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Stop the Flash before it starts!

Don’t tell some of the designers around here, but I really hate Flash content embedded into Web pages.  Sure, its great when you’re watching YouTube videos or listening to streaming music on sites like Pandora Radio. When you get to things like animated images or (worse yet) banner ads, however, its “No Thanks” for me. Don’t even get me started on those evil, evil designers who do their whole sites in Flash – there should be mandatory prison sentences for that sort of thing.

As one who’s still using G4 Macs, Flash’s drain on my system resources is quite a pain. It also eats up bandwidth. This may be fine if you have a fast connection, but it slows things down tremendously for those of us with slower connections.

Is there a point to this short little rant on Flash? Of course there is!

I recently came across ClickToFlash, a plug-in for Safari (or any Webkit-based browser, such as Opera) that simply and cleanly blocks Flash content from automatically loading. When the plug-in is installed, wherever Flash content is located on a Web page, a simple translucent gray box appears instead. If you want to see the Flash content, all you need to do is click the gray box and the content loads. You can even set up a whitelist so that content you do want (such as the aforementioned YouTube or Pandora) is automatically let through.

Of course, there’s the matter of price… How does “free” sound? All it costs you to get is the time it takes to download it.

Firefox users, you’re not left out in the cold, either. Flashblock is a free plug-in that offers similar functionality for many Mozilla-based browsers. You can find it in the Firefox add-on section.

Take back control of your browser and bandwidth, and install the plug-in for your favorite browser.

OWC has no affiliation with this software and receives no benefit related to this support (other than a benefit we all share in the continued support of these applications). If you appreciate the function or functionality this software offers, we encourage you to support the authors.

OWC Chris S.
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • Tats is really great thanks for this!! agree with Debo that some of us use diff browsers at diff times/sites. will use for safari for sure.

  • hey thanks for this!! agree with Debo that some of us use diff browsers at diff times/sites. will use for safari for sure.

    i prefer camino whenever possible — it has an option to turn off flash as well as the other stuff. has better cookie control than safari and less of a memory hog which safari never releases — or at least not on ppc as per MacRat.

    cheers & thanx

  • I LOVE ClickToFlash, but the version at MacUpdate is not so up-to-date. Version 1.4.1 is available from the author at [Download from half-way down the page under the big black title “ClickToFlash.” If you download from the top, you get the source code, not the compiled version.]

    Some of us use different browsers at different times for different purposes, and like to block Flash animations in each of them.

  • JavaScript can easily be turned off in the Preferences, under the Security tab in Safari and the Content tab in Firefox.

    Turning off images entirely in these browsers is another checkbox (under Appearance in Safari and Content in Firefox). However, it can often throw a page’s layout entirely out of whack (especially if the designer didn’t use WIDTH and HEIGHT tags on their images when laying things out).

    Additionally, several text-only browsers do exist. A quick search on MacUpdate or VersionTracker should provide several options.

  • The purpose of this article was to inform users who may only be familiar with the two most popular browsers for OS X of an easy way to upgrade the browser they already use, rather than try and get used to a different one.

    Browser choice, like religion and politics, is one of those things I generally avoid discussion on, as each side is usually convinced they are “right” and the other is “wrong.” Entirely too much energy goes into trying to “convert” those who disagree, and – in the end – very little actually gets accomplished.

  • Better to avoid Safari altogether. It is a resource hog on PPC.

    Camino runs much better and has a simple checkbox in the preferences to avoid loading Flash.