Using Bookmarklets on Mobile

Viewing comments on Medium. Login prompt when tapping to view comment replies.
Viewing comments on Medium (first image), then being prompted to login in order to view comment replies (second image). Both images are current version of Chrome on Android.

This is a follow-up to my post CSS Bookmarklets for Testing and Fixing.

While surfing Medium the other day I chose to read a comment. As usual, the comment overlay came up at the bottom of my screen with an option to see replies. When I tapped the replies link, I was immediately prompted to log in. This was new.

In the time between me tweeting Medium to complain, and them responding that it was a bug, I wrote a bookmarklet to remove that login overlay.

This was the easy part. The hard part was using the bookmarklet on my mobile.

As you may already know, there is no bookmark bar in the average mobile browser (at least not on smaller screens). Viewing bookmarks will generally take you to a new tab or screen, meaning a bookmarklet cannot affect the page you were viewing.

Conveniently, once you create a bookmark it becomes available through the auto-complete feature of the browser address bar. In this case, while viewing the page I tapped the address bar and started typing the name of my new bookmarklet. It helps that I remembered this, otherwise it might have taken more time.

Typing the name of the bookmarklet into the address bar as it shows options from auto-complete. Once the bookmarklet fires I can see the comment replies.
Typing the name of the bookmarklet into the address bar as it shows options from auto-complete (first image), then once the bookmarklet fires I can see the comment replies (second image). Both images are current version of Chrome on Android.
This allows you to use bookmarklets you have specifically crafted to improve your mobile experience, or just general bookmarklets that you might not have thought would work on mobile.

Fix Medium Bookmarklet

Hopefully by the time your read this Medium will have fixed the issue. If not, here is the bookmarklet I use:

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('.overlay{display:none !important;}',0);})()

Of note: after you do this, the hit state of the View n replies link is partially blocked. You need to tap at the very top of the link. If that requires too much precision, then zoom in until it it wraps to two lines and tap the top line of text.

What I Was Reading on Medium

Christian Heilmann wrote a great post on the web application myth, which may be the title, though I can’t be sure because Medium’s URLs never match what may be the page title, which is denoted by an h3 because there is no h1 nor h2 on the page…

Anyway, regardless of title, go read what I’ll title The Web Application Myth: Web applications don’t follow new rules.

Update: 8 December 2022

Still works.

Mobile Android visiting GitHub issue with no link underlines, then typing the name of my underlines bookmarklet into the address bar, then choosing it from the results, and then seeing the links with underlines.



Really useful Adrian, thanks. I’ve got some accessibility bookmarklets that I was frustrated that I couldn’t use on my mobile.

Iwill try the technique.


Hi, if you still check this page, I tried your clever trick on Samsung stock browser with no luck, I have my shortcut with code made. Does the bookmarklet code actually append to the current url in address bar or replace it? Thanks!

Ramon Hamm; . Permalink
In response to Ramon Hamm. Reply

Hi, if you still check this page…

I get notified of comments.

I quickly tried my Link Underlines bookmarklet (which I have as a bookmark in my browsers) on a GitHub page using both Firefox and Chrome for Android. It worked. It did not replace the URL in the address bar.

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