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Last updated: October 14, 2020

  • Watch the companion video: How to use Java in the new Microsoft Edge

Some users may need internet artifacts like the Java browser plugin to run legacy apps that require it. The options to run Java apps are few and far between these days. Yet it is possible to use Microsoft’s new Edge web browser — the Chromium-based version of Edge — to run Java apps. Assuming you have Java installed on your computer, the only requirement is an intermediary in the form of an extension.

What makes Java support possible in the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is Edge’s support of Chrome extensions. If you are still running the old version of Edge, it handles the need for running Java apps in a completely different way. Although Microsoft has its own extensions library, you won’t find what you are looking for there. Edge users with Java needs must visit the Chrome Web Store instead to install the one discussed here.

Java in the new Microsoft Edge using IE Tab

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One method to use Java in the new Microsoft Edge is to install the IE Tab extension. The “IE” in IE Tab is an abbreviation for Internet Explorer. Available for Edge from the Chrome Web Store, IE Tab emulates Internet Explorer within an Edge browser window. The extension uses the Internet Explorer rendering engine to display Java content (as well as ActiveX and Silverlight content). It is easy to install, and even easier to use. It is important to note that IE Tab works on Windows machines only.

Visit the IE Tab page in the Chrome Web Store. Click the blue Add To Chrome button. A dialog will display asking you if you want to Add IE Tab, accompanied by a list of functions it can perform. Click the Add extension button.

Once installed, the IE Tab icon in Microsoft Edge displays next to Edge’s address bar. Click the icon to open an IE Tab. In the IE Tab, input the web address of a page that contains Java content. In the example below, our Java version verification was successful. The page uses a Java detection applet, with the latest version of Microsoft Edge using an IE Tab.

Try that same verification process in a regular Edge tab, and a notification that, “We are unable to verify if Java is currently installed and enabled in your browser,” displays instead.

Java Web Start, No Browser Required

If you have the Java plugin on your Windows machine, then you have Java Web Start (JWS). The question is does the Java application you want to run use JWS technology? JWS launches automatically if you download a Java app that uses it (usually in the form of a .jnlp file). Check the Java app developer’s website to see if they have a JWS download link for their app. If they do, download it and save a shortcut on your desktop when prompted by JWS. Double-click the shortcut to run the app.

Also included with JWS is a Java Cache Viewer. Use Cache Viewer to launch applications you have already downloaded. Here’s how:

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1. Launch the Java Control Panel (Control Panel > Programs > Java icon). Double-click the Java icon.

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2. Under the General tab, click the View button in the Temporary Internet Files section to launch the Java Cache Viewer in a separate window.

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3. Double-click an application listed in the Java Cache Viewer to launch it without needing a web browser.

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If the Java app you want to use is not listed or does not launch when double-clicked, contact the app’s developer.

Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to use Java in the new Microsoft Edge.

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Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails, music venues, or sausage shacks when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter