I wanted to check my internet connection quality on Pingtest.net and one of the components requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed in Windows. But somehow Firefox informed me that JRE is not installed and gave me option of installing it. I remember installed it once before so I checked the Windows Control Panel, and sure enough JRE was installed. So I checked JRE settings to make sure that the option to enable it in the web browser is selected and found out that it was already selected. Matters were becoming confusing pretty fast, so I closed Firefox and tried Internet Explorer – but no luck, JRE seemed to be not working in any of the browsers. After wasting almost half an hour, I had the epiphany – I had installed 64-bit JRE on my 64-bit Windows 8, but all the web browsers were 32-bit !
So if you are also having a similar painful and hair pulling experience, then all you have to do is installed the 32-bit version of the JRE. If you are using the 32-bit version of Windows, then 32-bit JRE is your only choice. But if you are using a 64-bit Windows, then you have to install 32-bit JRE because most of the mainstream web browsers are still available in 32-bit versions (specially the Firefox browser).
In order to install the 32-bit version of JRE, you can visit the Java installation page and download the full offline JRE installer and use it to install the JRE. Once the installation is done, it will automatically open a test page to check if JRE is installed properly. But you can also type about:plugins in the Firefox browser or chrome://plugins in Chrome browser to find out whether JRE is installed and enabled.
Conclusion: If JRE is not working on your 64-bit Windows, then you can fix the problem easily. Since most of the web browsers are available only in 32-bit version, you have to install the 32-bit version of JRE in your PC to make it work in these browsers.
You can download Java JRE from http://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp.