Last updated: October 18, 2017
2017 UPDATE: A free extension lets you use Silverlight in Chrome on Windows
Watch the Video (2017): How to use Silverlight in Google Chrome
Looking to enable Silverlight in Google Chrome 42 and higher? Did you start seeing This plug-in is not supported after upgrading Chrome? So did everyone else who uses Chrome to view Silverlight content in their web browser.
Google recently updated its Chrome web browser to version 42. One impact of the release of Chrome 42 was the disabling of some historically problematic browser plug-ins by default. Plug-ins, such as Silverlight from Microsoft, and Java from Oracle, use an API from the 1990s called Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI). The issue you have encountered is that Google Chrome 42 (and higher) has disabled NPAPI by default, and with it, the Silverlight plug-in (in addition to other plug-ins). With the updated browser, when you visit web pages with Silverlight content, you see a gray area with a puzzle piece display in its place instead. Mouse-over the gray area, and the message This plug-in is not supported accompanies it.
A quick and easy work-around exists to restore NPAPI to Google Chrome by default. To make your Silverlight content available, just follow these steps.
Enable NPAPI Plug-ins
1. Upgrade to Google Chrome 42 (or the latest version up to Chrome 44). NPAPI is enabled by default in Chrome 41 and earlier. Please note that this option is no longer present in Google Chrome 45 or later. See How to use Java (also an NPAPI plugin like Silverlight) in Google Chrome 45+ for more information.
2. In a Google Chrome window, type or copy/paste this line into the address bar: chrome://flags/#enable-npapi
Click the Enable link under Enable NPAPI Mac, Windows.
3. For your change to take effect, click the Relaunch Now button at the base of the page.
Once Google Chrome relaunches, the Silverlight content will display once again in the browser window. The plug-ins will still be subject to the previous blocking restrictions you may have encountered with Chrome in the past. You may need to give the plug-ins permission to run even with NPAPI enabled.
To disable NPAPI again if needed, return to the chrome://flags/#enable-npapi page, and click the Disable link under Enable NPAPI Mac, Windows.
But consider yourself forewarned. As of the publication date of this article, the work-around will only be an option until September 2015. At that point, the ability to enable and disable NPAPI is scheduled for removal from Google Chrome for good. At that stage, the only recourse will be to use alternative web browsers that support NPAPI, or use the free IE Tab extension.
Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to enable Silverlight in Google Chrome 42.
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