In Rails, you can use the option remote: true on forms and links for Rails to automatically send AJAX requests when the form is submitted or the link is clicked. I plan to write a more in-depth article about this extremely useful feature in time, but essentially you just need to add an X.js.erb file in your views directory for your controller, where X is the action, and Rails will deliver this JS file as a response to the AJAX request and execute it. Now, most of the time you will not want these AJAX/JS-only routes to render a HTML view, but by default users can use middle click or open the remote: true link in a new tab, which will show a ActionView::MissingTemplate error because there is no X.html.erb file present.

To get around this, we can monkey patch the $.rails.href function which rails uses to get the HREF attribute for remote: true links, and set the default behaviour of the link to javascript: void(0), and store the actual HREF on a data-attribute instead:

$(document).ready(function () {
  var remoteLinks = document.querySelectorAll('a[data-remote=\'true\']');

  for (var i = 0; i < remoteLinks.length; i++) {
    var link = remoteLinks[i];
    link.dataset.url = link.href;
    link.setAttribute('href', 'javascript:void(0);');

  $.rails.href = function(el) {
    var element = el[0];
    if (element.dataset) {
      var url = element.dataset.url || element.dataset.href;
      if (url) { return url; }
    return element.href;

This effectively stops users from opening these links in new tabs or windows. Ideally you would want to respond correctly to the HTML content-type requests on those remote routes, but this is a quick and effective way to prevent the error from cropping up for the end-user.

The $.rails namespace is quite interesting as it contains a lot of functions that Rails uses for this automatic AJAX functionality, and a lot of potential places for JS monkey-patching or function overriding. I’m going to have a further look into the JS functions present there to see if there is any other behaviour that can be changed. Note that if your AJAX request creates more link elements with data-remote="true" on them, you would need to run the remoteLinks href swapping code again for the new elements. The $.rails.href code only needs to be run once per page load.

Originally, I found this solution and tweaked it a bit from this StackOverflow answer -