View Full Version : To disable right click or not?

12-16-2011, 03:23 AM
Hello, Thanks for reading.

This is my first post, I hope it's not too stupid.

Should I disable the right click option or not?

I have a gallery site, I don't want people to be able to copy the images with the default right click over an image. From a professional looking site point of view I suppose I would be messing with the functionality a bit too much, OR is it OK in this instance to disable the click. I know how to write the code to disable the click, but what I was thinking was maybe it would be better to leave the right click but change the menu options? I'm not sure how to change the menu options, any suggestions would be appreciated

Here is a link to the site.


(It's still in the early stages on development)

Thanks for any advice.


Old Pedant
12-16-2011, 03:30 AM
Ummm...and why do you think that disabling right click will help???

There are at least three simple ways I can go grab all the content I want to off of your site without using right click. And I'm sure there are more. I just thought of those three as I started typing this.

I mean, yeah, it might stop the total internet novice, but anybody who has half a brain and has a few hours of playing around will know how to bypass right click.

Old Pedant
12-16-2011, 03:32 AM
A better answer is to digitially watermark your photos. Even that's not going to stop the determined hacker, but at least they will have to work at it for more then 15 seconds.

12-16-2011, 04:25 AM
thanks for the reply,

Yes, you are right, this is only to stop the complete novice, the files have been save at a low res format with a basic watermark across the image, I suppose it's the same in any thing you do, if some one is determined then they will break,hack,steal your stuff, I'm just trying to stop the simple methods that are easy to stop.

As for site functionality, is it ok to disable the right click or how to do alter the menu optoins

Old Pedant
12-16-2011, 05:27 AM
Altering the menu options really means you must create a new menu yourself. Since most of the right click options perform actions that JavaScript is incapable of, it doesn't seem worth the trouble. Just disable right click and be happy.

Philip M
12-16-2011, 08:33 AM
This is one of the FAQs.

Q. How can I use Javascript to protect my web pages?

A. Short answer, you can't.

12-16-2011, 07:54 PM
Thanks, you are showing your mastery of the art of programming:-) Just the answer I needed.

12-16-2011, 08:15 PM
One thing to remember is that there are lots of options in that menu apart from the one that could be (but rarely is) used to steal images. If you do disable the right click and your visitors are novices who don't know any of the other ways to access that menu or how to disable your request to disable it then you are blocking them from all those other options.

Anyone serious about stealing your images would know a dozen other easier ways to do it and wouldn't know that you had even tried to disable that menu.

Basically there is nothing you can do to prevent someone taking your HTML and CSS at all, images can be protected by watermarking (either digital or visible or both) and JavaScript can be partly protected by rewriting the code in a way that makes it hard to read. Of course the only people who even attempt to apply any protection to those have nothing worth stealing in the first place - you will notice that no established web site uses anything other than watermarking to protect images and nothing to protect the rest of their web page apart from copyright notices as anything yu do makes the experience worse for the 99.9999% of legitimate visitors and taking action afterwards with DMCAs or legal action is the only way that actually works.

Old Pedant
12-16-2011, 11:22 PM
What felgall said. In spades. <grin/>

rnd me
12-17-2011, 04:01 AM
right-click is expected, any site on which it doesn't work is functionally broken.
use background-image instead of <img>: it doesn't offer any save options upon right-click, so you can keep the expected clickability without making it too easy to steal the images.

a clear <input> in front of the image will also intercept the right click, offering options like paste and copy instead of save image as...

12-17-2011, 05:04 AM
use background-image instead of <img>

if you do that as the background behind a transparent gif file then they still get the opportunity download an image - of course the image they would be downloading is the transparent gif rather than the one they were trying to steal and by the time they realise it would probably be more effort than they are prepared to put in to go back to your site to steal the right image.

Any image you use with your site can be stolen by someone who knows how - assuming the image is worth stealing which 99% are not. Lowering the resolution of the image may make it less likely to be stolen as will placing a visible watermark across the image.

Old Pedant
12-17-2011, 06:56 AM
Okay, that gives me an idea!

Instead of putting a transparent image on top of the real one, put a copy of the real image there...but with opacity set so that it is a near transparent as possible.

Except on that copy have a great big "STOLEN FROM ZZZZ" plastered across it!

So... The person downloads the image, gets the "STOLEN FROM ..." one, looks at it, and thinks you've done something magic. Granted, it's no more hack-proof than any of the other answers, but I'd bet it would confuse more people than the other ones!

12-17-2011, 12:51 PM
Yes, that's all great advice, having looked around at some professional photo agencies galleries they all seem to use the methods that you guys have outlined, the blank image seems to be the most popular, I agree that tempering with the right click is not the correct way as some of you have pointed out that this would brake standard functionality.

Thanks to all for taking the time to respond to my question.