Very few websites now use Java and it is a security risk – we show you how to disable it in Firefox. Java is now mainly reserved for web based games and online calculators. However, because it is installed on the majority of computers (e.g. 80% of our visitors) Java is increasingly the target of virus attack.
Kaspersky say that 2 of the top 10 vulnerabilities on computers today are caused by Java – vulnerabilities that could give the attacker full system access to your computer. We therefore recommend disabling Java in Firefox to reduce the risk of attack.
Updated January 2013 – if you want to disable Java in ALL web browsers (but keep using it for offline apps like LibreOffice etc) the latest Java 7 Update 10+ includes a new Security Panel which makes it easy to disable Java content in ALL web browsers.
How To Disable Java In Firefox? Java is installed as a plugin – we will show you how to disable Java in Firefox manually or automatically via an add-on:
- In the Firefox menu bar, click ‘Tools’ then click ‘Add-ons’ to open the Add-ons Manager tab
- Click the ‘Plugins’ tab on the left and browse down the list of plugins to find the 2 Java plugins
- Click the ‘Disable’ button next to the ‘Java Platform’ and also ‘Java Deployment Toolkit’ plugins – both should now display a status of (Disabled) and be greyed out.
- Java is now disabled in Firefox – you don’t have to restart Firefox, just close the Add-ons Manager tab to continue browsing more safely If you want to re-enable Java, follow the same steps but this time click the ‘Enable’ button next to both Java plugins to enable them – Java will now start working again.
Tip: if you want to double check if Java is disabled, visit the Java test page here. If Java is disabled you should see a message ‘No working Java was detected on your system’ followed by an offer to download it
2. Automatically Via An Add-on
If you regularly visit a website that requires Java to work, it would obviously be a pain to have to keep manually enabling and disabling Java as above – an automated solution is preferable. There are 2 popular Firefox Add-ons we can recommend to automate the process: QuickJava and NoScript:
Highly recommended for novice to intermediate users who want a quick way to disable Java (or other elements) without having to configure it manually.
NoScript – Can disable Java per website but that is just a minor part of is functionality. It is widely used as a fully fledged and comprehensive security add-on. NoScript can prove tricky to learn and difficult to configure so is recommended for advanced users who have the time and ability to configure it properly. Unlike QuickJava, it includes the ability to remember the settings for Java on an individual (per website) basis.
Why Not Just Uninstall Java Completely?
You could uninstall Java (like any other program) from your computer and have done with it – the problem is that you may find that you need to reinstall it again soon after… For example, the popular LibreOffice program (best free alternative to Microsoft Office) requires Java and you may find other offline programs you use do too.
Also, if you do come across a website that requires Java, you would have to close Firefox, reinstall Java, open Firefox and browse to that website again – a lot of hassle! We recommend keeping Java up to date but disabling it in your web browser(s).