Enable Plugins in Safari on macOS - WindowsTips.net - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Enable Plugins in Safari on macOS

Apple has disabled plugins by default in Safari on macOS. Even Flash won’t play by default, and you’ll have to enable it whenever you visit a web page you want to use Flash on.

Despite these aggressive moves, Apple hasn’t removed NPAPI plugin support from Safari—at least as of macOS Sierra 10.12. Safari continues to support Java, Silverlight, Unity, and other NPAPI-based plugins. In fact, it’s the last modern browser to continue supporting these plugins. Even if you normally use Chrome or Firefox on your Mac, you’ll need to use Safari when you want to access a web page that requires a plugin.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple completely drop support for plugins in a future version of macOS. But Apple hasn’t publicly announced a timeline for this.

You can use these plugins normally in Safari. You’ll just have to enable them first. To do so, install the plugin normally. For example, you can download Java from Oracle’s website.

Head to Safari > Preferences > Security > Plug-in Settings. Enable the installed plugin you want to use.

You can enable the plugin for all websites or only for specific websites. For example, to make Safari ask you if you want to use a plugin whenever a web page you’re visiting wants it, select the plugin and then set the “When visiting other websites” option at the bottom of the window to “Ask”.

Of course, the real solution is moving on from web content that requires plugins. Applications created with Java, SIlverlight, and Unity still function properly outside of the web browser. Desktop applications written in Java or Silverlight are safe and will work normally.

For delivering video to web browsers, Microsoft now recommends HTML5 video instead of its own Silverlight plugin. Netflix was the most famous user of Silverlight, and has dropped Silverlight for cross-platform HTML5 video.

Flash is still widespread, which is why it’s been spared the axe. It’s also integrated by default into Chrome and Edge, which helps keep it sandboxed and updated. But even Flash will likely be left behind one day.

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