How To: Disable Javascript to Speed up MobileSafari on the iPhone

Dieter just told us about Crackberry Kevin's uber-frustrating experiences trying to pit the iPhone 3G and Blackberry Bold head to head in the browser war to end all browser wars. But -- silver lining -- for iPhone users, not only did we snag bragging rights, but a handy tip as well!

Unlike the Blackberry Bold, the iPhone defaults to having Javascript enabled. As anyone who's waited -- and waited -- for an overstuffed Facebook profile to load already knows, Javascript can be heavy lifting for a browser. For WebApps, it's a necessary sacrifice, but if all you want is casual browsing, you can turn Javascript off and send MobileSafari into turbo mode.

Here's how:

From the iPhone home screen, tap Settings. Scroll down and tap the Safari button. Under Security, slide Javascript to Off.

There you go, you've just switched to light, clean HTML and CSS mode (still technically "just the internet" -- unless you're in the UK...). In's tests, it made a big difference on some sites. Let us know how it works for you!

(Thanks to Crackberry Kevin!)

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How To: Disable Javascript to Speed up MobileSafari on the iPhone


If you use the iPhone optimized google reader it appears to use JavaScript so it does not load with this option turned off. I use this often so it is a must have for me.

Thanks for the great tip. My browser is flying through sites, but google no longer loads. Oh well, time to find a new search engine then.

Well, i have tried this now for a day or so. above mentioned are correct. Google won't load....HOWEVER typing in the google search field on the browser bar still brings back results. I also haven't found too many sites (at least the ones I frequent) that make this not a viable tip.

Thank you so much. With Javascript enabled on my iPhone 3G, web browsing was nearly impossible on many sites. Safari would constantly crash on me and shut down randomly. Now with it disabled, my Safari browsing experience has been 99.9% better. Typing is much quicker, load times are faster, and I can browse way more sites than I used to be able to. The only downside is that the homepage of will not load, but searching google from the address bar works fine.

So I disabled JavaScript to speed up Safari on my iPod touch and now I get a huge image that covers almost the entire page.
The ironic part? It's telling me that I need to enable Javascript in order to view this website.