Chrome To Block Flash Content By Default

The Demise of Flash

The programming code that brought the flat, two-dimensional Web to life on your computer monitor is now on life support. For well over a decade, Flash has brought us both eye-popping on-screen functionality and heart-stopping security vulnerabilities. It has been both loved and maligned, and it is now one step closer to being forgotten.

Back in February of this year (2016), DCT brought you a story about the imminent demise of Adobe’s popular media format. In it, I described how Flash’s time has come and gone, and how even Adobe was urging content creators to switch to HTML5 instead of Flash for content creation.

Chrome and Flash

Now comes the news that version 53 of Google’s Chrome browser, slated for release sometime in September, will be the first version of that browser to block all Flash content by default. They cite a safer, faster, more responsive and more battery-friendly browser as key reasons for the move.

On the Chrome team’s blog, discussion indicates that the majority of Flash content on the Web these days is loaded in the browser “behind the scenes to support things like page analytics”. This is precisely the kind of content that often makes the Web browsing experience much like watching the Moon change phases. So, Google will begin helping dig Flash’s grave by blocking Flash content beginning with the next release of what currently is the Web’s most popular browser.

Even though the browser preferences will be set to block Flash code by default, the user will still have the option to enable Flash in Settings, but future versions of Chrome will go even further toward hammering the nail in Flash’s coffin. Chrome 55, scheduled for release in December, will make HTML5 the default standard for all Web sites that support both technologies. On sites that are Flash-only, the user will be prompted to enable Flash for that site on the first visit.

Firefox, Safari and Microsoft’s new Edge browser already block or plan to block Flash content by default. Firefox gives users the option to activate, never activate, or activate on request. On trusted websites, Flash content can be still be run on demand, but you may as well start getting used to the idea that Flash will be fading to a glimmer in the coming months.

Google actually joined the effort to chop at Flash’s legs last year. In version 42, Chrome made some Flash content click-to-play as part of the effort to FAVOR HTML5 technology across the Web. Since HTML5 is far less demanding on system resources, Flash-less Web browsing should lead to cooler laptops and longer battery life.

So, if you haven’t already, you may as well get used to the fact that Flash will soon be fading to a glimmer. By this time next year, it may be all but gone. As Web sites using Flash content see their hit counts fall, they will be forced to remove Flash content or replace it with HTML5 and the Web will be a safer, friendlier place.

5 thoughts on “Chrome To Block Flash Content By Default”

  1. DAVE … and team: I believe that I’m running into more, and more, and more, and… well, you get the idea ….. of the durn annoying facebook tags whenever I go to make a point or decision in some web page; they’ll immediately (or quicker) pop up where I’m going to click on something, and display the little link gadget for Facebook. I’m not sure if it’s simply a reminder to me to not forget that Facebook is alive and well, OR… if it’s trying to hijack and re-direct my selection elsewhere … to something of Facebooks interest. Are you all familiar with this, which I’m speaking? And if so, how do I get rid of the darn nuisance. I’m NOT and NEVER WILL BE, a Facebook fan, and I’m not pleased that they keep shoving those pop-ups in my face. How can I get rid of them (maybe short of paying a King’s ransom to their CEO, and masthead folk? Thank you for your deepest concern for my angst.

    1. You apparently have a real problem Dane. Your comment may be off topic but you display a social problem in that you are facing in the opposite direction to the other cows in the field. Chances are that you suffer delusions of owning your own soul. Facebook is a religion and it’s time to give your heart to Mark Zuckerberg and be saved. Then you won’t stand out in the herd like an odd cow. In the meantime I’m facing in your direction – to hell with the herd.

      1. Thanks, Bob; hope that you didn’t spend too many hours composing that quipy (is that a word?) little reply. I’m gauging your age to be south of 50 by your reference and comparison to cows/cattle, because my age, being somewhat north of 70, in my younger days I believe the idiomatic expression one would have probably made would be sheep, (as in – a nation of sheep,) perhaps from Lederer’s popular book of the day. At any rate…

        I actually posted that message on Dave’s ‘blog’ or Q&A board hoping that one of you intellectually elite nerd’s might have a quick fix on how to get rid of, or opt-out of that annoying assault by the Zukerberg team. There’s obviously not a social law (that I’m aware of) that can prohibit them from posting whenever and wherever they choose, but I wish there was, and in the meanwhile they could have the decency of giving we humble people of the earth an OPT-OUT! Of seeing their commercialism. OR… Maybe present a way where we simple folk could stick little biblical quotations and passages in front of everything they pick up everyday, and in every way. Amen! End of my bitching. Wake up and get back to work now, Bob. Oh!… And have a good day! (Know where that came from?) LoL


        1. Daniel Banks

          I’m not a huge fan of social media, either. It has it’s value. But, for the most part, I have better things to do with my life. I have a personal Facebook page and two business related pages. But, I spend very little time on them. There just isn’t enough time in the day.

        2. Daniel Banks

          I’m not sure what pop ups you are seeing, but, there is probably a browser extension that will specifically prevent some Facebook tracking and advertisements. Just do a search on “block facebook (your browser).”

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