How to Use Inspect Element

Most people are unaware that there’s a treasure trove of developer tools at their disposal and that it’s hidden in their favorite browser.

How to Use Inspect Element

Each web browser offers developer tools to check out the coding of a website. However, it’s a foreign entity to the average internet user. After all, who wants to look at a website’s coding, right?

As it turns out, there are plenty of things you can learn by looking at a website’s coding. Read on to find out what the inspect element feature has to offer and how to use it.

Most browsers have tools to inspect elements of a website, but they all generally work the same way.

Using Inspect Element in Google Chrome

  1. Open the website you’d like to inspect.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the page and select Inspect.

  3. Click on the three vertical dots in the right corner of your toolbar.
  4. Go to More Tools.
  5. Select Developer Tools.

  6. Press the F12 keyboard shortcut key on a PC (or CMD + Options + I on a Mac.)

Using Inspect Element in Microsoft Edge

  1. Open a website.
  2. Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser’s toolbar.
  3. Scroll down and click on More Tools.
  4. Click on Developer Tools.

  5. Right-click anywhere on the website and click on Inspect.

  6. Press Ctrl + Shift + I.

Any of these three methods will give you the same result.

If you did this correctly, a new pane opens up at the bottom of your browser. These are the Developer Tools and include the Elements tab. This is the tool you need to Inspect Element.

The panel will open at the bottom of your screen as a default, but you can always change how it appears. Follow these simple steps to reposition the Developer Tools panel:

  1. Click on the three horizontal dots in the upper corner of the Developer Tools panel.
  2. Select a dock side (left, bottom, or right) or undock to a separate window.

Hovering the cursor next to the edge of the Developer Tools panel frame and dragging will narrow or widen the workspace. For example, if you choose to dock the panel to the right side of the browser window, try hovering on the left border. You can drag the panel to resize it when you see the arrow cursor.

Using Inspect Element (OS Specific)

Although a lot of the steps involved might have been covered by just showing you how to use Inspect Element in the browser, we’ll show you how on most OS anyway.

How to Use Inspect Element on a Chromebook

The default browser on a Chromebook is Google, so follow the Chrome browser instructions to access Inspect Element. Here’s a little refresher course for you:

  1. Open a website.
  2. Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the toolbar.
  3. Select More Tools.
  4. Click on Developer Tools.

You can also use the right-click method or the F12 function key to get to the Developer Tools quicker.

How to Use Inspect Element on an Android Device

Running Inspect Element on an Android device is slightly different. Check out how to get to the Inspect Element panel on Android:

  1. Press the F12 function key.
  2. Choose Toggle Device Bar.
  3. Select the Android device from the drop-down menu.

When you select a specific Android device, you’ll notice that a mobile version of the website loads. From here, you’re free to use the Inspect Element feature on your Android device from the comfort of your desktop.

This method works for both Chrome and Firefox browsers because they have a feature in their Developer Tools called Device Simulation.

It also works in the same way for iPhone devices. You just need to select the right one in the drop-down menu.

How to Use Inspect Element in Windows

The Inspect Element tool isn’t necessarily OS-specific, but it is browser-specific. That means that Developer Tools are a feature of the browser you use and not necessarily Windows. However, you can get to the Inspect Element panel regardless of which browser you favor.

If you’re using Windows OS, you’re also likely to use the Microsoft Edge browser. Check out how to access Inspect Element on MS Edge:

  1. Open the website you’d like to inspect.
  2. Tap on the three vertical dots on the corner of the browser window.
  3. Scroll down and select More Tools.
  4. Click on Developer Tools.

You can also use the F12 function key to access Inspect Element faster. Also, right-clicking on the web page and selecting Inspect works too.

How to Use Inspect Element on a Mac

If you’re using a Mac, your browser of choice is probably Safari. Opening Inspect Elements on Safari is slightly different than on Chrome and Firefox. But it’s just as simple with these steps:

  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Click on Safari in the header tab and select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the Advanced gear icon located at the top of the screen.
  4. Check the box that says Show Develop menu in menu bar.

Going through these steps enables the Inspect Element feature on your browser. If you don’t enable Inspect Element first, you won’t see the option when you open a website.

