. I expect it's very likely that eventually that blue bar will disappear of its own accord and that the black menu bar will also change over time.

While I'm not saying that you should blindly accept things that truly annoy you, I do believe that accepting change in general will make your overall computing experience more pleasant.

Video Update

View in HD (1280x720)


What I wanted to start with is a question that I answered about a week and a half ago where somebody was looking at Google and seeing this black bar across the top. They were calling it a toolbar. In a sense, it is a toolbar but it's not a toolbar in the sense that it's a browser add-on. It's actually just something that's on Google's websites. It's across most of their websites if I'm not mistaken. What I came across -they were also actually asking about what didn't show up for me today was this blue advertisement for Google+. But basically this is what they were seeing and it was taking up real estate and they were concerned that ... they wanted to get rid of it, basically. They only way that I knew of to get rid of the blue bar was to go ahead and sign in but apparently Google has, perhaps, heard enough complaints on it that they've removed it on their own.

They are apparently also going to be changing this black bar. If you go out to the 'official' Google blog which is at, one of the items that they posted about, gosh, late last month before I even posted my article was talking about what they are calling introducing the new Google bar. I'm not going to play the video for you but what it boils down to is they are taking away the black bar; many people are already seeing this, they're taking away the black bar and replacing it with a dropdown on the logo so you will maybe hover over or click on the Google logo and you will get the same items that are currently being displayed in the black toolbar. The problem as I see it if I understand the video properly, is that they are replacing the narrow black bar with perhaps something that is perhaps more visually appealing but is also permanent across all sites and slightly larger. So it will be interesting to see what people's reactions to that are when it comes out. As I understand it, it is rolling out as we speak but obviously it hasn't rolled out to me yet.

Article C5002 - December 3, 2011 « »

Share this article with your friends:

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article Email a link to this article
Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

A G Wright
December 3, 2011 12:03 PM

No black bar and Google search. At least to start.

December 3, 2011 12:04 PM

Well, if you really want to make them disappear you could add a line of code to your user stylesheet (which is browser-dependent).

To remove the blue bar, add this:
#gbprw {display:none !important}

To remove the the whole thing (blue and black bars), add this:
#gb {display:none !important}

December 4, 2011 2:22 AM

I like the Black bar, but like you wish it was customisable. Google, you're listening aren't you?

Krta Riles
December 5, 2011 10:12 AM

Google has a start page that I've been using for about a year now. It is an SSL Beta start page:

No Black blue bar, just the plain black bar with a sign in button.

They also give a link explaining secure SSL search:

They also provide a link to go back to the classic search:

December 6, 2011 8:45 AM

Install Firefox add-on - Disable Google Black Bar Techie Buzz (requires Greasemonky first.)

December 6, 2011 9:02 AM

Toolbars on top of toolbars and yet more toolbars. Give me space! Give me room to see the web page. Please!

December 6, 2011 9:06 AM

Google is rolling out a new Google Bar soon that will hide the black bar at the top into a dropdown that comes from the Google logo.

Lynn Manning Ross
December 6, 2011 9:06 AM

Add me to the list of "don't appreciate" Google jumping to the conclusion we all LIKE their added bars. It strikes me of a big bully. I am offended by these sales tactics.

December 6, 2011 9:47 AM

Leo, you may not like to mention ad-blocking software solutions because YOU derive revenue from them on your site, please respect our rights and wishes to stop the never ending exposure to advertising. That is our right and please understand.

Absolutely. And there are pleny of sites where you can find out about such things. Please respect my rights and understand why, as a site the owes its existance to advertising, I might be opposed to such add-ons.
December 6, 2011 10:03 AM

iv'e never seen this blue bar may-be because of the fact that i have mail notifier and click ok (sighn into my a/c) and then mail in main box pops up
but no blue bar on main page only black tool bar which i like and use

December 6, 2011 10:23 AM

Hey Leo, I'm afraid to tell you that you also have one of those 'features', namely, the 'FREE Newsteller' tab-thing. In a PC, it's not really a problem but, I'm using my phone right now, and it gets in the way of the text. Is there a way to disable it?

