Chrome 45 Launches without NPAPI Plugin Support

In an ideal world, the folks at Google would be bright enough to find a way to update their product without removing existing capabilities.

Google Chrome users who rely on functionality that NPAPI plugins provide won’t be able to make use of it anymore with the release of Chrome 45. NPAPI-only plugins such as Java or Silverlight are used throughout the web and while their use is declining, there are numerous applications and services that make use of either one or another plugin. Google announced back in 2014 that it would retire NPAPI plugin support in all versions of Chrome from January 2015 on.

The staged roll-out of the end of NPAPI started in January 2015 with the disabling of all but the most popular and prominent plugins. Then, in April 2015, support was disabled but an override switch allowed users and administrators to re-enable support for the time being.

Starting with Chrome 45, released to the stable channel yesterday, bypass options have been removed complete which means that Chrome users who run any of the official versions of the browser cannot run NPAPI plugins anymore.

chrome plugins

What’s interesting about this is that this is true for all versions of Chrome including Enterprise.

The workaround, available as a flag on the browser’s experiments page, is not working anymore as Google removed the flag with the update to Chrome 45.

This means that Chrome users cannot run NPAPI plugins, Java or Silverlight come to mind, anymore in the web browser as there is no bypass option anymore.

Note: Chrome continues to support so-called PPAPI plugins. If you open chrome://plugins you will notice that it supports Adobe Flash for example as it is loaded as a PPAPI plugin.

Since there is no alternative available for Chrome users, the only option left is to use a browser that continues to support NPAPI plugins.

While you could select the closes matching browser, Opera for instance, it is not clear how long they will support NPAPI plugins either considering that they share a codebase with Chrome.

This leaves Mozilla Firefox as the best choice when it comes to NPAPI plugin support.

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