What does the removal of NPAPI plugin support mean to an end user?

I've actually did some research for my company since we do flash development. Here is the content of the email to the higher ups (some parts redacted)


  • Flash is not affected in either case
  • Unity will have to re-write their plugin for Chrome to use new APIs (using OpenGL among other things) that Chrome is promoting. (I believe newest Unity already supports that)
  • Java will have to re-write their plugin for Chrome to use new API Java will not be developing any future plugin for any platform starting with Java 9, and has no intention to update the existing plugin to support any new browser plugin architectures.
  • Firefox's "click-to-play" will be required from all plugins (except Flash), however the user's selection will be saved (per site). Mozilla intends to remove NPAPI support from Firefox by the end of 2016.


  • Will disable old API, called NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API)
  • This change affects: Silverlight, Unity, Java
  • This change does not affect Flash (which is in-built on Chrome and doesn’t use NPAPI)

Chrome’s NPAPI deprecation roadmap:

  • January 2014. Common plug-ins, like Silverlight, Unity, Java will be whitelisted for now (although Unity and Java already blocked by default)
  • Other plug-ins will see yellow popup asking for permission.
  • Mid 2014. No more updates allowed for NPAPI plug-ins. NPAPI plug-ins no longer listed on store search.
  • Allowing blocked plug-ins to run will be more difficult through UI, but still possible (if already installed)
  • September 2014. All NPAPI plug-ins removed from store (but will still work if already installed)
  • End of 2014. NPAPI support in Chrome will be removed entirely (plug-ins using NPAPI will not work)

Chrome alternative to NPAPI:

  • NaCL. NativeClient which allows OpenGL ES access.
  • HTML5.
  • WebRTC.


  • Will enable "click-to-play" plug-ins with release of new Firefox version called Aurora (still in pre-Beta)
  • This change affects: all plug-ins, with exception of Flash (except old Flash versions)
  • Users will need to click on popup in order to allow plug-ins to run.
    • By the end of 2016, the only plugin that will be supported will be Flash. All other NPAPI plugins will not be compatible.

Firefox alternative to plug-ins:

  • Once again, suggestion is to use technologies available within the browsers, such as
    • WebGL, which allows OpenGL ES access
    • WebRTC.