Why Does Safari On My Mac Keep Saying “Missing Plug-in”? [Ask MacRx]

Missing Plug In

On a Mac everything is supposed to “just work”, and usually it does. However, sometimes a missing internet plug-in or other component may be required for correct operation:

I have been a Mac user since the first home/small Mac computers were available. My recent eMac was 9 years old, so I was out of sync with EVERYTHING. Just bought a new iMac and I have Safari. Sometimes I click on a document on the Internet, and I get a basically blank page that says “Missing plug-in.” So I can’t open everything I need.

I don’t know what this means or if I should download the Firefox browser? Read a lot of complaints about it though. What do I need to do about “Missing plug-in”?

Clueless in Kansas City, Betty

Hi Betty,

The “Missing Plug-In” message can refer to a number of things, it depends on the document or media you’re trying to access. Adobe Flash and the Adobe PDF Reader are both commonly needed items; you can get both of these plugins from Adobe’s website (adobe.com). Also if you are running a Mac with Lion you may not have Java installed by default. Safari should prompt you to install this when it’s needed, go ahead and do so, then restart Safari.

Hi Adam!

Thanks a million for your advice! I downloaded Adobe Flash Player and now I can get videos! You’re the best! Will also check to see if I have Adobe Reader (I think I do…) as well as Java by default. I’m just loving my new Mac and I am high on Mac SPEED! So fast! ;-)

• • •

UPDATE: For more on this topic, see How To Fix Mac Missing Plug-In Errors [MacRx]

Related
  • Jorge

    I have this issue when trying to view PDF files, it says Plug in missing. I have installed adobe reader and still does not work. I am able to click on a link that has a PDF file and open it, but when it is embedded on the site is when I get the plug in missing message. Has anyone else run into this?

  • Jorge Mora

    I have this issue when trying to view PDF files, it says Plug in missing. I have installed adobe reader and still does not work. I am able to click on a link that has a PDF file and open it, but when it is embedded on the site is when I get the plug in missing message. Has anyone else run into this?

  • Ed_Kel

    I have an issue like this but it keeps saying “missing community toolbar”.. I have never had any toolbar plugins on this particular Mac.. Any ideas?

  • Aaron

    Send the URL you’re trying to visit, and maybe we can figure it out. It could be some ActiveX plugin that only works in Windows that is “required” for this website to operate.

  • taugust04

    Adobe Acrobat and Reader have not been updated to work with Safari 5.1+. You can try using the alternative “PDF Browser Plugin” from Schubert|it until its fixed.

  • Aaron

    If you have an old version of Adobe CS on your system, it put in a plug in on your system. Delete the Acrobat PDF plugin from your system, exit all browsers, and try again. Check your /Library/Internet Plug-Ins folder. 

  • CM

    It’s a compatibility issue and some ppl. had to switch to Chrome. I found the attached the link to the support doc on the Adobe which confirms its current incompatibility with Safari 5.1 running Lion OSX. http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/908/c… Apple support boards last weekend and couldn’t find any elegant workarounds which were posted. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

  • AriRomano

    why would anyone with a mac get adobe reader if the mac can natively view PDF files anyway?

  • Ed_Kel

    It doesn’t happen when I visit websites, rather when I open Safari.. There is a ton of info out there on it, but none of it seems to work to fix my problem.

    This is what it actually says (again, every time I open Safari) - “We’re sorry, but the Safari browser version you are currently using does not support the community toolbar”.

    When I do research on it, everywhere seems to tell me it’s a plugin that isn’t supported on my Safari version (5.0 or .1 – whichever version is most current) but I don’t have any toolbars nor have I ever.. I don’t get stumped very often with Mac problems, but this one sure has me baffled.

  • Jorge Mora

    Thanks! I’ll test this out. Sorry new to the Mac world, I’ve been using a PC most of my life and just purchased an iMac in September. I’m loving the iMac!

  • Ed_Kel

    Wondering the same thing.. Macs can print to PDF natively too.

  • dan

    rather than download Adobe Flash, download Google Chrome. then, when you get the “missing plug-in” in Safari, go to the Develop menu and use “Open Page with Chrome”. when you’re done w/ that page, quit Chrome and go back to Safari. if you don’t see the Develop menu in Safari, you’ll have to find the secret to turning it on.

  • brad

    My safari is messed up in other ways. When I try to create a new tab, it opens one behind the current tab, and makes the current tab my Top Sites. Also, holding shift+cmd and clicking a link doesn’t make the new tab active. Any ideas?

  • Erik Petersen

    Get the ClickToFlash Safari extension which converts most flash video to HTML5 and you won’t need to install the flash player.

  • Erik Petersen

    Preview doesn’t handle the latest forms well enough, especially government forms. You can install reader without making it the default and just use it to open PDF files that don’t work correctly with preview.

  • Alexandersgavin

    Hello, please excuse me for butting in but does any of this affect the display of web pages?I upgraded to Lion but now can’t open the following web page properly:http://friendsofutg.org/

    Firefox doesn’t open it either so not sure what is going on.
    Any ideas, help?
    Thanks Alex.

  • Alexandersgavin

    Hello, please excuse me for butting in but does any of this affect the display of web pages?I upgraded to Lion but now can’t open the following web page properly:http://friendsofutg.org/

    Firefox doesn’t open it either so not sure what is going on.
    Any ideas, help?
    Thanks Alex.

  • Iftikhar Rana

    I have mac G4 10.4  Tiger where i can get missing plug in for my computor

  • Readycasper295

    Hi Carolyn here when i play pogo games it tells me plug in missing

About the author

Adam RosenAdam Rosen is an Apple certified IT consultant specializing in Macintosh systems new and old. He lives in Boston with two cats and too many possessions. In addition to membership in the Cult of Mac, Adam has written for Low End Mac and is curator of the Vintage Mac Museum. He also enjoys a good libation.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in How-To, MacRx | Tagged: , , , |