After you complete this step, simply right-click on any open web page and select Inspect. You can also use the quick keys command: CMD + Option + I (inspect).

How to Use Inspect Element on iOS

Do you want to use the Inspect Elements feature to see how a mobile version of a web page appears on an iPhone? You can do this and more with just a few simple steps. But before you look at an element, you need to enable Web Inspector for your iOS device:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Now, select Safari.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap on the Advanced Menu.
  4. Now, tap the toggle switch to turn on Web Inspector.

Also, make sure that the Develop menu is enabled on your Mac by following the steps in the section above.

After enabling both iOS mobile devices and Macs, you’ll see the Develop menu in the top bar on your Mac. Click on it to see the connected iPhone and the web page active on the device. Selecting the web page also opens a Web Inspector window for the same page on your Mac screen.

Keep in mind, though, that these directions only work for Safari running a Mac, not Safari on Windows.

How to Use Inspect Element When It’s Blocked

Occasionally, you’ll find that you can’t inspect a web page, and the Inspect selection is grayed out if you try to right-click on it. You may think that it’s blocked, but there are numerous ways around this:

Method 1 – Turn Off Javascript

  1. Go into Settings.
  2. Search JavaScript.
  3. Switch off JavaScript.

Method 2 – Access Developer Tools the Long Way

Instead of right-clicking on the mouse to Inspect, do this:

  1. Go to Settings in your browser.
  2. Select More Tools.
  3. Scroll down and click on Developer tools.

Method 3 – Using the Function Key

You can also try using the F12 function key on web pages that block the right-click for Inspect.

You may have to try all of these methods before coming across one that works for you. As a last resort, you can also try viewing the source code by typing in view-source: [enter full url].

Wikipedia view-source page

How to Use Inspect Element on a School Chromebook

If your Chromebook was issued by a school, using the Inspect Element feature involves a few simple steps:

  1. Right-click or two-finger tap on the web page and select Inspect.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + I.
  3. Try and use the view-source:[url] method, such as view-source:

However, some schools and organizations block this feature, so if it isn’t working for you, you may need to get in touch with your organization or school administrator.

How to Use Inspect Element to Find Answers

You can use Inspect Element to find answers to a variety of things like:

  • Previewing site design on mobile devices.
  • Find out keywords that competitors are using.
  • Speed tests.
  • Changing text on a web page.
  • Find quick examples to show developers what you need.

When you launch the Inspect Element panel, you’ll see all the coding for the website. That includes all of the JavaScript, CSS, and HTML coding built into it. It’s like seeing the source coding of a web page, except you can make changes to the code. Plus, you get to see any changes implemented in real-time.

This tool makes it invaluable for marketers, designers, and developers to view any design changes before finalizing them. However, making changes in coding with Inspect Element doesn’t last forever. When you reload the page, it will go back to its default state.

Additional FAQ

If you aren’t an expert on Inspect Element after reading above, there are more answers here.

How Do I Use the Inspect Element Command to Find Answers?

The only way to find answers using the Inspect Element feature is if the website instantly reveals it after submission. In this instance, answers are present in the coding.

Otherwise, you’re simply viewing the coding for the quiz or test when you use the Inspect Element feature, as well as any answers you submit.

Is Inspect Element Illegal?

No, the Inspect Element tool is not illegal; it’s designed for web developers. Viewing source code for a website isn’t illegal; it only becomes an issue if you use the information gathered for nefarious purposes, such as attempting exploits, etc.

Is It Possible to Disable Inspect Element in Browser?

The short answer is no.

You can’t disable the Inspect Element in a browser, but you can set parameters that prevent users from doing certain actions like right-clicking on a web page. There are numerous tutorials online to set the proper scripts to disable certain events. However, you can’t actually disable the Inspect Element feature in its entirety.

Get to Know the Innards of a Web Page

Checking out the Inspect Element feature of a web page is probably a developer tool you never knew you needed – even if you aren’t a developer yourself. It has tons of design and marketing applications that can make your website run smoother. And maybe give you an edge on a competitor.

What do you use Inspect Element for? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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