OK, I figured out a way to hide it completely when the window is too narrow for it to display without obstruction.
Gary Michaels
December 6, 2011 10:34 AM

It's easy to turn off the blue bar -- if you are running Firefox or SeaMonkey, and have the "NoScript" extension installed, just deny "" scripts, which are embedded in the code on their home page. Problem solved. Plus, the black bar menus still work!

December 6, 2011 10:45 AM

I've had to install AdBlock Plus because of issues with flashing banner ads (I suffer migraines and flashing sometimes triggers it). However I disable it on sites that don't have those flashing ones. That includes this one :-)

Oren Phipps
December 6, 2011 12:29 PM

Much like the annoying little Free Newsletter tab on this page, heh, heh, heh. Many sites do things like this. Most who do give a lot away free. It is a small price to pay.

And my annoying free newsletter tab now only appears if it's NOT covering something up :-).
December 6, 2011 1:43 PM

Hey Gary Michaels,
if you are running Firefox or SeaMonkey, and have the "NoScript" extension installed, just deny "" scripts
how do we do this in detail please?

December 6, 2011 2:02 PM

Thanks for fixing the FREE Newsletter tab thing. After complaining, I found the fix for myself. I hit the Control 0 combination that returns to the basic size font. It's then harder to read the finer print but I can live with that.

Ravi Menon
December 6, 2011 2:05 PM

The blue bar annoyed me and there was no easy way to disable it bar adblock+ element blocker or noscript, so I switched to ixquick and duckduckgo as my start pages on different computers and added them as my search engines as well. Got the idea from linux mint 12 which has now switched to duckduckgo as the default search engine.
On work computers, I use bing now.
I'm a big fan of google and totally 'dig' gmail, googledocs, google sites and calendar and so forth. Google used to my default start page, mainly due to its clean interface. That is long gone now and the blue bar was the last straw. I now navigate to gmail and googledocs by typing their address directly in rather that go to the google start page.
I don't feel so bad because I do not disable all ads on google and actually pay google for some services including hosting.

December 6, 2011 2:15 PM

When using Firefox, to remove the annoying *blue* bar with “Click here to start sharing on Google+” on the website:

simply install the irreplaceable “NoScript” add-on - and when on page, click on the “Forbid” .

That is all.

(Incidentally, the “Adblock Plus” add-on, great tool that it is, doesn’t apply here. Though I am quite perplexed that Leo shies away from it, as it truly saves one a lot of grief.)

December 6, 2011 4:33 PM

I see now that Gary Michaels had already posted the correct “NoScript” solution before I did, sorry.


@Roaringleo, the details:

get the NoScript by searching ;

when you install it, go to Tools → Add-ons in your Firefox;

in the new Add-ons window click on Extensions, find the NoScript item, and click on its Preferences;

when the window NoScript Options pops up, click on the Appearance tab, therein check the box Status bar icon (if not already checked), and close the window;

a round icon with a capital letter “S” shall appear in the Firefox status bar (at the bottom) on the right hand side;

go now to the, and left-click on that “S” icon, which will yield a menu with a line “Forbid” - and click on it. The No Script will remember it.

(P.S. Should you ever want to reverse this, clicking on “S” - while on the page - will give you a line “Allow”, and you can click on it.)

December 6, 2011 7:35 PM

didnt ask 4 it,dont want it.takes up space i need

Mark J
December 7, 2011 6:28 AM

Fear not. Very soon Google is going to replace that black toolbar with a less obtrusive menu that appears as you a pop up when you mouse over the Google logo.

Gregory Adam
December 9, 2011 1:34 AM

A week ago I had reason to reboot my computer - when it had it's way and started up again the blue bar was gone and it has not come back since !!

December 10, 2011 4:13 AM

I never use Firefox, because every time I start it, it has its own ad, saying" know your rights". No matter what settings I uncheck, it keeps coming back the next day.

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.