Plug-in blocked notifications in Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 22, 2015
Updated • Jan 28, 2015
Google Chrome

Google pushed out an update today for its Chrome web browser that brings the version to the version of the web browser to 40 on the stable channel.

Most Chrome users should have received the update by now automatically as the browser is configured by default to update silently in the background whenever a new version is picked up it.

Those who prefer to download new versions manually, to test them in secure environment for instance, can download it from the official download page over at Google.

The biggest change of the release is not mentioned by Google on the Chrome Releases blog: the blocking of all NPAPI plugins in the browser.

When you open a web page that tries to load a plugin in the browser, you may get the message that the plug-in is blocked in the browser's address bar.

chrome plug-in blocked

Google announced back in 2014 that it would remove support for all NPAPI plugins in the browser. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it refers to the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface which is used by Java, Silverlight or Unity among others.

This programming interface has been designed by Netscape, a company famous for its Netscape Communicator web browser in the 90s of the last century, was acquired by AOL in 1999.

The interface, still supported by most modern web browsers is still widely used even though it has been in decline in recent time thanks to advancements in HTML5 technology.

Anyway, Chrome users may notice that some websites and services that used to work in the browser stopped working because of the automatic blocking of plug-in contents in Chrome.

A click on the notification in the browser's address bar displays an option to allow the plug-in to be run on that site for the session or always when you connect to it.

unblock plug-ins

This is just a temporary option however. Three months from now, in April 2015, Google will disable support for all NPAPI plugins in Chrome. This includes the removal of all browser extensions that require these plugins in the company's Chrome Web Store.

Update: The option to bypass the blocking using the method below is not available anymore in all versions of Google Chrome. It is still available in Chromium though. You can however add the startup parameter --enable-npapi to Google Chrome to run it.

In Windows, right-click on the Chrome icon and select properties from the context menu (on the taskbar, right-click on Google Chrome again to display properties). Add --enable-npapi to the target field and make sure there is a space between the last character of the path and the parameter, e.g. "C:\Users\Martin\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" --enable-npapi. Update End:

Chrome users can use another workaround then to re-enable the use of plug-ins in the browser. This is done by loading chrome://flags/#enable-npapi in Chrome and enabling the flag. Enterprise users too can enable the use of these plugins in Chrome again by using Enterprise Policies.

From September 2015 on, support for all NPAPI plugins is removed permanently from the browser with no option to re-enable it at that time.

Chrome users who need to use plugins at that time need to switch to another web browser to do so.

Google introduced its PPAPI interface some time ago and maintains its own version of Adobe Flash for it. This means that Adobe Flash contents will continue to work in the browser.

Some companies affected by the move have announced that they are working on HTML5 versions of their technology. It is unclear if these will be done in time though when Chrome shuts down plugin use.

Now You: Which plugins are you using regularly?

Plug-in blocked notifications in Google Chrome
Article Name
Plug-in blocked notifications in Google Chrome
Find out what you can do if you receive plug-in blocked notifications in the Google Chrome browser when you visit sites that require plugins.

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  1. ian said on September 26, 2019 at 6:43 am


  2. Tommy said on September 22, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I expiren the same issue, I have written to Synology serval times, and the answer from then is , USE FIREFOX, I´m not using Firefox crap.. anything else.. But what i don´t understand is WHY it is so diffecault for Synology to program Flash or java for all browsers.. It could be ind the “survaliens program not a PLUG-in that is fucking crap…

  3. Steve said on January 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Can’t seem to find #enable-npapi under chrome://flags anymore. Version 40.0.2214.93 m

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Steve, I just checked in Chrome Canary and the option is not there as well. In Chromium it is still available however. You can still start Chrome with the –enable-npapi parameter to enforce NPAPI plugins. I have updated the article accordingly.

      1. Steve said on January 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm

        Can’t seem to get that parameter to work. Possibly because I already have a “flag” enabled through chrome://flags. When added to target field, that parameter finds “its” way outside of –flag-switches-begin & –flag-switches-end.

  4. Purplemaizenjm said on January 25, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Javascripts is nolonger on firefox because they are working with e10’s. Everytime I sign into malto it does not work.

  5. chesscanoe said on January 25, 2015 at 2:23 am

    I switched from Firefox to Chrome version 40 today, and noticed wouldn’t run Java until I invoked your circumvention. Thanks for the timely tip.

  6. Purplemaizenjm said on January 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    That is a shame looking for gaming browsers for game sites is hard to find, for Windows and Mac. And I like Beta Chrome.

  7. theMike said on January 23, 2015 at 2:24 am

    “Chrome users who need to use plugins at that time need to switch to another web browser to do so.”

    I switched and never going back. Chrome is becoming a clunky piece of junk anyway. Guess I’ll see it the next time i use that chromebook.

    1. Arthur said on January 24, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Removing NPAPI support from Chrome will make it *less* clunky, not more.

  8. David said on January 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Will Opera also lose NPAPI support?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm
  9. Ahmad said on January 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    With latest chromium snapshot I am using, NPAPI Flash is not working at all. So they are aiming to phase out NPAPI in Milestone 42.

    1. Pierre said on January 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Yes and it doesn’t admit the PPAPI independent flash player

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      The goal is to remove the functionality in April 2015, and the flag to restore it in September 2015.

  10. @dg said on January 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Hi Martin, after I updated to google chrome 40 the user profile menu doesn´t show the option “block profile” anymore.
    This is part of update too?
    Thanks and continue the great work.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 22, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      I never paid attention to that option. Cannot say unfortunately.

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