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How to: disable Java in all web browsers - using group policy or registry

Posted on 2013-01-13
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Last Modified: 2013-01-31
For win xp x32, Win 7 x32, and Win 7 x64.  Running IE, firefox, chrome, safari.

I'd like to disable Java content in all browsers.  I know I can do this 'manually' per Oracle: http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml.

Some machines I can manage using active directory group policy, including pushing out registry entries.  For other machines, not joined to a domain, I'd like to email the users with the registry update.

Asking end user's to update to JRE 7.10, then disabling Java in the browser is a little more than I usually ask of them.   For the workgroup users I can publish the JRE 7.10 update as an MSI file.  Then I'd like for them to double click a registry update to disable Java in all their browsers.

Thanks!
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Question by:John_Auskelis
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 38772297
This has become a popular question.  I think this comment may help

Cd&
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 38772310
John_Auskelis--For the Registry option see the "Installation Options" section here
http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/jweb/client-security.html

I believe the Registry key is
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment\1.7.0_10\MSI
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Author Comment

by:John_Auskelis
ID: 38773041
Thanks guys - after an afternoon of fighting with Java, I conclude there is no easy registry entry that disables Java in browsers.  You can manually set it per http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml.  I can't find a registry key that disables it.

You can install the latest version and use command line switches to disable Java in browsers.  The command is:  jre-7u10-windows-i586.exe WEB_JAVA=0

Command line switches are not allowed in group policy installs.  Maybe someone who understands the Microsoft Installer can figure out a transform or other technique to push outthis setting.

After manually disabling, or installing with the command line, a registry key does get set (WEB_JAVA=0).  I think this only helps the next upgrade to keep the same disabled setting.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 38775022
John_Auskelis--
FWIW-- Even the manual instructions in http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml do not work for me.  I have to Start|type javacpl.exe|Enter|Security tab and then I can uncheck the box to Enable Java.
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Author Comment

by:John_Auskelis
ID: 38775250
jcimarron -

Here's a tech note "Why are the disable Java check box and security slider not in the Control Panel"  http://www.java.com/en/download/help/jcp_securityslider.xml

"This is due to a conflict between Java 7u10/7u11 and standalone installations of JavaFX."
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Accepted Solution

by:
jcimarron earned 2000 total points
ID: 38775284
Perhaps the problem is solved.  Java 7 Update 11 is released.
http://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

John_Auskelis--Thanks for the info on the conflict between JRE and JavaFX
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Author Closing Comment

by:John_Auskelis
ID: 38841131
I tested disabling Java in the browser, but too many website are using it.  Even Microsoft Live Meeting needed java in the browser.  So I have to agree - Java 7 update 11 is the best we can do right now.

May I rant? I have to send some bad vibes out to Oracle / Java.  Most of the malware cleanups I have done in the past couple years have started with a Java exploit.  Their default install adds unwanted software to the user’s machine.  They made it difficult to administratively disable browser functionality.
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