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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Kill-Flash the proper way in chrome

I've been using an extension called Kill-Flash in chrome for many years (at least 2010).  It kind of "cleans up" the internet, but preventing flash from playing unless you allow it to by clicking on the flash object (flash objects appear on the page with the words FLASH).  You don't realize how many embedded flash objects there are on the internet until you've started looking for them.

I stayed on an older version of chrome for awhile recently (v24-26) on my PCs due to some newer flash issue in the newer releases (flash wouldn't play properly, etc, and the "use an older version of flash" option that worked for me in v24-26 wasn't working for me in v27+).  I recently tried updating to the latest flavour (v30+) on all my PCs, including the ones that had issues, and the flash issues resolved themselves.  But a new issue was that Kill-Flash was no longer working as-good as it once was (visiting random sites that were not on my white list that wouldn't let the flash load on v24-26 were now loading the flash without requiring me to click to load).  Noticing the extension hasn't been updated since 2010, I started looking for a replacement extension.  Didn't have to look far, because apparently sometime along the way, chrome has started including the feature built right into the browser (or perhaps it was always there).

To enable the same disable-flash behaviour, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome Settings.
  2. Find "Show advanced settings" link at the bottom of the settings page.
  3. Find "Content Settings" under "Privacy".
  4. Scroll down to "Plugins".  
  5. Change the settings to "Click to play".

Now when I visit a website with flash, the flash item appears with an grey adobe flash logo, that won't play unless I click on it.

Kill-Flash (and its competitors) offered ability to create white-lists for sites such as YouTube, so that you could automatically load flash objects without clicking on them (why else would you visit YouTube?).  The feature would also prove valuable to certain websites that might need to load a hidden flash object to then allow for some login to occur.  A particular bank site of mine requires a flash object to load before the login component will appear.  With Kill-Flash, even in this scenario, I didn't need to white list the website as the disabled flash plugin would appear on the site, allowing me to enable it by clicking on it, and then rightly disappearing afterwards.  Therefore, there might be issues that appear with the new method of disablement.  If there are, I haven't encountered them yet -- but I've only tested for a few days thus far.

Let me know if you encounter any problems.

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