Nov 252011

Pinterest is an image based link sharing website that’s become fairly popular lately. It has a “Pin It” button that can normally be dragged to the bookmark bar and added as a link in your browser to make it easy to “pin” things. Of course, you can’t drag a link on the iPad! There is an iPad App for Pinterest, and from what I’ve heard it leaves something to be desired. So here’s how to get a Pin It button on the iPad, iPad2, or anything else that supports running JavaScript in a bookmark but doesn’t allow you to drag and drop a link.

The easy way: add the Pin it button to your bookmark bar and sync the bookmarks between your iPad and Safari on your computer using iCloud. Thanks to Karl for this.

The longer way: The “Pin It” button is just a link with some JavaScript in it, so we will create a custom bookmark on the iPad with the correct JavaScript and it will work as expected.

  • Find the custom JavaScript.
  1. You can try copying and pasting the JavaScript from here, but it may change in the future. If it doesn’t work, then continue on to the next step in this section. Do include the “javascript:” at the beginning – it’s absolutely necessary.
    1. javascript:void((function(){var%20e=document.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src',''+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)})());
  2. Open Safari on an actual computer (you may need to install it on Windows). Or just install one of those User Agent Switchers and tell Pinterest that you’re using Safari, if you know what you’re doing…
  3. Log in to Pinterest and get the “Pin It” button from the “About” menu, and drag it to your bookmarks.
  4. Edit the bookmark and copy the address of the bookmark, which should start with “javascript:”
  • Get the bookmark text on to your iPad. Probably the easiest way to do this is by emailing it somewhere and setting up that email on the iPad.
  • Copy the entire text of the bookmark, including the “javascript:”
  • Create a bookmark on the iPad (for anything, it is changed in the next step).
  • Edit the bookmark you created, name it “Pin It!”, paste the javascript:… text into the location/address part of the bookmark.
  • Click the “Pin It!” bookmark on any page with an image to get the popup window where you choose which photo to use. This look slightly different on the iPad but has the same functionality.
  • Rejoice in Pinterest goodness.

  21 Responses to “Pinterest Pin It Button on the iPad”

  1. I’ve got all of the instruction done, bookmark with code pasted and all. So, after all of this is said and done, how to you actually pin a photo on the iPad? I can’t figure this part out for the life of me. Thank so much!

    • Kayla, I added another step: Click the “Pin It!” bookmark on any page with an image to get the popup window where you choose which photo to use. This look slightly different on the iPad but has the same functionality.

      Let me know if it still doesn’t work and maybe I’ll try to figure out how to post a video of the whole process. Good luck!

  2. Aaron, thanks so much for the extra step, however it is still not working for me. That is what I was trying before and I’ve even gone through the steps again, but it just does nothing when I click on my Pin It bookmark. I did turn on the debug console and did discover that when the bookmark is clicked on, the following error:

    JavaScript: Error on Line 1
    Syntax Error: Parse Error

    Not sure if this helps any, but thanks again for looking into this. -Kayla

    • Kayla,

      Thanks for the feedback! It prompted me to notice that the link that was listed on the post was wrong – I got the same error you did when copying directly from the post. I updated it, however, and tested it on the iPad and it seems to work fine now. Oops!

  3. Yay, thanks so much, it works now!!! Cudos to you!

  4. I have followed your steps. I am told my pin is successful however when I go to my board, there is only a live link to what I wanted to pin -noy the image itself. Any advice? Thank you!

    • I’m not sure how you can end up with a pin without a photo. I would try making sure the iPad software is up to date and then try starting over from the beginning.

  5. I got the pin it button,unit as soon as I hit it I keep getting the error that the page was invalid, but on some sites it still works to select and post the image. Others it just does nothing after the error message appears and no image :( iPad 2 user, kinda bummed.

  6. Thanks for this info – it works perfectly and I’m grateful :)

  7. Hello, I keep getting error that safari cannot open we page as it contains an invalid address. I get the pic pinned but then I lose the web page I was on. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  8. This worked perfectly. Thank you!

  9. Thank you SO much! Works perfect. My life is now complete. Lol

  10. thank you! yours were the clearest instructions I found

  11. Followed your instructions. Works to the point I click “pin it”, then it says “could not add pin”. Please advise.

    • I would try making sure the iPad software is up to date and then try starting over from the beginning. The instructions also assume you’re using the built in Browser. If you copied and pasted the javascript that’s included then there may be an issue with the copying and pasting. You could try the numbered steps to make sure it’s correct or compare your results there with the copied/pasted javascript from earlier. Also since a new tab is opened and some javascript is run, it probably works better if you have an actual WiFi connection instead of 3G (or whatever the cell phone signal one is). Good luck.

  12. YAY!! I just pinned your tutorial :) everyone needs to know this trick!!! Thank you so so much!!

  13. Not being very computer literate, I’m stuck on the first bit!! How do I find the custom java script?!?!?

    • Steps 1 to 4 detail how to find the custom javascript. I suggest reading the entire post before beginning…

  14. This was very helpful. Thank you!

  15. Hi, I tried your steps and it worked. I’d tried the pin it and pasting the java script from the iPad before but it did not work. Doing it from my iMac and then finish up on the iPad, and specifically pasting in the address you list on your webpage, then it worked.

    just curious, and you may not have time to answer, but is there something in the java script address you have on the web page (which may be from 2011?? and the one that comes up from dragging the ‘pin-it’ icon to our tool bar? I like to learn and understand how things work.

    thank you for taking the time to share this with other ipad users. I love my ipad and get frustrated at the places that it doesn’t interact easily. I need to buy an air print printer and now need to research them.. ugh… LOL

    Have a great weekend.


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