How to Enable Java in Chrome

And disable it as well

Image of a browser URL field

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If you're running the latest version of Google Chrome, you've probably noticed web pages with embedded Java applets no longer work. This is because NPAPI plugins like Java are no longer supported by versions of Chrome after version Chrome 41. That said, there are a few tricks you can use to enable Java in Chrome.

The instructions in this article cover how to enable Java in Chrome 41 or older, but focus more closely on how to enable Java using extensions for Chrome 42 or newer.

How to Enable Java in Chrome (Older Versions)

If you're still running Chrome 41 or older, you can enable Java in Chrome using the following steps:

  1. Open Chrome's Settings.

  2. Select Show advanced settings.

  3. Under the Privacy section, select Content settings.

  4. In the Plug-ins section, select Disable individual plug-ins.

  5. Look for the Java plugin and select the Enable link to enable Java support.

Alternate Way to Enable Java in Chrome (Older Versions)

If you aren't running Chrome 42 or later, but you don't see the option to enable Java, you may still be able to enable it.

  1. Entering chrome://flags/#enable-npapi into the browser URL field.

  2. Select the Enable link under Enable NPAPI Mac, Windows.

  3. Select Relaunch Now to restart the browser with Java support enabled.

How to Enable Java in Chrome (Newer Versions)

If you're running Chrome 42 or later, even the #enable-npapi flag won't work anymore since support for NPAPI plugins (like Java) are not supported at all.

However, there are a few workarounds you can use to continue using websites with embedded Java applets.

Use the IE Tab Chrome Extension

One way to enable Java in a newer Chrome browser is to install the IE Tab Chrome extension.

This works because the IE Tab extension opens the page using the Internet Explorer engine inside of the Chrome browser. Since IE still supports Java, the page will also successfully load the Java applet.

  1. Before installing the IE Tab Chrome extension, when you visit the Java test page, you'll notice your version of Java can't be confirmed when you visit the page with Chrome.

    Screenshot of the Java version test page failure.
  2. Install the IE Tab Chrome extension from the Chrome web store.

    Screenshot of the IE Tab Chrome extension
  3. Restart the Chrome browser and visit the Java version test page again. You'll see the failure status again. However, now you just need to select the IE Tab icon in your browser menu to re-open the tab using the new extension.

  4. Now you'll see the Java version successfully displayed.

    Screenshot of a successful Java version test

When you visit the test page, you may need to select the link to upgrade your version of Java if you don't have the latest installed. If you need to upgrade, make sure to restart the Chrome browser before opening the test page again.

Use the CheerpJ Applet Runner Chrome Extension

The CheerpJ extension for Chrome lets you run Java applets inside of the Chrome browser, without even having to install Java on your system at all.

This Java applet Chrome extension is especially convenient because you don't have to reload the web page in a new tab. You simply enable loading Java applets and all applets on the page will run as normal.

This extension requires Javascript be enabled in Chrome. To do so, go to Settings > Advanced > Privacy and security > Site Settings > Javascript, then make sure Allowed is enabled.

  1. Install the CheerpJ Applet Runner Chrome extension. Once installed, the extension appears as a shield icon in the Chrome toolbar.

  2. When you visit a page with a Java applet, select the CheerpJ icon, then select Run Applets to enable the Java applets on the page.

    Screenshot of CheerpJ Chrome extension
  3. Once enabled, you'll see all of the applets run inside your Chrome browser as they normally should.

    Screenshot of CheerpJ extension enabled

The CheerpJ applet runner Chrome extension may take a little longer than other solutions when the Java applets load.