Update: Most web browsers don't support Java anymore. Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge don't support Java anymore and that means that you don't have to disable Java in the browser even if it is installed on the computer system as the browser's don't pick it up anymore. Still, some browsers do support Java and this guide still applies to them for the most part. End
By now you have probably heard about a new Java vulnerability that is been actively exploited on the Internet.
I do not want to rehash all that has been said, and would like to suggest articles on ZDnet and Securelist for that which should provide you with an overview of the threat. Only that much: only Java 7.x is affected by the vulnerability.
Visit the following website to find out which version of Java, if any, is installed on your computer. Note that the test may not work in all browsers and blocks some browsers, Firefox for instance, actively.
You may not get a reading here if you do not have Java installed, if you are using click to play in the browser, or if you have disabled Java.
Check the version on the page to find out which version of Java you have installed.
If that does not work, do the following instead on Windows:
You have several options at your disposal to protect your system from active exploits if Java is still used by the browser.
If you require Java, make sure it is always up to date. Here is how to avoid third-party offers during Java upgrades or installs.
Please note that you may see multiple Java listings, and that it is recommended to disable all that you find.
Internet Explorer: Here you need to change a Registry key. Press Windows-r, type in regedit and hit enter. Now navigate to the Registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3 and change the value of 1C00 to 0. More about the process here.
Some browsers that share code with Firefox still support NPAPI plugins. That is the case for Pale Moon for instance.
Old browser information
Google Chrome: Type chrome://plugins in the address bar and hit enter. This displays all plugins that the browser has found on your system. Some may be enabled, others disabled. Locate Java in the listing and click on the Disable link to disable the plugin in the browser. The disable link should turn into Enable, and the background color of the row to gray.
Mozilla Firefox: Type about:addons in the browser's address bar and hit enter. Switch to Plugins on the page that opens and locate Java here. Click on the disable button to disable Java in Firefox.
It should then read (disabled) after the name of the plugin.
Opera: Type opera:plugins in the browser's address bar and hit enter. Locate Java there and click on the disable links to disable the plugin.
The font color should turn to light gray and the link at the end of each line should read enable.
Java is installed on a lot of desktop systems even though most regular Internet users do not need the plugin or technology at all for their day to day activities. If you are not sure whether you need Java, I'd suggest to uninstall it and see if you are running into issues opening applications or contents on the Internet. Chance is, you won't.Advertisement
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.