Is there a way to programmatically load a views block that isn't active in the config(not placed under admin->structure->block layout).

My usual method to load a block programmatically is something like the following in hook_preprocess_node:

$block = Block::load('views_block__courses_block_3');
$block_render = \Drupal::entityTypeManager()->getViewBuilder('block')->view($block);

However, that seems to just return null if I haven't placed the block into a region after creating it under views.

Also noticed that the block isn't listed in the config table until placed into a region.

  • 1
    Yes that's correct, blocks that aren't in regions don't get rendered. There might be a way around it (I need it too), but I haven't found one yet. Basically we now have the concept of blocks and instances of those blocks - creating the View display is creating the block, assigning it to a region in a theme is what makes the instance, and makes it available for render
    – Clive
    Jan 24, 2018 at 15:08
  • @Clive, a way around it could be to create a block instance on the fly, see option b), or execute the views block display directly, see option c) of drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/153184/…
    – 4uk4
    Jan 24, 2018 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


See this answer for details.

Basically, the way to do this is to add a "Hidden Blocks" region to your theme, then place the blocks you want to render there. The region does not get rendered so it's not a big resource drain. We do this to use have "block" paragraphs using paragraphs all the time.

  • I call mine Do Not Render :) Don't suppose you know of docs or an issue that suggests that method is the "official" workaround/solution for this? I'd love to put that to bed in my own mind
    – Clive
    Jan 24, 2018 at 15:49
  • I know I saw some issue conversations about this when I had to figure it out. This docs.acquia.com/article/lesson-21-blocks-and-configuration talks about instances and points to the change record. The reason for instances was to allow the same blocks to be placed in different regions. I think that you can programatically create an instance but an instance requires a region. So it still shows up in the block placement UI.
    – CG Monroe
    Jan 24, 2018 at 16:21

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