Windows users who have Java and the Firefox web browser installed may see a Java Console extension in the browser.
That add-on gets apparently installed with a new installation or update of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) on the computer system.
According to information on the Java site the Java Console "provides information about the Java version, user home directory, and any error message that occurs while running an applet or application".
Two different Java Console extensions were installed on our test system: Java Console 6.0.19 and Java Console 6.0.20 with the latter enabled and the former disabled.
The enable and disable buttons were active but the uninstall buttons grayed out so that the extensions could not be uninstalled the usual way. This is usually an indicator that the add-on was not installed by the user but installed elsewhere.
Options include installation by a third-party software that got installed on the device, or by a system administrator who pushed the add-on to the user system.
The first attempt to uninstall Java Console in Firefox was to open the Java Control Panel applet (Control Panel > Programs > Java) which did contain a Java Console entry under the advanced tab.
Changing the setting from Hide Console to Do not start console did however have no effect on the two extensions that were installed in Firefox.
A post at the Firefox Extension's Guru blog revealed the solution. Windows users who run Firefox as an administrator will have the uninstall buttons enabled making it possible to remove the Java Console extensions from the web browser.
A right-click on the Firefox executable and the selection of "run as administrator" will start Firefox with administrative privileges. The removal of the add-on will also remove the Java Console link in the Tools menu in Firefox. It is likely that an update or new installation of the JRE will add a new Java Console extension to the web browser.
If you know of a way to prevent that let us know in the comments. We would also like to hear from users who have encountered similar extensions that they did not install directly, and how they handled those.
Update: Another option to remove the Java Console extension in Firefox is to delete the plugin folder manually from the default Mozilla directory located here: C:\Mozilla Firefox\extensions.
The Java Console can also be disabled in the Java Control Panel applet found under Control Panel > Java > Advanced > Java Console > Do not start console.
While you can block Firefox from re-enabling plugins, there does not seem to be an option to do the same for third-party extensions.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.