We all watch a lot of our favorite television series and movies in our browsers these days, but what do you do when you cannot watch videos in your favorite browser? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post helps a frustrated reader get Amazon Instant Video working in Google Chrome once again.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader Louis wants to know how to enable Silverlight in Google Chrome version 42 and later:

I have Silverlight 5 installed on my Windows 8.1 64-bit computer. When I try to watch Amazon Instant Video, I get a prompt telling me to install Silverlight for better quality. I also cannot get Silverlight tests to run.

There is nothing wrong with my installation, I just have to use Internet Explorer for Silverlight-based viewing.

How do you enable Silverlight in Google Chrome version 42 and later?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor TD.512 has the answer for us:

In September 2013, Google announced its decision to move away from support for NPAPI (the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface). In Google Chrome 42, NPAPI is disabled by default, thus disallowing plugins like Silverlight and Java. Threat Report explains: “NPAPI’s 90s-era architecture has become a leading cause of hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity.”

There are other APIs that companies like Microsoft and Oracle can use to modernize their web-plugins and one can expect them to be updated to support these alternative options. But for now, as per this article from Microsoft, Microsoft Silverlight may not work in recent versions of Google Chrome, so you will need to do the following:

  1. Paste this into Google Chrome’s address bar: chrome://flags/#enable-npapi
  2. Select Enable
  3. When using the website (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc.), you will need to right click on the content and select Run this Plugin
  4. (Optional) Laugh at Google Chrome for underestimating SuperUser

Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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