How to enable or disable JavaScript in your web browser

The latest and greatest sites on the web--including this one--require JavaScript to be enabled in your web browser to give you the best experience. If you've got JavaScript turned off, read on for instructions on how to turn it back on (or, if you really want, the other way around) in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, or Safari.
Published: Jul 29, 2007
Author: Jordan Running
Related OS: OS X / Windows

Once little more than a novelty, JavaScript has become one of the main technologies driving innovation on the web. JavaScript (not to be confused with Java, a mostly unrelated technology) lets web designers make their sites more interactive, more visually appealing, and more useful. JavaScript isn't all good--it enables pop-up ads, for example--but modern web browsers eliminate those nastier aspects, and browsing with JavaScript turned off, in this writer's opinion, excludes one from experiencing the best of what the web has to offer--including much of the functionality of this site--without offering much benefit.

If you or a well-meaning helper has turned off JavaScript and you want to turn it back on (or if you've decided, for whatever reason, you really want to turn it off), you'll find instructions below for doing so in the four most popular web browsers.

Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, go to the Tools menu and select Options... and then click on the Content tab. There you'll see the "Enable JavaScript" option. Check it to turn JavaScript on, uncheck it to turn it off. The Advanced... button gives you a few more options for when JavaScript is enabled. When you done, click on OK.

Firefox JavaScript options

Internet Explorer

In Internet Explorer 6, enabling and disabling JavaScript is a bit less obvious. First, go to the Tools menu and choose Internet Options... Click on the Security tab and then on the Internet icon. Then click on the Custom Level... button below. Scroll down to the Scripting heading and then click on Enable or Disable to turn JavaScript on or off, respectively. If you choose the Prompt option, you will be prompted every time a web site tries to use JavaScript--since most web sites use some JavaScript these days, this gets pretty annoying and I recommend against this option. When you're finished, click on OK and then OK again.

Internet Explorer JavaScript options


Like Firefox, Safari makes things easy. To turn JavaScript on or off in Apple's browser, go to the Edit menu and choose Preferences... Then click on the Security tab where you'll see the Enable JavaScript option. Check it to turn JavaScript on, uncheck it to turn it off. When you're done just close the window.

Safari JavaScript options


Opera's JavaScript settings are also pretty easy to find. Click on the Tools menu and choose Preferences... Then click on the Advanced tab and then Content on the left, where you'll see the Enable JavaScript option. Checked means JavaScript on, unchecked means it's off. Like Firefox, Opera gives you some more options if you click on JavaScript options. When you're done, click OK.

Opera JavaScript options

About Jordan Running

Blogger since 1999, Jordan Running went pro in 2005 and never looked back. Sometimes programmer, occasional photographer, and serial tinkerer, he decided to to switch to Linux in 2001 but just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.

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