Firefox will auto block unnecessary Flash for better browsing


Firefox wants to fire Flash just like the rest of us.
Photo: Mozilla

Mozilla is to begin automatically blocking unnecessary Flash content within its Firefox browser to provide users with a better web browsing experience. The move should boost browser performance and reduce the impact Firefox has on notebook battery life.

Google was first to banish hidden Flash content with an update to Chrome last year, while back in May, it revealed plans to automatically choose HTML5 over Flash wherever it’s available. Now Firefox is taking similar steps.

As of next month, Firefox will block Flash content that “is not essential to the user experience,” Mozilla announced today. That means if it’s not a video you want to watch, a game you want to play, or other media you need to see, you won’t see it.

Flash has been around for way too long — since the 1990s — and it hasn’t aged gracefully. These days, Flash hogs your resources like you wouldn’t believe, drains your battery life on notebook computers, and comes with more security flaws than you can shake a stick at.

It’s no wonder so many companies — including Apple, of course — are against it. Many web developers are now choosing to use the immensely more efficient HTML5 standard instead, but for now, Flash content continues to be common on the web.

In 2017, Firefox will switch to a “click-to-play” approach for Flash, so all content will be blocked automatically, and you’ll have to click on the stuff you want to see. You can already get a similar experience in some browsers with plugins like Flashcontrol.


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