How to Manage Plug-Ins in the Safari Web Browser

Plug-ins add functionality to Apple's built-in browser

Macro image of running Safari web browser on an iPad
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In the Safari browser, plug-ins add functionality and enhance the power of the application. Some, such as basic Java plug-ins, may come prepackaged with Safari, while you install others yourself. Your computer maintains a list of the plug-ins that Safari has installed, along with descriptions and MIME type information for each, locally on your computer in HTML format.

You can view this list within your browser in just a few short steps.

Instructions in this article apply to Safari in macOS Sierra and earlier.

How to View Plug-Ins in Safari

You can see the plug-ins you've installed in Safari through the browser's Help menu. Here's how to access the list.

  1. Open your browser by clicking on the Safari icon in the dock.

  2. Click Help in your browser menu, located at the top of the screen.

  3. A drop-down menu will now appear. Choose the option labeled Installed Plug-ins.

  4. A new browser tab will now open containing detailed information on all of the plug-ins you currently have installed including name, version, source file, MIME type associations, descriptions, and extensions.

How to Manage Plug-Ins

Now that you know how to see which plug-ins you have installed, here's how to modify their permissions.

  1. Click on Safari in your browser menu, located at the top of the screen.

  2. When the drop-down menu appears, click on the option labeled Preferences.

    The keyboard shortcut is Command+, (comma).

    Safari on a Mac with the Preferences menu item highlighted
  3. Click the Security heading.

    Safari Preferences with the Security tab highlighted
  4. Located at the bottom of Safari's Security Preferences is the Internet plug-ins section, containing a checkbox that dictates whether or not add-ons are allowed to run within your browser. This setting is enabled by default. To prevent all plug-ins from running, click on this setting once to remove the checkmark.

    Safari plug-in management
  5. Click Plug-In Settings.

  6. Safari will list all current plug-ins along with each website the browser currently has open. To control how each plug-in interacts with an individual website, select the respective drop-down menu and choose from one of the following options:

  • Ask
  • Block
  • Allow (default)
  • Allow Always
  • Run in Unsafe Mode