How to Enable JavaScript in Safari

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When Safari has JavaScript disabled, your favorite websites may not function as intended. In fact, if JavaScript is a major element in the site's construction, it may not actually work at all. By enabling JavaScript, you can experience a website the way its developers intended. However, blindly enabling JavaScript across the board can be dangerous -- there's as much malicious content out there as there is useful.

Enabling JavaScript on a Mac

  • For Safari 8 on Mac, select Safari from the Apple/System bar, followed by Preferences. Select the Security tab in the window and check the Enable JavaScript check box in the Web Content category. To finalize the change, close the dialog, restart Safari, and then try a website with JavaScript features. JavaScript should run smoothly, unless an add-on is blocking it.

Enabling JavaScript in Windows

  • For Safari 5.1.7, the final Windows Safari release before it was discontinued, launch Safari and select Edit, followed by Preferences. Select the Security tab from the Window and check the Enable JavaScript check box. Save the changes by closing the dialog box, and then restart your browser to make them take effect. This option enables unrestricted JavaScript on all websites, unless you're using a JavaScript-blocking add-on.

Benefits of Using JavaScript

  • Without JavaScript enabled, only the most basic of website features are available. JavaScript is key to most interactive features and online multimedia presentations. Disabling it can make accessing and enjoying your favorite websites next to impossible, potentially even breaking the ability to log in to your various online accounts. No JavaScript means no interactive menus, no videos, no music and no functionality in gaming websites. It also means no social media options like comment sections, share and like buttons or up-vote and down-vote capabilities.

Risks of Using JavaScript

  • For all its useful features, JavaScript is also often used as a method of malicious attack. Without any restrictions to limit certain JavaScript actions, your computer is vulnerable to scripting attacks anywhere you go. The best way to protect yourself while still allowing useful JavaScript is to use JavaScript-blocking add-ons like Ghostery and JavaScript Blocker, which disable any JavaScript not present on their whitelists. These add-ons often feature a button on Safari's interface that can be used to whitelist a site or script, as well as an editable list in the add-on's options menu. Be aware that these add-ons won't block all attacks, only those based in JavaScript. Unless specifically mentioned by the add-on's creator, malicious VBScript and ActiveX scripts can still attack your computer through Safari.

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