Last updated: January 14, 2019
Update: A more current version of this article is available. Please see Java support on Windows 10.
As free Windows 10 upgrades trickled out onto eligible PC’s around the globe, users of the latest Microsoft operating system were greeted by a new default web browser. The Microsoft Edge browser included with Windows 10 replaced stalwart Internet Explorer after years of service. Use of the once dominant Internet Explorer declined over time, with consumption of the clunky browser peaking in 2011. Still a top 3 web browser nonetheless with regard to usage, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox overwhelmingly dominate the web browser scene today. That may be about to change.
Early impressions of the Edge browser are mostly positive. Wired calls Edge “Windows’ Killer New Browser“. Edge is “fast, powerful, and beats the pants off Internet Explorer,” according to Business Insider. Microsoft Edge evolved out of Project Spartan, as it was known during its development phase. Microsoft officially assigned Project Spartan a production name at its April Build 2015 conference in San Francisco, California, when it introduced Microsoft Edge. The Edge web browser became available to the public when Windows 10 launched on July 29. But Edge may confound users of business applications that still require the Java plug-in as they upgrade to Windows 10.
It is important to note that Windows 10 does support Java. The issue Edge users encounter is the lack of plug-ins support by Edge. By “lack of plug-ins support,” we mean there is simply no way to activate or enable the Java plug-in with the Edge web browser. Period. If Windows 10 supports Java, but the Edge browser does not, the question about how to use Java on Windows 10 remains. The answer lies in alternative web browsers.
Did you say Internet Explorer?
Just when you thought you were rid of Internet Explorer forever, surprise! Windows 10 not only includes the new Edge web browser, but includes the old Internet Explorer 11 too. Microsoft realized that prohibitive plug-in compatibility issues existed with Edge. The solution was to bundle Internet Explorer with Windows 10 to combat the potential Windows 10 upgrade show-stopper. If you encounter Java content in Edge, simply click Menu > More tools > Open with Internet Explorer.
You can launch Internet Explorer from the Windows 10 Start button as well (welcome back Start button, by the way). While Internet Explorer is open, make your first stop the Java.com web site to download and install the Java plug-in, or to at least to verify your PC’s Java version is the latest available.
The other top-tier web browser to install on Windows 10 so you can display and use Java content is Firefox. The Firefox web browser supports NPAPI plug-ins like Java and Silverlight alike. Firefox runs on Windows 10. Opera is also a Java-friendly web browser for Windows 10.
Internet users today routinely use multiple web browser in much the same way they access Internet content using multiple devices. Certain web browsers simply work better than others under myriad web browsing circumstances across devices and platforms. Those users who require access to Java content on their Windows 10 PC’s should not find using an alternative web browser much of an impediment.
Also see: Java Support in Google Chrome
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