How and Why to Disable Javascript in Your Browser

April 19, 2009

in computer performance,Internet

by Tina Gasperson

Javascript is a very important programming language that, along with its cousin Java, makes it possible for most of the user-interactivity that happens when you’re using a browser application to navigate the World Wide Web. Without Javascript, your ability to experience the richness of some of your favorite Web sites is curtailed. However, it is still completely possible to browse online without Javascript enabled.

Most browsers have security settings that can disable Javascript, since it can pose a security threat when malicious coders write a program with Javascript that is designed to invade your system and take it over. And while this happens only when Javascript is given unfettered access to your computer and you aren’t using an antivirus program, many users, especially those running Internet Explorer, prefer to completely disable Javascript

Some other irritating things that Javascript can do if it is enabled on your system:

Disable the “back” button on your toolbar
Insert pop-ups
Resize your browsing window
Remove the status bar, the address bar, or any other menu
Scan your computer to learn your network map and use that to send an invading worm to other computers on the network

If you’re one of those users who would prefer to completely block Javascript and not have to worry about the details, here’s how:

Mozilla Firefox 3:
Tools, Options, Content
Click the checkbox and remove the checkmark next to “Enable Javascript”

Internet Explorer 7 or later:
Tools, Internet Options
Click Security tab and select “Internet”
Click Custom level and scroll down to the Scripting section. Click “Disable” under Active Scripting.

Opera 9.6 or later:
Tools, Preferences
Click Advanced tab and select Content
Uncheck “Enable Javascript”

Google Chrome 1 or later:
Javascript is enabled by default and there’s not a simple way to disable it. Here’s how to disable Javascript manually. Find your desktop shortcut icon for Chrome. Right click on it, and select “Properties.” In the “Target” window, place your cursor at the end of the string of text and enter -disable-javascript. Click OK. Unfortunately, Google Chrome doesn’t offer any further options to customize your javascript settings, but look for these options in future, more mature versions of the application.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.