Disable Right Click

Some websites use a script to disable the right click function of the mouse (the right mouse button). Let’s look at whether it is really worth using a disable right click function.

PopUp Windows

When someone has set up their browser to ignore/disable popups (hand up!) and you have used a script to disable right click the person cannot continue to the linked page if you have it set up to open in a new window. After getting the popup blocked message from the browser, one can normally right click the link and tell the browser to open the link in either a new browser window or new tab (if available). With right click disabled, you cannot.

Now, the visitor has to allow popups for the page to proceed to the link provided. An annoyance some visitors may not be too pleased about.

Browser Cache

The whole principle behind how a browser works is that your web page complete with graphics are downloaded to the visitor’s machine into their browser cache.

Some may have set up their browser to clear the browser cache when the browser is closed to free up space on their computer’s hard drive, most don’t.

User Browser Cache Not Cleared

If the visitor’s browser cache has not been set up to clear when the browser is closed, all they have to do is go to their browser temporary files folder and everything from the page is there.

A more savvy visitor can still beat the browser cleared on closing set up.

So, using the disable right click script in this case is useless.

View Source

Another way a person wanting to “pinch” your website content and/or graphics is by viewing the source code for the web page.

From the source code, they can figure out how you did things and where your graphics are stored, or just plain old copy your content coding.

Once again, your disabling the right click is rendered useless.

Javascript Disabled

Most of the disable right click scripts are written in javascript.

Visitors who have security concerns can disable javascript in their browser if they wish. If javascript is disabled, your disable right click script will not run (work) and therefore not protect the page content.

Image Searches

If your concern is someone stealing your images, have you:

  1. Inserted an index page in the images folder to prevent people viewing the contents of the folder?
  2. Created a robot.txt file requesting the search engine bots to not index the contents of the folder containing your images?

If you have not placed an index page in the folder containing your images (or set up the folder to be not viewable via your website control panel) then someone who inserts the path to your images folder (or any folder for that matter) can view what is inside the folder. Right click the image, save picture and they have got your image.

You can insert instructions into the robots.txt file requesting that the search engine bots please not index the contents of the folder. Polite bots will comply. Not so polite bots won’t so this isn’t a fool proof method.

With neither of these precautions in place, the search engines which provide image search will add your images to their image search function.

Is Disabling Right Click Worth It?

After looking at a few different ways the disable right click can be beat, is it really worth the trouble installing a disable right click script?

Many times it has been said:

“If you don’t want people to steal your stuff, don’t put it on the internet.”

Author Unknown

I think we have proven the point that using a disable right click script is just an inconvience to your website visitor and generally useless.

Further Reading on Disabling Right Click

Don't Disable Right Click! [Usability and Information Architecture]

5 Reasons to Avoid Using DRM On Your Site

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14 Responses to Disable Right Click

  1. Richard Mongler Says:

    I think everyone who disables right click should be put in prison for life and banned from making websites. I truly hate everyone who disables right click. It is abuse of javascript, it is hacking someone’s mouse/browser, and it is a form of Denial of Service Attack.

  2. Barton Says:

    If people adhered to Copyright then fine, but they don’t, so disable and be damned!

  3. Mariana Says:

    It’s really annoying when I’m visiting a site that disableed the right click function.

    I know that some people try to protect their online property but if the visitor is a theft he/she will find a way to steal anyway. So, leave the right click alone, LOL


    Mariana Teagan
    Miami – FL

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