Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

A plugin is a software add-on that is installed on a program, enhancing its capabilities. For example, if you wanted to watch a video on a website, you may need a plugin to play it because your browser doesn't have the tools it needs. You can think of it like getting a Blu-ray player for your Blu-ray disc.

Examples of plugins

What's the difference between a plugin and an extension

While both plugins and extensions add functionality to browsers, there are a few differences. Plugins only know about the page in which they're embedded; they work the same across all browsers, but are specifically inserted into a page. Extensions, on the other hand, can gather information from a browser and can be used across all pages.

Related pages

ActiveX, Browser, Flash, Internet terms, Java, QuickTime, Shockwave, Silverlight, VRML, X3D