How to view the HTML source code of a web page

Updated: 07/25/2017 by Computer Hope

View source codeAll Internet browsers allow users to view the HTML source code of any of web page they visit. The following sections contain information on the multiple ways to view the source code in each of the major browsers. To proceed, choose and entry from the list below and follow the instructions for that section.

Introductory information

When viewing the source code of a web page, it is important that you keep in mind that information and code not processed by the server won't appear. For example, almost all Internet search engines process information on a server, and then display the results on a web page. In other words, you can view the code that makes up the results page, but you cannot view the search engine's source code.

This rule applies to all server side scripts, SSI, and programming code. Therefore, features such as search engines, forums, polls, chat, etcetera, will not display their code. Copying the information from the source code may cause errors or direct you back to the page from which you copied the information.

Microsoft EdgeMicrosoft Edge users

To view the source code of a web page in Microsoft Edge, follow the steps below.

  1. Press Ctrl+U or F12 on your computer's keyboard.

Or

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and navigate to the web page of your choice.
  2. Click the More Edge more icon icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Select F12 Developer Tools from the drop-down menu that appears.

Tip: In Microsoft Edge, the DOM tool also provides interaction with the source code and CSS settings, allowing users to see how changes in the code affect the web page immediately.

Internet ExplorerMicrosoft Internet Explorer users

To view the source code of a web page in Microsoft Internet Explorer, follow the steps below.

  1. Press Ctrl+U on your computer's keyboard.

Or

  1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to the web page of your choice.
  2. Press the Alt key to bring up the browser's menu bar.
  3. Select View, and the Source from the drop-down menu that appears.

Tip: With the latest versions of Internet Explorer, pressing the F12 key brings up the DOM tool. This tool provides much more interaction with the source code and CSS settings, allowing users to see how changes in the code affect the web page immediately.

FirefoxMozilla Firefox and Netscape users

To view the source code of a web page in Mozilla Firefox, follow the steps below.

  1. Press Ctrl+U on your computer's keyboard.

Or

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and navigate to the web page of your choice.
  2. Press the Alt key to bring up the browser's menu bar.
  3. Select Tools, Web Developer, and then Page Source.

Tip: With the latest versions of Firefox, pressing the F12 key or Ctrl+Shift+I brings up the interactive developer tool. This tool provides much more interaction with the source code and CSS settings, allowing users to see how changes in the code affect the web page immediately.

View a section of the page's source code

  1. Highlight the portion of a web page for which you'd like to view the source code.
  2. Right-click that highlighted section, and then click View Selection Source.

Tip: Use the Firebug add-on to not only view the source code of a page but change and view those changes live through the browser.

ChromeGoogle Chrome users

To view the source code of a web page in Google Chrome, follow the steps below.

  1. Press Ctrl+U on your computer's keyboard.

Or

  1. Open Chrome and navigate the web page of your choice.
  2. Click on Customize and control Google Chrome Chrome settings icon icon in the upper right-hand side of the browser window.
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, select More tools and then Developer tools.

Tip: With the latest versions of Chrome, pressing the F12 key or Ctrl+Shift+I also brings up the interactive developer tool. This tool provides much more interaction with the source code and CSS settings, allowing users to see how changes in the code affect the web page immediately.

SafariApple Safari users

  1. Press Command + Option + U on your keyboard.

Or:

  1. Right-click a blank part of the web page and select Show page source from the drop-down menu that appears.

Or:

  1. Open the Safari browser and navigate to the web page of your choice.
  2. Select the Develop menu.
  3. Choose the Show page source option.

OperaOpera users

To view the source code of a web page in Opera, follow the steps below.

  1. Press Ctrl+U on your keyboard.

Or:

  1. Open Opera and navigate to the web page of your choice.
  2. Click the Menu button Opera Menu button in the corner of the browser window.
  3. In the Developer sub-menu, choose View page source.

Tip:If you don't see the Developer sub-menu, choose More toolsShow developer menu. Then, click the menu button Opera browser Menu button again. You should now see the Developer sub-menu listed.

Tip: With the latest versions of Opera, pressing the shortcut combination Ctrl+Shift+I brings up the interactive developer tool. This tool provides much more interaction with the source code and CSS settings, allowing users to see how changes in the code affect the web page immediately.

Android phone running Chrome

  1. Open the Google Chrome Internet browser on your phone.
  2. Open the web page whose source code you'd like to view.
  3. Tap once in the address bar and then move your cursor to the front of the URL.
  4. Type view-source: and press Enter or Go.

How to close the source code page or tool

Once you're done viewing the source code on a web page, you may want to exit or close it. This process depends on the method you've used to open it.

  • If you've used the Ctrl+U method (with the exception of Microsoft Edge), close the new tab that opened in the top of your browser window.
  • If you've used the developer method (pressing F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I), click Edge remove x in the upper right-hand corner of the tools window.

Tip: For example, to view the code for our homepage you would type view-source:https://www.computerhope.com