How to block resources in Playwright and Python?

To speed up Playwright web scrapers we can block media and other non-essential requests using the request interception feature:

from playwright.sync_api import sync_playwright

# block pages by resource type. e.g. image, stylesheet
#  we can even block stylsheets and scripts though it's not recommended:
# 'stylesheet',
# 'script',  
# 'xhr',

# we can also block popular 3rd party resources like tracking and advertisements.

def intercept_route(route):
    """intercept all requests and abort blocked ones"""
    if route.request.resource_type in BLOCK_RESOURCE_TYPES:
        print(f'blocking background resource {route.request} blocked type "{route.request.resource_type}"')
        return route.abort()
    if any(key in route.request.url for key in BLOCK_RESOURCE_NAMES):
        print(f"blocking background resource {route.request} blocked name {route.request.url}")
        return route.abort()
    return route.continue_()

with sync_playwright() as pw:
    browser = pw.chromium.launch(
        # tip: you can enable devtools so we can see total resource usage (bottom left corner)
    context = browser.new_context(viewport={"width": 1920, "height": 1080})
    page = context.new_page()
    # enable intercepting for this page, **/* stands for all requests
    page.route("**/*", intercept_route)

Resource blocking can significantly reduce bandwidth usage - often by 2-10 times! Take note though that blocking functional resources like stylesheets, scripts and xhr could affect the web scraping process.

Question tagged: Playwright, Python

Related Posts

How to Scrape Google Maps

We'll take a look at to find businesses through Google Maps search system and how to scrape their details using either Selenium, Playwright or ScrapFly's javascript rendering feature - all of that in Python.

How to Scrape Dynamic Websites Using Headless Web Browsers

Introduction to using web automation tools such as Puppeteer, Playwright, Selenium and ScrapFly to render dynamic websites for web scraping