You probably already are aware of the fact that the newer versions of all popular browsers only support the flash plugin. And if you want to use other NPAPI plugins, you’ll be pressed to find a browser that supports them. Here’s how to go about that.
Use Internet Explorer
If you’re a Windows 7, 8, or even 10 user, you can find Internet Explorer in your PC’s Start menu. In case of Windows 10, it’s hidden in Start > Windows Accessories > Internet Explorer. In Microsoft Edge, click menu > Open with Internet Explorer on a webpage to open the same webpage in Internet Explorer.
You most probably won’t choose Internet Explorer for all your web surfing needs, but it’ll still come in handy if you want to visit a website that requires certain plugins in your browser. Installing these plugins is easy, just fire up good old IE and visit the appropriate webpage, for instance, Microsoft Silverlight or Oracle Java website.
If java won’t run as it should, double check to make certain the plugin is active in the browser. You can access the Java controls through Control Panel > Programs > Java. Make sure “Enable Java content in the browser” is enabled on the Security tab. The new settings may require you to restart the browser for them to take effect.
If you have to visit an old website that is incompatible with IE 11 and needs an old version of the browser, Enterprise Mode in your Internet Explorer can serve the purpose just right. It’s important to note that the Home version of Windows 10 doesn’t have this option unlike the Professional version.
Get Mozilla Firefox ESR for Windows, Mac, or Linux
To download the ESR, head over to Download Firefox Extended Support. If you don’t know which version to go for, get the 32-bit version to curb plugin compatibility issues.
To check if you’re using the ESR, click menu > Help > About Firefox.
Enabling Plugins in Safari
In Safari on macOS, the plugins are disabled by default. This is even true for flash that is, if you visit a website that has flash on it, you’ll have to first enable it in the browser.
Despite all these aggressive measures, Apple doesn’t have completely done away with NPAPI plugin support from its Safari web browser. Safari still supports Unity, Silverlight, Java and other NPAPI plugins.
Although we haven’t heard of a publicly announced timeline for this, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Apple finally stops supporting these plugins in its future release of macOS.
Using these plugins in Safari is actually pretty easy. Download Java from Oracle’s website, install and enable it.
To enable the plugins, head over to Safari > Preferences > Security > Plugin Settings.
Good thing is you can enable the plugin for specific websites if you don’t want it for all websites. Select the plugin you only want for specific website and set the option “Ask” for “When visiting other websites”.
Now that you know how to use these plugins, let’s agree that the long term solution is only doing away with content that needs plugins.