The latest of these changes that hasn’t gone down very well is the new Facebook photo viewer, in which photos are displayed in a somewhat clunky lightbox. There’s no way any change made to a site like Facebook is going to please every single one of its millions of members, and most of the time, there’s an add-on to get things back exactly the way they were.
While the concept of a lightbox isn’t a terrible idea, Facebook’s execution certainly leaves something to be desired. If you want to get rid of the lightbox and revert to the more simple display, there are two ways to do this – you can manually refresh the page, or install an add-on. While doing it manually is tedious, when installing an add-on, you have to grant access to your Facebook profile – so both solutions do come at a price.
The Manual Solution
If you would rather not install anything at all, and grant an extension access to your Facebook profile, there are two ways to manually remove the lightbox. First, refreshing the page will display the image the good old fashioned way minus the annoying lightbox. The second way is to remove ‘&theatre’ at the end of any URL of an image on Facebook. Removing that text will remove the lightbox.
The disadvantage to either of these methods is that you have to do it manually for every single album you open, which can become a bit tedious.
Revert Facebook Photo Viewer (Chrome)
Chrome users can install the extension, Revert Facebook Photo Viewer which will automatically display images without the lightbox. The extension runs silently in the background and doesn’t need to be set up. Simply install and refresh.
Of course, installing this extension will grant it access to your Facebook data.
Facebook Photo Fix (Chrome)
Another option for Chrome users is Facebook Photo Fix which alters the appearance of the lightbox rather than remove it. Facebook Photo Fix moves the image down 40 pixels, and changes the background color from black to grey.
If you’re not averse the idea of a lightbox, this extension definitely makes it a lot more visually appealing, and of course, installing this extension will grant it access to your Facebook data.
Facebook Lightbox Killer (Chrome, Firefox & Greasemonkey)
, and Greasemonkey users can use the add-on Facebook Lightbox Killer to disable the lightbox preview. After installing the add-on, there’s nothing to configure. Just refresh Facebook and the changes will take effect.
The way that Facebook Lightbox Killer works is that it automatically refreshes the page the minute you load a picture, so it isn’t the smoothest way to deal with the issue, but is at least an automated alternative to manually refreshing the page.
Better Facebook (Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome & Greasemonkey)
Better Facebook is an add-on which does more than just remove the annoying lightbox. In fact, some might argue that it does far too much.
Better Facebook adds themes, tabs, allows you to mark items in your news feed as read, mute notifications from follow up comments, remove recent activity displayed in your profile, and much much more. When you first install the add-on, it will take you through a setup wizard determining and introducing you to some of the more prominent features.
You can always access the complete settings at any time from the options button on your Facebook page, which is where you can toggle the lightbox feature on and off.
Facebook Lightbox Killer is actually derived from Better Facebook, so like the previous add-on, it works in the same way, automatically refreshing the page once you open an image.
What do you think of the Facebook’s new photo viewer? Do you like it? Is it annoying enough to have to install an add-on to get rid of it? Let us know in the comments.