Stop resizing my web browser window!

One of my top annoyances when surfing around is when some “clever” web developer has chosen to use a script that resizes the web browser window to what they think suits their web site. Stop doing that! The size of my web browser window is the one I like, and I very much like to keep it that way.

Do you hate when this happens to? Please sign the petition (or, rather, write a comment) below, to state:

No, we don’t accept you resizing our web browser window anymore! You resize, and we’ll leave your web site forever.

93 Comments

  • Mark Perkins says:

    I cannot agree with you more Robert, this has to be my #1 annoyance when browsing. My browser setup is my business, and it is not for others to dictate how it should be sized, or whether it has menubars an so on.

    To top it off, recently I seem to be finding a lot of sites that feel the need to maximise my browser window to show me their full-screen, full-sound flash intro – about as annoying as it gets in my opinion.

    I certainly will not come back to any sites that try to exercise that level of control over by browsing habits.

  • Jens says:

    Sites that resize my browser are among the few that I actually will leave forever.

  • Johan says:

    > Sites that resize my browser are among the few that I actually will leave forever.

    Depends on what it is for. Eg electronic Flyers

  • Bas says:

    I hate:

    1) websites that resize my windowsize

    2) popups

  • trovster says:

    Annoying – yes. Fixable – maybe.

    If you're using Firefox, go to Options->Content->Advanced then uncheck 'Move or resize existing windows'

  • sensei says:

    Petition hereby signed.

    GOD, that is annoying!

  • No, we don’t accept you resizing our web browser window anymore! You resize, and we’ll leave your web site forever. Also, stop adding popups!!!

  • OkkE says:

    Yeah it's annoying!

    That's why I use Firefox. When you use the setting trovster posts, the window stays the way you want. 🙂

    It's my browser window, so hands off, "clever" webdev.

  • Chris Huff says:

    Nobody will listen, but I agree. Those who resize will always resize, until they finally realize on their own that it's a bad choice.

    But please, people, stop resizing my browser. I probably won't leave forever (if you have good content to bring me back), but I will be quite annoyed.

  • Rob Mason says:

    Can't really call themselves "web" developers if they do this IMHO as they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the web…

    petition duly signed…

  • Siegfried says:

    I'm using Firefox and have disabled window resizing. Besides that i'm using the "Privoxy" proxy and filtering out many javascript and other annoyances. If then a web page becomes ununsable or is harder to use than interesting, i leave that page. Most times forever. I hate those arrogant people who seem to know better than myself what is good for me. I'm deciding myself what and when to resize.

  • Fully supported and signed.

  • ryan says:

    I totally agree. I HATE that with a passion.

  • Maaike says:

    Thank you, Trovster, I didn't know that.

    +1 from me; I truly hate it! But I'm afraid that the kind of people who build sites that resize your browser, are not the ones who visit this website…

  • Kris says:

    I like browser windows that resize themselves. They remind me of print design and books. You don't like books?

    😛

  • It's weird to see people mention this these days. Like somebody mentioned above, you can disable window resizing in Firefox. It was one of the first things I did (along with preventing people from disabling the context menu) and I haven't worried about it since.

  • Allen says:

    Agreed.

    Though the blame lies (as usual) squarely at the feet of the browser developers and not so much the advertisers/poor designers. If you add a feature, it’s going to get used. And abused.

    I can’t see a single good reason to actually have this capability *exist* in the codebase of a browser, but since it does, it gets used, to the annoyance of us all.

    I use FF myself except when visiting certain annoying sites that are IE-centric, that I “can’t live without.” Thankfully they are all corporate type sites and don’t try any of this nonsense.

    In FF I also use “Flashblock”, “Stop Autoplay”, “Web Developer”, and “Firebug.”

  • I completely undersign the above statement,
    André Luís

  • Wayne says:

    I AGREE…We should not have to come up with ways to stop it they should not do it to begin with thats my theory…with that said i too will leave sites who do this FOREVER!….

    P.S.

    LETS START A LIST !

  • Ole says:

    I hate that also. i have a screen-resolution of 1920 x1200. so i can put certain program-windows side by side. but if i visit a site which changes my browser window to fullscreen i just click the "x" and will never recur…

    by the way, your blog is fantastic!

