JavaScript is a dynamic and lightweight computer programming language. It was introduced with Netscape 2.0 back in 1995. Back then, it was known as LiveScript . Today, it is a very popular programing language for creating web applications and dynamically generating web pages, and it is used by 95% of the websites worldwide. What makes it so popular is that it has a really simple and intuitive syntax, it’s supported by HTML, and it’s easily implementable.

The core of the JavaScript programming language is defined by the ECMA-262 Specification. It’s designed for web-centric applications and while it is a lightweight and interpretable programming language (the code doesn’t need to be compiled into an executable file), JavaScript is an open and cross platform.

There are some other advantages of using JavaScript. For instance, by validating the user input before sending the entire page to the server, JavaScript lessens the load on the server. Web developers can also create a more interesting interactive web environment for users.

How to enable or disable JavaScript

As we’ve mentioned in the beginning, 95% of all websites found on the net are using JavaScript. This is why internet browser manufacturers have enabled the JavaScript option and made this the default setting. Most user experiences on the modern web are built using JavaScript, and by disabling it, users will have to miss out on a lot. This is why the decision to disable it is given to the user.

Despite this, there are various instances when people want to disable it. This is mainly because of security benefits. Besides this, disabling JavaScript will also prevent the browser from displaying those annoying ads. Here is how to disable or enable JS for all popular browsers.

Google Chrome

Disable Javascript in Chrome

To disable JS in Google Chrome, you have to access your Settings by clicking on the menu icon located in the upper right corner. Choose the option labeled as "Show Advanced Setting". Click on the "Content Settings" and choose "Do not allow any site to run JavaScript" or "Allow all sites to run JavaScript".

If you know which sites pose a security risk for you, make a shortcut to Chrome on your desktop. Right click it and choose Properties. In the target box add "- disable-javascript" after chrome.exe.This way, you can have two Chrome shortcuts. One that starts Chrome with enabled JS and one that doesn’t.

Firefox

Disable Javascript in Firefox

Disabling JavaScript in Firefox is very fast and easy. You just need to type "about:config" in the address bar and press enter. After clicking the button "I’ll be careful, I promise!", proceed to finding the option entitled "javascript.enabled". When you double click on it, you can set its value to true or false. True stands for enable JS and false is for disabling it.

Microsoft Edge

Disable Javascript in Microsoft Edge

With Microsoft Edge, things are little bit complicated, since you can’t disable JavaScript directly from the browser. Instead, you have to launch a program named Edit Group Policy. Either type Edit Group Policy in the search bar located in taskbar or access it like this: Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Edit Group Policy.

This will open an entirely new app window. To access what you need, you have to Expand the following folders: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge. Then, you can double click "Allows you to run scripts, like JavaScript". Choose "Disabled" and then click OK to confirm your setting.

Internet Explorer

Disable Javascript in Internet Explorer

Disabling JavaScript in Internet Explorer is done in few clicks and a little bit of scrolling. Go to the Cog icon – Tools Menu – located in the upper right corner and select Internet Options. It is the second option from the bottom of the menu. This will open a new window. In this window, click on the Security tab and then click on the button labelled "Custom level…".

Scroll don’t to the Scripting section and choose Disable, Enable or Prompt.

Safari (iOS)

In order to disable JavaScript in your Safari browser, you should start by opening it and pressing "command + comma" or clicking on Safari in the browser menu. This is located on the top of your screen. This will open Safari’s preferences dialog window. Click on the Security Tab. Find the Web Content section and uncheck the box labelled "Enable JavaScript".

Opera

Disable Javascript in Opera

In the upper-left part of the Opera window, click on the Menu button. In this drop-down menu, click on Settings. For Mac users, the Menu button is on top of your screen and the option you have to choose is named Preferences.

This opens the settings in a new Opera tab. On the left side of the screen, you can see many options. You have to click on one labelled Websites. In the thirds section of Website settings, you will locate JavaScript. You can then choose two options "Allow all sites to run JavaScript" or "Do not allow any site to run JavaScript".

If you know exactly for which sites you want to enable or disable JavaScript, you can add exceptions by clicking on the "Manage exceptions" button directly below the aforementioned options.

Tor

Disable Javascript in Tor

Tor is one of the most sophisticated browsers when it comes to the security and safety of its users. To disable JavaScript, you need to click on the Tor Browser button, bring the cursor over the Options label and then click on Options. This will open a new window where you should click on the Content tab. In the Content tab, the 3rd option from the top is Enable JavaScript. Check the box when you want to enable it or uncheck it when you want it to be disabled. After you are done, click OK to apply the new setting.

JavaScript FAQ

Why is JavaScript so popular and essential to modern websites?

The simple nature of JavaScript is what made it incredibly popular. It is a scripting language that allows easy interaction with web pages and the creation of versatile web applications. It is also an object-oriented language like C++, Java, or C#. But, unlike others, it supports prototype inheritance, which allows objects to inherit properties directly from each other. And, since it is an interpreted language, it can be executed without any previous compilations. This makes JavaScript very fast and suitable for an ecosystem such as the Web.

Why would someone want to disable JavaScript?

There are several reasons that make people disable JavaScript. These are Security, Web Development, Speed and Bandwidth, Accessibility, Usability, and Platform Support. People mainly disable it because they have concerns about their safety and anonymity, and it is a fact that JavaScript has some vulnerabilities that can be exploited by some malevolent websites.

Can JavaScript hackers take over your computer?

JavaScript cannot be directly used to control a person’s computer, but hackers have found a way to use it as a code injection that helps them install other malware software that allows them total control over the victim’s computer. And this JavaScript code usually hunts for victims on shady websites. Usually, the victims are people who are fish baited into clicking on a certain link.

Is JavaScript safe?

JavaScript is not hacker proof. Nothing is. It is safe enough, though. It is a very popular programming language and since there is a huge community behind it, constant improvements and patches are made. If you want to feel safe with JavaScript, make sure to keep it enabled only when you’re on reliable websites.