How to Fix a Plug-In Error on a Page

By Eric Brown

Plug-ins are third-party applications used to extend the functionality of your web browser. Most browsers utilize plug-ins in one form or another to display various types of media such as video or image content. Commonly used browser plug-ins include Flash Player and Quicktime. Sometimes plug-ins experience errors such as not loading fully, file format conflicts or crashing for unknown reasons. Most of these errors can be fixed easily, but periodically they may require some troubleshooting.

Step 1

Refresh the page that is having a plug-in error. Frequently the plug-in simply did not load fully or properly and refreshing the page can reload it and fix the problem. You can do this by pressing the "F5" key in most browsers. Check to see if the plug-in error remains on the web page; continue if it does.

Step 2

Close your browser and press "Control" plus "Alt" plus "Delete" on your computer. Click on the "Processes" tab and look to make sure your browser process is not in the list (it will be listed as an .exe file associated with your browser). If it is still present in the list, select it and end the process. Check to see if the plug-in error remains on the web page; continue if it does.

Step 3

Update your plug-in. This can most easily be done by downloading and installing the most recent version of the plug-in that crashed from the developer's web page. It is recommended to fully uninstall the old plug-in first. Install and uninstall options can usually be found under "Tools" in the top menu and under "Add-ons" or "Manage Add-ons" in most browsers. Check to see if the plug-in error remains on the web page; continue if it does.

Step 4

Ensure that plug-ins and ActiveX controls are enabled. These are frequently found under "Tools" and "Options" or "Internet Options" in the top menu bar on most browsers. Enable both of these if they are disabled at all. Check to see if the plug-in error remains on the web page; continue if it does.

Step 5

Update your browser. This can generally be done by clicking on "Help" and "Check for Updates" in the top menu. Check to see if the plug-in error remains on the web page; continue if it does.

Step 6

Reboot your computer. This is the last step to fixing the problem if the previous steps did not fix it. If the plug-in error continues contact your local computer technician as you may have something else causing the problem not directly related to the problem itself.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check your file type settings for Quicktime if the plug-in error is coming from Quicktime or Flash. Your problem may lie there. Go to "Start" then "Control Panel" then "Quicktime" and "File Types" for settings.