Internet Explorer drops support for bookmarklets?

Internet Explorer no longer lets me drag bookmarklets. When did that change? I can drag http: links, but not javascript: links.

(Internet Explorer's support for bookmarklets has declined steadily since IE 5.5. IE 5.5 supported 2083-character bookmarklets. IE 6.0 only supported 508-character bookmarklets. IE 6.0 in XP SP2 only supported 508-character bookmarklets and counted spaces as several characters.)

10 Responses to “Internet Explorer drops support for bookmarklets?”

  1. minghong Says:

    Perhaps yet another “security” enhancements? :-P

  2. Milly Says:

    I think it may have arrived with the MS Jan 05 patches to IE6 SP2 (or possibly the Dec 04 ones: I was slow to apply those). Or perhaps earlier: I don’t use IE these days either.

    It appears the ‘solution’ is to add the site to the Trusted Zone (my site’s bookmarklet pages now suggest “For the latest versions/patches of IE you may need to add the site to your Trusted Zone to enable drag’n’drop. You shouldn’t be adding Bookmarklets from a site you don’t trust anyway, but if in doubt don’t use the drag’n’drop method, or remove the site from the Trusted Zone afterwards”).

    Is there something more dangerous about drag’n’drop than via the menus? I doubt it, but after that dragging the scrollbar exploit (, I suppose anything is possible.

    Btw, for some time (since SP2 I think) IE has exhibited different behaviour re spaces when adding bookmarklets using either the menus, or dragging. Often that means that dragged bookmarklets get their spaces converted to “%20″s.

    Alas, I think that breaks some of your bookmarklets (though there may be other factors: despite liberally stealing your code, I don’t anywhere near fully understand JS. Do you use spaces for functionality, or only readability, for example?). In IE6 SP2 many of the bookmarklets on your zap.html page, for example, only work for me when used from the page, not when saved as a Favourite (though sometimes whether dragging, or using the menus, makes a difference). “Zap colours”, as an easy example, works from the page, but not from the Links bar (howsoever put there). Works fine in Opera.

    I managed to hack around my very basic ones to regain cross-browser functionality, even with SP2, but I don’t pretend to understand what’s going on. (I had to remove the spaces to get my GoogleAnon ‘port’ of your “toggle google look” bookmarklet to work under SP2).

    I hope you have enough residual interest in IE (or at least in cross-browser compatibility) to figure it out ;)

  3. Steve Says:

    The Bookmarklets on SquareFree, are great, but I’m a huge Bookmarklet fanatic, and have written many that are 1,000’s of characters long, and thus have not worked in IE, in a LONG! time (if they were even possible in IE (most were not))

    Once again, once you start *really* using Firefox, you’ll wonder why people use IE, for anything other than Windows Update.

    Web Application Developer

  4. Joey Says:


    That just doesn’t make any sense.

    By the way, what’s firefox limit? (I don’t feel like testing it… haha)

  5. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    Firefox supports 100000-character bookmarklets (tested using I don’t know what its limit is.

  6. stone Says:

    I think Steves favelet suite at is a good solution to ship around browser quirks with loading bookmarklets.

  7. Jim Ley Says:

    bookmarklets are still working for me with a fully patched IE6 XP SP2.

    The limit can be pretty easily worked around by simply inserting a script element containing the content you want executed, this is better anyway IMO as it makes debugging much easier.

  8. Francois Jordaan Says:

    I’ve also noticed the disappearance of drag-support on a brand new XP Pro SP2 install.

    My workaround is simply to right-click: Add to Favorites…, and then select Links.

    Which proves what a half-assed measure it is. No real added security, it merely ruins a useful bit of functionality.

    By the way, Jesse, when are you going to fix Ancestors for Firefox 1.0?

  9. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    > My workaround is simply to right-click: Add to Favorites…, and then select Links.

    That’s better than the solution I came up with. Thanks.

    > By the way, Jesse, when are you going to fix Ancestors for Firefox 1.0?

    Ancestors works if you check “Allow scripts to: change status bar text” in Tools > Web Features > Advanced.

  10. splintor Says:

    I took a look at, and just wanted to comment that I found out that if you want to build a string with 100000 or more ‘a’ character in it, while the straight-forward way is what you used:
    for (i = 0; i < len; ++i) stringofAs += ‘a’;

    A much more efficient way to do it is:
    stringofAs = new Array(len + 1).join(‘a’);

    This is especially noticeable in IE. Firefox seems to optimize this loop.