  • Georges says:

    Totally agree! I still can't understand WHY people are doing this! That's older than old-school 😉

  • Deborah says:

    Yes, I agree, it's annoying when my browser window is resized. Maddening…

  • […] whether you resize your browser window in the everyday use. And Robert Nyman wants you to size a petition to warn the website developer who resize your browser window for their […]

  • RobertDM says:

    Amen to that, resizing means you still don't get the internet.

  • Ole Hansen says:

    I completely agree. Similarly if a web site should have an insatiable urge to make popup windows it MUST at the very least stay away from modifying the window controls and menus in that popup.

    However, like many others, I use Firefox, so no-one but me controls the number and size of my browser windows.

  • I didn't know sites still do that. I've had the Firefox setting on for just about forever.

    But if they do, flaming death to them!

  • eugene says:

    resize / true

    popups / true

  • Robert Nyman says:

    I'm glad to see so many agree!

    trovster,

    Thanks for the tip to everyone! To my knowledge, Firefox is the only web browser that gives you that option (or perhaps Opera as well?).

    Ole,

    by the way, your blog is fantastic!

    Thank you! 🙂

  • While I limit this feature through Firefox, it still is annoying as hell. Consider me signed for the petition!

  • To my knowledge, Firefox is the only web browser that gives you that option

    Camino has a "Prevent sites from changing, moving, or resizing windows" option.

  • Simon says:

    agreed.

  • Yair says:

    Its very rude, and I fully agree.

  • Agreed! But, as mentioned above, I never have this problem since I disabled it in Firefox.

  • Per T says:

    I'll second that!

    Especially today when you have a browser window with 10+ tabs and a stupid site resizes the windows…

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    I haven't seen this for years. I use Opera and I've disabled this 'feature'.

  • Personally have not seen this yet but it does sound damn annoying!!!

  • Amen to that!

    Every time some hobby web designer asks me how to resize a user's window, I simply reply: dont!

  • Amit says:

    No i am not agree about what u r saying

  • Birgit says:

    nothing to add here. Signed! xxx

  • Diane says:

    Signed !

    Definitely on the top of my pet peeves list, it drives me nuts when they do that !

  • qureyoon says:

    couldn't agree more!

    and incase you wanted more reasons, here you go

  • Keith says:

    I totally agree. There is nothing even near as annoying as a page that thinks it knows better than you what size you browser window should be. Thankfully Firefox and Opera both allow you to disable it (which I just now realized).

    btw, I like the redesign.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Good that you agree!

    And thanks, Keith! 🙂

  • Don D says:

    I completely agree, but what about the problem when the default browser window size is relatively small (for example, less than 500 px wide), and the user does not know how to resize to larger or to max window size? This is the situation with a very large number of our web site viewers and we feel we must resize to max window size to accommodate our viewers. Our audience is primarily 50 to 80 yr old computer users many of whom (I have watched in live test reviews) do not know how to resize a window — neither to user controlled size using the window resizing tool nor to max size using the maximize button — nor how to scroll horizontally. All of our content is (horizontally) fluid, so horizontal scrolling is not an issue if the viewing window is 750px, but less than that some graphics content requires minimal horizontal scrolling.

    Web designers have critiqued our approach, but we are caught in the viewer-usability problem that is driven by the relative inexperience of our primary target audience. Comments about this?

    Thanks,

    Don

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Don,

    It's a good question, and definitely a different perspective. Personally, i wouldn't recommend using that approach online, where you don't really know who will visit your web site. Rather then try to have some good explanatory test together with screen dumps to help them out.

    However, if it were a closed environment such as an intranet, catering to a majority not knowing, I'm open for such approaches. And even in that case, I'd rather offer the user a link with a large font, telling them: "Click here to adapt the window size to our web site".

  • Dorn says:

    Could not agree more.

    I have to use a tutorial package that resizes the browser for the diploma I'm studying for.

    NOT HAPPY!

    Duane

  • Serola says:

    Thank you Trovster for reminding how the problem can be fixed in Firefox. I had to reinstall Firefox and I forgot where I can stop the forced javascripts.

    And yes, I hate javascripts that change the window size, opens pop-up windows or pointless alerts.

