Tommy Twardzik

Remove Ugly Media Bookmarklet for Mac

A silver MacBook opening its lid with ambient purple light.

Image: Dmitry Chernyshov

I already wrote about how to remove ugly media on iOS using Shortcuts. There's another way to accomplish this that works on a Mac, too!

You just have to smush that JavaScript into a tiny DIY browser extension, called a bookmarklet.

Bookmarklets let you trigger a JavaScript function simply by clicking the item in your bookmarks list. Instead of opening a URL, the bookmarklet runs its code on the page.

Why opt for this alternative over Shortcuts? Until Shortcuts comes to the Mac (🤞) that solution is limited to iOS and iPadOS. And while Shortcuts takes a moment to animate its progress, the bookmarklet runs instantly.

Bonus: You can use this method right on iPhones and iPads, too!

Configuring the Bookmarklet

It was fairly simple to reuse the JavaScript from my Remove Media Shortcut for the bookmarklet but I needed to employ a few tricks to make it work.

These I learned by example, looking at another bookmarklet—View Page Source—I've been using on my iPad for many months in lieu of the Mac's Command + Option + U inspector.

The `javascript:()` Wrapper

What's important is beginning the bookmarklet's JavaScript with javascript:(()=>{ and ending it with the proper… ending: })();.

This is the almost-ready code:

  var images=document.getElementsByTagName('img');
      images[i].style.display = "none";};
  var vids=document.getElementsByTagName('video');
    vids[i].style.display = "none";};

Looks good, but it needs one more tweak before it's ready…

URL Encoding

Within those bookends you insert our JavaScript but the code has to be URL encoded. That means each whitespace is replaced with "%20", each "{" becomes "%7B", etc.

Don't do this by hand.

On an iPad, you can use this simple shortcut to URL-encode any text, including our JavaScript.

Once it's encoded, the browser will be able to open it like a URL. Instead of displaying a webpage, it'll run the code.

This is the same JavaScript code as above but URL-encoded and ready to copy-and-paste into your bookmarklet:


Creating the Bookmarklet

Creating a JavaScript bookmarklet requires the tiniest of workarounds but I'm not aware of any built-in way to do it.

On macOS and iOS: 1. Visit any web page and use the share sheet to "Add Bookmark". 2. Change the name to "Remove Media" or whatever you'd like. 3. Save the bookmark.

On macOS: 1. Open the bookmarks list, right click on your new bookmark and click "Edit Address…" 2. Replace the URL with the URL-encoded JavaScript code above (the ugly-looking version that's full of "%" marks). 3. Save the change. 4. On a web page with an image or video, open bookmarks and click your new bookmarklet. The media should instantly disappear.

On iOS: 1. Open bookmarks, long-press on your new bookmark and tap Edit. 2. Replace the URL with the URL-encoded JavaScript code above. 3. Navigate back to the list and tap your new bookmarklet to run it on the current web page.

Your bookmarklet is ready to go!

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