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Fix Firefox to Show Updated Java Plug-In

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When I was checking my Macs for the Flashback malware last week (see “How to Detect and Protect Against Updated Flashback Malware,” 5 April 2012), I ran into something odd with Firefox. Mozilla’s plug-in status page reported an outdated version, separate from the version reported by Safari. After some sleuthing, I discovered the problem is a caching issue in Firefox that reports the wrong version even though the correct release is installed.

I followed several different threads in Mozilla forums to figure out the problem, which has been reported as a bug, and which presumably will be corrected in an update to the Mac OS X version of Firefox. In the meantime, you can fix Firefox’s display of the Java plug-in version by following these steps:

  1. Enter about:support in the Location field in Firefox.
  2. Click Show in Finder next to the Profile Directory.
  3. Quit Firefox and make sure it isn’t stalled, but has actually quit.
  4. In the Finder, open the folder named something.default or default.something. (Mine is labeled p9u8hadp.default).
  5. Throw the file pluginreg.dat in the Trash, and empty the Trash.
  6. Close the profile folder.
  7. Launch Firefox and load the plug-in status page again.

The Mozilla plug-in status page will now show that the Java plug-in is up to date.


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Comments about Fix Firefox to Show Updated Java Plug-In
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david cuddy  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2012-04-11 14:07
A small errata in your recipe. At step #4, I don't find any file in the Firefox Profiles folder named "something.default". The only thing in my Firefox folder is a folder named "default.znf". (which makes a lot more sense than p9u8hadp!). Inside the .znf folder I found the pluginreg.dat file, which I trashed. All is well with my Java:-)

Perhaps your recipe was for Lion? I'm still on 10.6.8.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-04-11 14:34
This works with Firefox 9, 10, and 11, so I'll make sure that's noted. The default folder is related to Firefox, not to Mac OS X.
Dave Laffitte  2012-04-11 16:13
Same here in 10.6.8. default.ysv. Unfortunatley, there is no pluginreg.dat file located there. There is on at the same level as default.ysv. Doesn't look like to me this is generic. I haven't tossed that pluginreg.dat.