  • Mike says:

    I agree, but I'd also like to add…

    It's not so much what the web developer thinks you should have or wants you to have or wants to control you, but almost always a boss/client that makes them do these things despite showing/telling them all the reasons why we don't want to do it. And you'd be surprised how many people don't even know how to use the scroll bars in a window to see all the content. I think the poor web designer is trying to solve this problem and/or listen to a boss/client that wants all this. If we (Im a web developer) had things to do my way, Websites would be designed A LOT better and differently and for the complete user in mind.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Mike,

    Absolutely, the decision is almost always made by some manager. But still, I think the web developer has the responsibility to explain why this is bad.

    And also, at least I think/hope it can be a minimum requirement to expect the users to know how to scroll.

  • Alex says:

    It's just bad design. If you can't design a website without resizing or repositioning windows, it's a bad design. 'Nuff said!

  • Chris says:

    Once upon a time I knew a fix to stop browser resizing in IE7, but it's been long enough to where I've forgotten what it is. Anyone?

    BTW, yes, FF2 IS better all around and I use it in my personal life. I personally have no time for IE, BUT my company's web software is designed for IE since that's what most people use. Doing things you don't always personally like is the price of doing business sometimes.

  • […] Robert’s Talk – Stop resizing my web browser window! April 30, 2007 | In geek […]

  • madmaz says:

    Ok i personally am i web designer, thats my job i make websites for a living

    im only 17 but i've made websites for alot of companies and sometimes it is needed to resize your window

    this current website im workin on only works in 1024×768 otherwise the frames and layers and tables get all messed up and it looks horrible, but i have a "index" that warns you that its best to view at 1024×768 and then gives you a link to press which resizes your window…

    but like i said, sometimes its needed!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    madmaz,

    Personally, I don't agree. You can code a web site to adapt to the space available, or have a fixed size and just let the scrollbars appear when necessary.

  • John Henry says:

    All you people are talking around in circles forever. Too much blah blah blah.

    Not one of you have said anything useful on how to actually stop a web browser window from resizing (except for using Firefox which not everyone uses). Just signing a petition isn't going to do any good because those dope web developers are going to do whatever the hell they want anyway. The only way to solve the problem it is to FORCE them to stop rezizing our browser windows by using a program designed just for that purpose.

    What applications out there can do this? One that I found is Actual Window Manager. Are their any others out there?

  • Robert Nyman says:

    John Henry,

    Not that I know of. Thanks for the tip about Actual Window Manager!

  • jay says:

    Yes I hate it and if a site does that to my browser window it can be certain that I will never go back. However if you use Firefox (and you should) there a way to block this annoying behaviour, this tip was posted here before by trovster, but I noticed he missed one step, so here it is again (complete now):

    1. Open Firefox, Preferences (or if you’re on Windows…Tools, Options)

    2. Go to the Content Tab

    3. To the right of “Enable Javascript” hit “Advanced…”.

    4. Uncheck “Move or Resize Existing Windows”

    Happy surfing!

  • Kate says:

    signed 100%

    this is a problem that has been irritating me in fact I had just gone to a site and it happened so I looked up ways to stop it and top of the list in Google was here thanks trovster for the help on stopping this

  • Bill Vincent says:

    Can't agree more. even weather.com does this, though I think it's more due to bad code than any intentional resizing.

    However, I must agree with John Henry, conversationally-challenged though he is. This is not going to fix anything. The following things need to happen

    1: MS needs to fix IE so that it views pages written to standard properly.

    2: Get web designers to code to the standards instead of trying to make pages look good in the shoddy bit of programming we call IE.

    Neither item is likely to happen, however.

    As an aside, I really can't see why so many people still use IE. It's like you have 5 cars in your driveway: A Porsche, a Ferrari, a BMW, a Benz, and a Ford Escort with bad rings and no brakes. For some reason, unbeknownst to your neighbors, you insist on driving the focus.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Bill,

    Thanks for a very entertaining comment! 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day. STOP doing it, web developers! It's especially annoying when stumbling 🙂

  • Brian says:

    So while on Weather.com, I clicked to vote on one of their polls and it resized my web browser! Very annoying (if you take a long time to get the right browser dimensions like i do)

    Then I typed in google searching to see if anyone else hates this as much as I do, and found this… thanks for posting – made me fell better!

  • Michael says:

    I am doing a gallery website for my wife to present the photo essays she did for her thesis. Would I be burned with the rest for resizing the browser window to display the full images? I despise the unsolicited window resize however I really want to be able to display full images in the browser by default for the best dramatic impact. All the images are a set size so only an initial resize in necessary. I know I am in denial… What other alternatives exist?

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Michael,

    To begin with, I'm fairly sure the images will fit into the web browser window of most people. Just surround it with black or something to give it a good focus (or, alternatively, use a pop-up window if you have to).

  • Douglas says:

    At least madmaz warns you before resizing, but I feel if that is the way the developer wants to design the site they should do it, but if most people don't like it they will not get the traffic that they are looking for.

  • Fully agree with you! If I come across any site in StumbleUpon (or any other social bookmarking site) then it gets an instant thumbs down.

  • Daniel says:

    I agree! Web devs keep complaining that their pages need to be seen on an X:Y resolution, but they forget that nowadays all monitors are at least 17" . I have a 20" widescreen and many web pages keep making my browser window SMALLER. Also, many of them move it partially below the screen, making content less visible.

    Firefox does a nice job of inhibiting this, and most of the sites are afraid of maximized browser windows and don't touch them, but it is still an issue.

  • If a programmer wants to resize the screen then let them.

  • anjali says:

    Pl. tell me how can create a fixable window in web site in any screen resolution

    thx

  • Shetty says:

    hi people,

    I agree to all point , its annoying to see the browser window resizing, but in some cases the WD is left with no choices when the controls in the window are less, like some wesites other than a social sites, mail sites…………….

  • mel says:

    does anyone have a really great article link they can share on this topic? we are building a website for a traditional design agency and they are really stuck on having us force the user's browser to resize. we have tried to talk them out of this, but they seem to think it would compromise their beautiful design (that btw was totally designed like a print ad – yay!). their creative director claims he is an expert in web design and insists we do this. help!

  • Sergio says:

    I always have my browser maximized for better efficiency. Sites that resize my browser disrupt everything I'm doing and are really annoying.

    Lets STOP that from happening!!!

  • Stefan says:

    Aren't you guys just a bit anal retentive control freaks that can't stand when someone messes with your stuff? So what if someone breaks the monotony with their creativity once in a blue moon? Also think small pop ups and roll-over layers can be great when they speed up the browsing experience, not talking about casino ads.

    Having said that I certainly don't make a habit of designing sites that resize windows, I prefer to keep a size around 800 to 1000. But to really appreciate art and photography you are better off using all available real estate. Today screen resolutions are getting high enough that you can actually appreciate creative genius online.

    Devil's advocate…

  • Yes yes! dont resize my browser windows for god's sake

  • Emilio says:

    Very annoying indeed, but maybe firefox is an option?

    In firefox you can simply turn this off.

  • Neil says:

    Just went to this website for a small local event at the town where I grew up and the idiot web designer has done this !!!!

    Its so annoying !

    http://www.michaelmasfair.org.uk/michaelmas/home….

  • Deon says:

    In IE8 I just found "Enable visual styles on buttons and controls in webpages". After disabling it, the site I use do not resize. For most sites I also use FF. I hope this will help some users.

  • Joel says:

    Thanks trovster- I needed that content java script setting! Finally an answer to this resizing nonsense.

    Hope it works every time

  • Michael says:

    Even if I use a small program to size or resize my browser window quickly, i can fully agree with you. I don't love that.

  • nonW00t says:

    #1 reason not to use IE anymore. FF e.g. has a specific setting that can be disabled to prevent window resizes via script. It's a darn shame too for MS, they have to wonder why so many abandon IE.

  • Adam says:

    Before boycotting, please consider that resizing a browser window can be a very useful function! In the case of making a browser window smaller, I have experienced it and I agree that it is an annoyance. There are cases, however, when a user initiates a click, and the landing page will not display properly if the browser window is not large enough. Rather than forcing a popup, making the current window larger may actually be the friendlier option.

    Case in point: A link on my website launches a video displayed on the same page within a shadowbox (div layer). It is a high resolution Flash video that would be cut off on the sides, top and bottom, if the window is not sized to the equivalent viewable area of an 800×600 monitor or larger. I use Javascript to check for this and resize the browser window to the minimum size needed to view the video. I'm an experienced web developer, and am very hesitant myself to do anything that overrules the user's browser preferences, but I think this is a legitimate exception. Please feel free to weigh in on this example.

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