How to Block JavaScript on Your iPhone or Android (and When You Should)

How to Block JavaScript on Your iPhone or Android (and When You Should)
Photo: leungchopan, Shutterstock

Much of the modern web would be vastly different if not for JavaScript, the programming language that’s allowed for interactive elements to be added to your favourite websites. Features like chat boxes, audio and video players, and infinite scrolling are just a few examples of what JavaScript has added to our lives.

When should you disable JavaScript?

Not everyone wants to run websites with JavaScript enabled. The dark side of these features is additional tracking, auto-playing videos, many annoyances that change scrolling behaviour, and more. By disabling JavaScript, you can disable infinite scrolling on most websites, which is a big deal if you’re trying to cut screen time. Other benefits of disabling JavaScript include reduced tracking, blocking ads, and bypassing paywalls so you can read articles online for free.

Even if you want to disable JavaScript, your options are limited because most websites are so dependent on it. Some websites may break completely, while others may revert to a basic HTML as Gmail does when your internet connection is slow. We’ve already covered how to disable JavaScript on desktop browsers, and now it’s time to take a look at doing the same thing on mobile.

Before we get started, we should let you know that many popular mobile browsers don’t allow you to block JavaScript. For example, Firefox on Android or iPhone doesn’t have this feature. Having said that, the two most popular browsers on iPhone and Android — Safari and Google Chrome — allow you to disable JavaScript, so here’s how to do it.

How to disable JavaScript in Safari on iPhone

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

To disable JavaScript in Safari, open Settings on your iPhone. Then, navigate to Safari > Advanced and disable JavaScript. You can now open Safari and see if your favourite websites work without breaking. If you’re unhappy with what you discover, go back to Safari settings and re-enable it.

How to disable JavaScript in Chrome on Android

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

If you’re using Chrome on Android, open the browser and tap the three-dots icon in the top-right corner. You can then go to Settings > Site Settings > JavaScript. Disable JavaScript here to get rid of it in Google Chrome on Android. On the same page, you can tap Add Site Exception, type the URL, and hit Add to allow JavaScript to run on specific websites.

Unfortunately, Chrome on iPhone doesn’t allow you to disable JavaScript.

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