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How To Install and Enable JavaScript

written by: Ada Stoy•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 2/24/2010

JavaScript is the most popular scripting language on the Web and if your browser doesn't have JavaScript installed and enabled, you will not be able to view many sites. It is easy to install and turn JavaScript on and this article will tell you how to do it.

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    How Do I Install JavaScript?

    In the majority of cases you will not have to install JavaScript because it is already installed for you. Almost any modern browser for any operating system comes bundled with JavaScript and because of this you won't have to bother with the installation of JavaScript.

    However, for some web browsers on mobile phones, JavaScript is missing and you need to install it. In this case the best option is to check with the site of the manufacturer of your mobile phone for instructions. Different mobile phones use different operating systems and browsers and there isn't a universal way to install JavaScript.

    JavaScript might already be installed for you but you could still be getting error messages. The most common reason for these error messages is that JavaScript might not be enabled. Quite naturally, if JavaScript is not turned on, you won't be able to use it. Therefore, you need to enable JavaScript.

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    How Do I Turn JavaScript On?

    The exact steps to enable JavaScript vary from one browser to the next (and from one version of the same browser to the next) but basically the procedure is as follows:

    1. How to Turn JavaScript on for Firefox

    a. From the Tools menu select Options.

    b. When the Options dialog box opens, select the Content tab (shown in the next screenshot).

    Turn JavaScript on in Firefox 

    c. Make sure that there is a tick in front of the Enable JavaScript option. If you want, you can configure some advanced options for JavaScript but even if you leave it as is and just click the OK button to save the changes, it is fine.

    2. How to Turn JavaScript on for Internet Explorer

    The procedure to turn JavaScript on in Internet Explorer is similar. Here is how to do it:

    a. From the Tools menu select Internet Options.

    b. When the Internet Options dialog box opens, select the Security tab and click the Custom Level button. This will open the Security Settings dialog box, shown in the next screenshot:

    Turn JavaScript on in Internet Explorer 

    c. Scroll down the list till you find the Scripting section and make sure that Active Scripting is enabled. Click the OK button to save the changes and that is it.

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    Possible Problems

    If you have followed the steps to turn JavaScript on and still it isn't working, there might be other reasons for that. For instance, one of the many possible reasons could be the NoScript plugin for Firefox. This plugin prevents scripts from execution and you need to check with in the documentation how you can exclude certain sites from this. The message that JavaScript is not working is not always easy to understand and sometimes you have to guess the exact reason why JavaScript is not working. If JavaScript is turned on usually a plugin or some settings are interfering and this is why JavaScript is not working.