How to Fix Script Errors on Google Websites

By Paul Higgins

Learn how to prevent your browser from displaying script errors or freezing when loading Google Web pages.

Like many websites, the Google search engine -- as well as Google affiliates like YouTube or Gmail -- relies on JavaScript code to provide advanced functionalities. Google highly optimizes its websites, making embedded JavaScript code containing functionality-breaking bugs very rare. However, there are several issues on the user's end that can cause your browser to display script-related error messages or stop responding while you're visiting Google-owned sites.

Tip

By default, Internet Explorer displays a warning box when it encounters script errors, which are often helpful to developers but of limited use to regular users. Disable script error messages in Internet Explorer by opening the cog menu and clicking Internet Options. Open the Advanced tab and tick the check boxes next to Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer) and Disable Script Debugging (Other). Untick the box next to Display a notification about every script error and click OK to save your settings.

Scan Your Computer for Malware

When loading pages heavily reliant on JavaScript, a virus can slow down your computer and modify your browser's behavior so that it stops responding or renders it unable to properly run scripts.

To get rid of malware on your computer, run a full system scan using Windows Defender, an anti-malware application built into Windows. Alternatively, consider installing a free anti-virus program such as 360 Total Security, Avast Free or AVG AntiVirus Free 2015.

Disable Add-ons and Extensions

Google Chrome

Step 1

Press Ctrl+Shift+N and visit the Web page that previously displayed an error or failed to load. If the Google-owned Web page displays properly in incognito mode, close the incognito window and disable your add-ons and extensions one by one to find the extension responsible for the script errors.

Step 2

Chrome 43.

Open the Chrome menu and click Settings.

Step 3

Alternatively, click the trash can icon to delete the extension from your computer.

Select Extensions from the sidebar and untick the Enabled check box next to the extension you wish to disable. After disabling an extension, visit the Google page in normal mode and check whether it displays properly.

Mozilla Firefox

Step 1

Firefox 38.

Launch Firefox in Safe Mode -- a mode where all extensions are disabled -- and visit the page that previously froze or displayed a script error. Open the Firefox menu, click the Help icon and select Restart With Add-ons Disabled. If Firefox properly loaded the page in Safe Mode, launch the browser in normal mode and disable its add-ons one by one until you find the one that causes script errors.

Step 2

Firefox 38.

Open the Firefox menu and click Add-ons.

Step 3

Firefox 38.

Select Extensions from the sidebar and click Disable next to the name of the extension.

Step 4

Firefox 38.

Disable plugins by clicking the Plugins icon in the sidebar and selecting Never Activate from the drop-down menu next to the name of the plugin.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Step 1

Command Prompt Window

Launch Internet Explorer with all add-ons disabled by opening your Start Screen, typing cmd in the search field and selecting Command Prompt from the list of results. Enter "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff in the Command Prompt window and press Return to launch Internet Explorer without add-ons.

Tip

While using the Command Prompt is the only way to launch Internet Explorer with no add-ons under Windows 8, Windows 7 users can start the program by opening the Start Menu, typing Internet Explorer in the search box and selecting Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) from the list of results.

If you can load the Google page with add-ons disabled, launch Internet Explorer in normal mode and disable its add-ons one by one to identify which one is preventing your browser from correctly running the page's scripts.

Step 2

Internet Explorer 11.

Open the Tools menu and select Manage Add-ons.

Step 3

Internet Explorer 11.

Select the name of the add-on you wish to disable and click the Disable button.

Poorly-coded browser add-ons and extensions can cause JavaScript-related errors by modifying a page's source code or by using too many resources. Determining whether add-ons are responsible for script errors can be time-consuming. Before disabling add-ons one by one, launch your browser in safe mode or incognito mode -- a private mode where all add-ons are disabled -- and check whether you still encounter script issues. If you do, you can safely assume that your add-ons are not to blame for the freezing tabs or script errors.

Upgrade Your Computer

Older or slower computers may lack the processing power a browser needs to properly run scripts. Consider upgrading your system to prevent tab freezes when loading script-intensive pages.

Tip

Alternatively, shutting down unneeded applications before browsing and limiting the number of tabs opened at the same time may help your browser load pages faster.