Use the Java plugin to view interactive content on websites

Important: Firefox has stopped some versions of the Java plugin from running automatically because of security issues. However, you can still use Java on trusted sites. Learn how.

Many web pages use Java applets for interactive content such as online games. Before Firefox can run Java applets you must have the Java plugin properly installed and enabled. Java is a programming language that can run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and other computer systems. This article will help you install or update Java and get it working in Firefox.

  • Java is not the same thing as JavaScript (see this article for information about JavaScript).

Installing or updating Java

Manual install or update

  1. Go to the download page at java.com.
  2. Click the Free Java Download button.
  3. Click the Agree and Start Free Download button to download the Java installer to your computer.
  4. After the download is complete, close Firefox.
  5. Open the file you downloaded to start the Java installation.

Automatic update

Java for Windows includes a Java Update feature that periodically checks for updates and notifies you when an update is available for installation.

Note: To eliminate potential security vulnerabilities and to save disk space, you should remove any older Java versions that may still be installed. For more information, see the Java Help page How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer?.

Mac OS X 10.6 and below

Java is installed with the operating system. To update Java, use the Mac OS X Software Update feature.

Mac OS X 10.7 and above

Java is not installed by default. To install the latest version of Java, go to the download page at java.com. See the Java Help page How do I install Java for my Mac? for system requirements and installation instructions.

To update Java, go to your Apple System Preferences, click the Java icon to launch the Java Control Panel, then go to the Update tab and click on the Update Now button. See the Java Help page How do I update Java for my Mac? for details.

See Oracle's Manual Installation and Registration of Java Plugin for Linux article for help installing or updating Java on your Linux system.

Testing Java

To test whether Java is installed and enabled in Firefox, visit one of these Java test pages:

When you visit these pages, you may needwill normally need to activate Java. The article How to allow Java on trusted sites explains how. You may also see a Java security prompt asking you to confirm that you want to run Java. This security message is from Java, not Firefox. For more information see the Java help page What should I do when I see a security prompt from Java?.

Enabling Java

If Java is not working, make sure that the Java plugin is enabled in the Add-ons Manager tab:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox buttonOn the menu bar, click on the Tools menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu, and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Click on the Java (TM) Platform pluginJava Plug-in 2 for NPAPI Browsers (Mac OS 10.5 & 10.6) or Java Applet Plug-in (Mac OS 10.7 and above)Java plugin to select it.
  4. Click on the Enable button (if the button says Disable, Java is already enabled).
  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox buttonOn the menu bar, click on the Tools menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu, and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Click on the Java (TM) Platform pluginJava Applet Plug-inJava plugin to select it.
  4. If Java is disabled, you will see a Never Activate button. Open its drop-down menu and select Always Activate to enable Java. (If your only option is Ask to Activate then Java has been blocked for your protection. See How to allow Java on trusted sites.)
  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox buttonOn the menu bar, click on the Tools menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu, and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Click on the Java (TM) Platform pluginJava Applet Plug-inJava plugin to select it.
  4. If Java is disabled, you will see a Never Activate button. Open its drop-down menu and select the option to activate Java. The recommended (default) option is Ask to Activate, which lets you run Java when prompted.
Note: You only need to enable the "Java(TM) Platform" plugin, if it is disabled. The "Java Deployment Toolkit" plugin is used by Java developers to detect your Java version and to deploy their Java applications and does not need to be enabled for Java to work.

Troubleshooting

If Java is installed but doesn't work, try these solutions:

Java plugin does not appear in the Add-ons Manager

If the Java plugin does not appear in the Add-ons Manager, even though Java is installed, try each of the following, one at a time, and then reopen Firefox to see if that resolves the problem:

Remove the pluginreg.dat file

With Firefox completely closed, delete (or rename) the pluginreg.dat file, located in the Firefox profile folder (it will be regenerated once you restart Firefox but any other plugins you may have disabled will be enabled). See Re-initializing the plugins database for detailed instructions.

Make sure Firefox is not in 32-bit mode

The Java 7 plugin will only run in 64-bit browsers so confirm that you aren't running Firefox in 32-bit mode.

  1. Open the Applications folder in Finder
  2. Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click the Firefox.app
  3. Select Get Info

Make sure the box in front of Open in 32-bit mode is not checked (if it is, clear the checkbox).

Make sure Java is enabled in the Java Control Panel

Starting in Java 7, the Java Control Panel includes the Security option, "Enable Java content in the browser", which is selected by default. De-selecting this option will prevent Java applets from running in any browser and the Java plugin will no longer appear in the Firefox Add-ons Manager. Make sure that Enable Java content in the browser is selected in the Java Control Panel Security tab. See this Java Help page for details.

Make sure the 32-bit version of Java is installed

On 64-bit Windows, if you only have the 64-bit version of Java installed, the Java plugin will not be available. Current Firefox releases are 32-bit browsers and you will need to install the 32-bit version of Java.

Make sure plugin scanning is not disabled

Mozilla browsers use plugin scanning to locate installed plugins so you should make sure that the plugin.scan.plid.all preference has not been disabled:

  1. In the Location bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. Search for the preference plugin.scan.plid.all
  3. If it's been set to false, right-click on it and select "Reset".

Uninstall JavaFX if installed

In some cases, after updating from an earlier Java version to Java 7 Update 10 or above, the Java (TM) Platform plugin is no longer detected. This can be caused by a conflict with Java and a standalone installation of JavaFX that prevents the Java plugin from being properly registered. To resolve the problem, uninstall JavaFX. For more information, see this java.com help page.

Other solutions

If Java is installed and enabled (see above) but isn't working properly, try the following:

Remove outdated Java plugin files

Make sure that multiple versions of the Java(TM) Platform plugin are not being detected. For example, if Java 7 Update 51 is currently installed, the Java(TM) Platform plugin in the Add-ons Manager tab should be listed as Java(TM) Platform SE 7 U51. If you see other "Java(TM) Platform" versions listed, uninstall the older versions (see How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer?) or else remove them manually (see Manually uninstalling a plugin).

Check for other software that may block Java

Even if Java is installed and enabled in Firefox, it may be blocked by other software or Firefox add-ons, for example:

  • The ZoneAlarm Pro software firewall can block Java. For more information on enabling Java through this program, see the ZoneAlarm Pro forum.
  • The NoScript extension for Firefox will block Java. For more information, see the NoScript FAQ.

Additional resources

  • The Java FAQs page at java.com answers some frequently asked questions.




Based on information from Java (mozillaZine KB)



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