Have you ever run across a web page you could not zoom in the iOS web browser? I have encountered several web sites that prevent the user from zooming on the page with iOS. When I browse these web sites on my iPad, I’m unable to double-tap to zoom in and out and sometimes I can’t use a two-finger spread/pinch gesture to zoom. This is something I do often to read web pages more comfortably on my iPad or my iPod touch, and it’s quite irritating when the web site blocks me from zooming this way.
I have found several workarounds for this annoyance, which I’ll explain here, but if you want the best solution, skip down to the last one.
Good: “Reader” mode in mobile Safari
You may have noticed the small “Reader” button appearing in the address bar of mobile Safari after the page you are viewing is fully loaded. Pressing this button opens a pop-up window showing the main content of the page in a reader-friendly format with larger fonts, and stripped of extraneous elements. Not exactly the same as zooming, but it often solves the problem of not being able to read comfortably.
Better: “Enable Zoom” Bookmarklet
Here is the snippet of code you will paste into the address for the “Enable Zoom” bookmarklet:
I suggest moving this bookmarklet to the Bookmarks Bar in mobile Safari if you choose to use it.
[via Ask Different: How can I force pinch-to-zoom on some websites?]
Best: Enable Zoom in iOS Accessibility Settings
When you read this solution, you will have no need for the first two. I can’t think of any disadvantages to going this route. iOS has a zoom option under Settings > General > Accessibility. When enabled, it allows you to zoom in and out by double-tapping with three fingers. This works anywhere, not just mobile Safari, so you can use it to enlarge portions of the screen within other apps. However, one great side effect of this setting is that it forces mobile Safari to ignore the web page code that prevents zooming!
Now, whether you use the three-finger zoom shortcut or not, you will no longer be blocked from zooming in and out on web pages in the normal way.
[via Roger Johansson: The iOS Zoom setting disables maximum-scale=1 and user-scalable=no]
I hope you find this tip as useful as I have!
I hate the zoom-blocking sites! Bastards. Thanks for the advice!
Good point about the iPhone. Thanks for letting me know the bookmarklet worked for you!
FYI, the “best” option of enabling the Zoom accessibility feature did not work for me in iOS 6.0.1. The page I was having the zoom problem with still refused to zoom, even after reloading the page in a new tab. The bookmarklet worked perfectly though, so thanks for that!
Like the other reader comment, I found the java snippet trick to work perfectly for me! Also, as mentioned by the commenter, on iOS 6.x, enabling “Zoom” in the Accessibilty Settings produced some very odd results (like Zooming my entire Home Screen) and using three fingers was awkward. I wonder what the point is for websites that, as I’ve learned, prevent the normal double-tap or reverse pinch to zoom in anyway? Probably advertising related.
Thanks a lot for posting this awesome tip! By the way, great site all around, very nice…
I just downloaded the Mercury browser for the ipad. It’s got a setting (confusingly labelled “user agent”) where the browser pretends to be a normal desktop browser and then all websites you go to will allow the pinch to zoom feature.
Thank you for the zoom workaround, much appreciated.
none of these tricks working here: http://news.distractify.com/culture/arts/the-most-spectacular-abandoned-places-in-the-world/
sorry, does work after reload of page
Glad to hear you got it working. All these methods seem to be somewhat less reliable since iOS 7 came out. Sometimes they work for me and sometimes not. The page you mentioned loaded a mobile version of the site when I checked it on my iPad, and usually when I site has a specific mobile layout, you can’t zoom it anyway.