Adobe, Stop Killing My Internets!

I am not sure if it just me, but lately it seems that Adobe Flash Player is becoming more and more unreliable, and causing my web browser (be it Chrome, FireFox and/or, I.E. — I prefer Chrome, although I wish it supported ICC profiles like FireFox) to constantly crash.

As Adobe Flash is widely used it, unfortunately, is not practical to completely remove it from your machine; however, there are a few simple tools which let you automatically block Flash from loading unless you white-list the site or click on the flash to play it. This technique is also great for preventing those annoying Flash ads that pop up in your face (Although some of them do look pretty cool)!

Chrome

There are a few extensions available for Chrome; if you do a quick search for “flash block” or just “flash” on the Google Chrome Extensions website you’ll be sure to find plenty of them.

The extension I use is called FlashBlock, and it does just that. When you visit a website all of the flash elements will not render; instead, they will be replaced by a flash icon placeholder. If you click on the placeholder that (and only that) flash object will load as normal. You can also right-click the placeholder and temporarily allow all flash content on the page to load.  Additionally, the extension places an icon at the end of the address bar which shows if the current site is ‘allowed’ to display flash content or if it is blocked. It also lets you click on the icon and add the site to the flash white-list or remove it from the white-list.

FireFox

Similar to Google Chrome’s extensions, is Firefox’s support of add-ons — many of which are related to blocking flash, among other, content. A search of the Add-ons for Firefox website will reveal a number of options available. A notable add-on which is aimed at blocking flash content is Flashblock, which is very similar to the Chrome Extension previously mentioned.

Internet Explorer

Download Firefox or Chrome and see above.

Method 1: Internet Explorer (IE) installs flash as an add-on — this means that you can disable it from the add-on manager. In IE click on Tools > Manage Add-ons. You should now be able to see all of you installed IE add-ons. The one you want to disable is Shockwave Flash Object. If you right-click this entry, you can then simply click disable to prevent any flash object from loading. However; to view any flash on a page, you do need to go back into this menu and enable it upon which time all of the flash objects on the page will load.

Method 2: Because IE also supports add-ons you can simply find an add-on which, as with Chrome and Firefox, disabled flash objects from loading on the page. One such extension is Toggle Flash. Toggle Flash will prevent all flash objects from loading on the page; however, it will not let you click individual flash placeholders to enable the flash content. Instead, you have to enable flash for the page, and then refresh the page to load the flash content which is just a slightly quicker version of method 1.

Safari

Download Firefox or Chrome and see above.