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Enabling Javascript in Internet Explorer

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 3/23/2011

If active content such as flash videos and games will not run in Internet Explorer, you may have JavaScript disabled. Learn about JavaScript errors and how to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, as well as other troubleshooting methods for scripting errors.

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    About Internet Explorer JavaScript Errors

    In general, Internet Explorer is a stable, reliable web browser. However, when Internet Explorer is incorrectly configured it may experience errors. At times, you may find that Flash-based videos and games will not run in Internet Explorer. Web pages might not display properly, or elements in the pages may fail to function. In some cases, the web page may fail to display entirely. If this happens, it may be because you have JavaScript disabled in Internet Explorer. Fortunately, enabling JavaScript in Internet Explorer is a relatively simple process. If you enable JavaScript and your problem persists, then there are other troubleshooting methods you can use to get Internet Explorer working properly again.

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    Enabling JavaScript by Changing Internet Explorer Scripting Options

    Open Internet Explorer. Click Tools, then Internet Options. Click the Internet icon. Select the Security tab. Click Custom Level. Scroll down in the Security Settings - Internet Zone box until you see Scripting. Under Active Scripting, select Enable. Click OK twice.

    If the Custom Level button is disabled in the Security dialog box, then select Default Level instead. You can also enable JavaScript very quickly in some cases by lowering the security level in Internet Options to Medium-high or lower. Return to the page with the JavaScript code and click the Refresh button.

    You can also enable JavaScript for specific sites while disabling it for others. To do this, navigate to the site on which you would like to run JavaScript. Return to Internet Options in Internet Explorer and set your security level to High. Click the Trusted Sites icon, and then click the Sites button. Click the Add button. You may also add sites to your Trusted Sites manually by typing the entire domain URL into the field marked Add this website to the zone.

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    Other JavaScript Troubleshooting Methods

    It these methods do not solve your problem with scripting and JavaScript, try some of these other solutions. Make sure that your version of Internet Explorer is up to date. If you are running Windows XP, Vista or 7, make sure that you have at least Internet Explorer 7 or 8 installed and visit Microsoft Update to download the latest service pack. If you are running a Windows operating system that is older than Windows XP, download and install Internet Explorer 6 with the latest service packs. You must have Windows 98, 98 SE, Me, NT 4.0, 2000 or XP installed to run Internet Explorer 6. If you are running Windows 3.1 or 95, you should seriously consider upgrading your operating system.

    You should also ensure that script debugging is disabled in Internet Explorer. Reopen Internet Options, click the Advanced tab and scroll down to the Browsing section. Click the check mark beside both instances of Disable script debugging and click OK.

    If this does not work, click the General tab and click Delete under Browsing History. Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files. Also, delete all of the Internet Explorer cookies and the browsing history. Click Close when you are finished.

    These instructions should solve most basic problems with enabling JavaScript in Internet Explorer. If you need additional information, check the Microsoft Help and Support website. For more Internet Explorer tips, read What to do when Internet Explorer is Running without Add-Ons.