Unblock Java on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard through 10.8 Mountain Lion

In response to the frequent security problems with Java and the Department of Homeland Security’s suggestion to block Java altogether, Apple blocked older versions of Java yesterday on all internet connected Macs running Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), and Mountain Lion (10.8). Apple says that if you need Java, upgrade to the latest version. While this may seem like common sense and a very practical thing to do, for some users, this is not an option. Read on to find out how to unblock it.

UPDATE: This appears to no longer work for us with the recent Java for OS X 2013-001 update released on February 19, 2013. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it though. It might still work for you.

In our case, we have a critical Java application that only works on Java 6. This application was written by a third party so we are at their mercy for upgrades, and there are no upgrades on the horizon. Our only option is to remove the block.

To block it, Apple uses it’s built-in anti-virus feature called XProtect, which has been available on Mac OS X since 10.6.7. To block it, they modify the XML XProtect.meta.plist file to specify the minimum versions for the Java web component and the plug-in bundle. To unblock Java, it’s just a matter of commenting out the sections that specify the minimum versions.

WARNING! MAKING THE FOLLOWING CHANGES ON YOUR COMPUTER GOES AGAINST THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF MANY SECURITY EXPERTS. ONLY DO THIS IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY OR IF IT’S BUSINESS CRITICAL.

The file you need to change is:
/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.meta.plist

The sections you need to comment out are JavaWebComponentVersionMinimum AND com.oracle.java.JavaAppletPlugin:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<dict>
<!–
    <key>JavaWebComponentVersionMinimum</key>
    <string>1.6.0_37-b06-435</string>
–>
    <key>LastModification</key>
    <string>Thu, 31 Jan 2013 04:41:14 GMT</string>
    <key>PlugInBlacklist</key>
    <dict>
        <key>10</key>
        <dict>
            <key>com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin</key>
            <dict>
                <key>MinimumPlugInBundleVersion</key>
                <string>11.3.300.271</string>
            </dict>
<!–
            <key>com.oracle.java.JavaAppletPlugin</key>
            <dict>
                <key>MinimumPlugInBundleVersion</key>
                <string>1.7.11.22</string>
            </dict>
–>
        </dict>
    </dict>
    <key>Version</key>
    <integer>54</integer>
</dict>
</plist>

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