How to Disable JavaScript in Firefox

Nowadays, JavaScript is kind of a must-have for most websites in order to function properly and provide the best user experience to their visitors; hence, it is supported by all modern web browsers by default. In certain cases though, you may need to disable it. This tutorial will show you how to block JavaScript in Firefox browser.

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What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a client (web browser) side programming language that is based on the Java technology, and today it is heavily used on websites, web applications and even on mobile apps. In addition to HTML, which is used for the structure -markup- of a website and CSS, which is used for the style of a website, JavaScript is used for adding dynamic abilities to a website such as dropdown menus, form handling, timers, notifications, image sliders, responsive elements, practically anything you can think of when it comes to a dynamic website.

While JavaScript (also commonly referred to as JS), is not a requirement for building a website, the possibilities it introduces for the display and functionality of a web page makes it a popular (we shall say the most popular) client-side scripting language. Though not all websites make use of it, it has become a necessity for most websites in order to work at all, including the ones you frequently visit on a daily basis such as Google, Facebook, or YouTube.

Why Disable JavaScript?

There are mainly two major reasons for wanting to disable JS and we will briefly talk about each of them before we move on to disabling JS.

The first one is that you are a regular web user and you want to protect yourself from malicious scripts that may do nasty things on your browser or device without your consent such as storing ill-purposed cookies, causing forced redirects, displaying annoying popups or even stealing your personal information. Note that JavaScript itself is not to be blamed here. It is just the foundation the scripts are built upon and it is not harmful by itself. What is harmful is the scripts that are usually found on "evil" websites, so unless you have to visit such sites, it is best to keep away from them and let JS continue its operation on safe and trustable sites.

The other reason is that you are a web designer or web developer and while testing your designs and applications, while previewing your website before you publish it, you need to disable JavaScript to better test certain parts of your design. This is something I had needed a couple of times before and luckily web browsers, including Firefox, allow the developers to disable certain things on them for such kind of testing.

Now, let's continue with disabling JS in Firefox.

Disable JavaScript in Firefox Web Browser

Unfortunately, Firefox does not provide a built-in option to disable JavaScript, like it allows blocking images or cookies (even if it can be done for individual sites). So, we will have to use third party add-ons to achieve what we want. I know that "third party" is a term that doesn't sound really nice but this is the only way and considering that the add-ons I will be talking about below are mentioned on the official support page of Mozilla here, you should have no worry about using them, but make sure to keep them up-to-date.

There may be more add-ons to disable JavaScript in Firefox but I will focus on two of them in this post.

1. NoScript Security Suite

How to Disable JavaScript in Firefox - 1

The NoScript Security Suite addon is a highly popular Firefox extension that is used for privacy and security purposes. One of its features is to block JavaScript scripts from running. It has highly detailed options and it also allows to safe list certain sites that you trust to run scripts so that while blocking harmful websites' activities, you can continue using your favorite sites safely.

Simply install the add-on by visiting the addon page with Firefox and it will start blocking JavaScript as soon as it is active. You can install NoScript Security Suite extension from the link below:

2. Ghostery

How to Disable JavaScript in Firefox - 2

The second great privacy protection add-on for Firefox is Ghostery, which focuses on privacy, protection from threats and browsing speed. It offers a high level of control for scripts and trackers and allows you to block or enable each resource individually or by site level.

As soon as you install Ghostery, you can start blocking JavaScript on certain sites as you wish. You can download and install Ghostery extension from the link below:

You need only one of these addons to disable JavaScript in Firefox. You can try each of them, check their features and decide which one to use.

TIP: Here are some great Chrome extensions if you are also using Chrome browser during your design & development work:

12 Must-Have Chrome Extensions for Web Developers
10 Must-Have Chrome Extensions for Web Designers

If you ever decide to allow running JavaScript scripts again on all or specific sites, you can adjust the add-on settings or uninstall them totally.

Note that, blocking JavaScript like this will not only block external JavaScript files that are linked to as a resource on a page (e.g. script.js), but also any inline scripts placed on a page within the <script> tags. For example, once you block JS, many website features you might be frequently using such as Facebook Like and Share buttons and other social media sharing buttons will stop working.

Also Check: You may also find the following Firefox tips to be helpful:

How to Block Images in Firefox and Chrome
How to Disable Flash in Firefox

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