Last updated: January 15, 2019
Despite deprecation of NPAPI plugins like Java in major web browsers, some need for legacy Java support still remains. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge all abandoned Java support as long ago as 2015. It should come as no surprise. After all, the “N” in NPAPI stands for Netscape, a web browser born last century. Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) is an API technology required to run Java content in web pages. Regardless, there is still Java support on Windows 10.
There are four primary methods to view Java content on your PC. The first allows users of Chrome — the most popular web browser — to view Java content within the Chrome wrapper. The second method displays content that requires Java without using a web browser at all. The third and fourth methods use alternative browsers that are lower in the browser pecking order, but offer Java support on Windows 10 just the same.
Java support in Chrome
To use Java in Google Chrome, install the IE Tab extension. The “IE” in IE Tab is an abbreviation for Internet Explorer. Available for Chrome from the Chrome Web Store, IE Tab emulates Internet Explorer within a Chrome browser window. The extension uses the Internet Explorer rendering engine to display Java content (ActiveX and Silverlight content too).
Visit the IE Tab page in the Chrome Web Store. Click the blue Add To Chrome button. A dialog displays asking if you want to Add IE Tab, accompanied by a list of functions it can perform. Click the Add extension button.
Once installed, the IE Tab icon displays next to Chrome’s address bar. Click the icon to open an IE Tab. In the IE Tab address bar, input the web address of a page that contains Java content. In the example below, Java content in the form of a detection applet loads in the latest version of Chrome using an IE Tab.
Java Web Start: No browser required
If you have the Java plugin on your Windows machine, then you have Java Web Start (JWS). The question is does the Java application you want to run use JWS technology? JWS launches automatically if you download a Java app that uses it (usually in the form of a .jnlp file). Check the Java app developer’s website to see if they have a JWS download link for their app. If they do, download it and save a shortcut on your desktop when prompted by JWS. Double-click the shortcut to run the app.
Also included with JWS is a Java Cache Viewer. Use Cache Viewer to launch applications you have already downloaded. Launch the Java Control Panel (Control Panel > Programs > Java icon). Double-click the Java icon.
Under the General tab, click the View button in the Temporary Internet Files section to launch the Java Cache Viewer in a separate window.
Double-click an application listed in the Java Cache Viewer to launch it without needing a web browser.
Java support in Internet Explorer
As you may have discerned from IE Tab above, Internet Explorer still supports the Java plugin. Your Windows 10 installation includes Internet Explorer by default. To launch it, search and you will find.
The option exists to access Internet Explorer from Microsoft Edge too. If you happen to encounter Java content in Edge, click Menu > More tools > Open with Internet Explorer to load it in the Microsoft browser that supports Java.
Java support in SeaMonkey
The SeaMonkey Project from the Mozilla Foundation is a suite of internet applications. The suite includes an email client, newsgroup client, IRC chat — and most importantly to this discussion — a web browser. The browser included with SeaMonkey 2.49.4 for Windows 10 is built on the same platform as Firefox 52.9 Extended Support Release (ESR). Firefox 52.9 ESR is the last Firefox ESR version to support NPAPI plugins like Java. As long as you already have Java installed on your PC, SeaMonkey’s browser should recognize it.
Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn about Java support on Windows 10.
Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails or at the GAMH when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter