How to open the developer tools in a browser

Updated: 10/18/2022 by Computer Hope
Internet browsers

The web developer tools included with most major Internet browsers are helpful for several reasons. For example, they can be utilized to debug code and test changes to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in real time. To learn how to open developer tools, select a browser from the list below and follow the instructions.

Chrome logo

Google Chrome

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome Chrome settings icon icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, move your mouse cursor over More tools, and select Developer tools from the expanded menu.
  4. You should now see a new section at the bottom of the screen containing the developer tools.

Elements tab in Chrome.

Tip

In Chrome, pressing F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I (or Command+option+I on a Mac) also brings up the interactive developer tools.

Firefox logo

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. Click the Menu Firefox Menu Icon icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Click More tools on the drop-down menu and select Web Developer Tools from the expanded menu.
  4. You should now see a new section at the bottom of the screen containing the developer tools.

Firefox Inspector tab.

Tip

In Firefox, pressing F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I (or Command+option+I on a Mac) also brings up the interactive developer tools.

Microsoft Edge logo

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Click the Settings and more Edge more icon icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Move your mouse cursor over More tools in the drop-down menu, and select Developer tools from the expanded menu.
  4. You should now see a new section on the right side of the screen containing the developer tools.

Elements tab in Edge.

Tip

In Microsoft Edge, pressing F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I also brings up the interactive developer tools.

Internet Explorer logo

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Click Tools Internet explorer tools icon in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select F12 Developer Tools from the drop-down menu.
  1. A new window should open containing the developer tools.

DOM Explorer tab in Internet Explorer.

Tip

In Internet Explorer, pressing F12 also brings up the DOM and developer tools menu window.

Safari logo

Safari

In Safari, the developer tools are not enabled by default. The following sections show you how to turn on this feature, and then how to access it.

Accessing developer options in Safari

  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Select Safari selector from the menu bar at the top-left corner of the screen.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Preferences.

Preferences selector

  1. Click the Advanced tab, and check the box next to Show Develop menu in menu bar.

Show Develop menu in Safari.

  1. You should now see the Develop selector in the Apple menu bar at the top of the screen.

Develop selector in Apple menu bar.

  1. Click the Develop selector and choose Show Web Inspector from the drop-down menu.
  2. A new window should open containing the developer tools.

Elements tab in Safari.

Tip

Once the developer options are enabled, pressing Command+option+I also opens the developer tools.

Opera logo

Opera

  1. Open the Opera browser.
  2. Click the Opera Opera Menu button icon in the upper-left corner of the browser window.
  3. Move your mouse cursor over Developer in the drop-down menu, and select Developer tools from the expanded menu.
Tip

If you don't see the Developer submenu, click the menu button Opera menu button. and select More toolsShow developer menu. Then, click the menu button again to see the Developer entry listed.

  1. You should now see a new section on the right side of the screen containing the developer tools.

Elements tab in Opera.

Tip

In Opera, pressing F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I (or Command+option+I on a Mac) also brings up the interactive developer tools.