Use Flash Block To Selectively Block Flash Elements [Chrome]

Flash Icon   Use Flash Block To Selectively Block Flash Elements [Chrome]While Flash is on its way out and about to be replaced by HTML5, it is still used abundantly for web content, predominantly for displaying annoying ads. Not only are a lot of flash elements irritating, Flash also consumes significant amounts of bandwidth and is known to be a security risk. So there are good reasons to block it.

Flash Block is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to block flash by default or easily enable it to view relevant content.

Introduction To Flash Block

After installing Flash Block, you should see its icon in the right-hand side of Chrome’s Omnibox, which is also known as the URL or address bar. A crossed out icon indicates that Flash is blocked on the respective page. Flash elements on that page will show an empty white placeholder box with a Flash icon in the upper left corner.

Google Chrome Flash Block   Use Flash Block To Selectively Block Flash Elements [Chrome]

You can enable single Flash elements by left-clicking the respective box. To white-list the respective page and allow all Flash elements to be displayed, left-click the icon in the address bar and select Always allow flash on this site. You can reverse the white-listing by left-clicking the icon again and selecting Always block flash on this site.

Flash Block Allow Flash   Use Flash Block To Selectively Block Flash Elements [Chrome]

Via the Disable Flash Block option in the menu shown above, you can also disable Flash Block entirely. The URL bar icon will then turn grey. You can re-enable Flash Block in the same fashion.

When you select Options…, a Flash Block tab containing Flash Block’s Settings and the White List will open. Within Settings you can adjust properties of the placeholder icon, such as its position and transparency.

Flash Block Settings   Use Flash Block To Selectively Block Flash Elements [Chrome]

As shown in the screenshot above, Flash Block can be set up to block Microsoft SilverLight. Per default, this option is not checked.

When you switch to White List, you will see a list of all websites you have white-listed in the past. You can manually add additional or remove sites from the list.

Flash Block White List   Use Flash Block To Selectively Block Flash Elements [Chrome]

To save your changes, click Apply or OK if you want to close Flash Block settings at the same time.

Benefits Of Flash Block

Flash ads are a big irritation for several reasons. For one, they consume significant amounts of computer memory, CPU power, and internet bandwidth. Disabling Flash will make websites load faster and generally make your browsing experience much smoother. Moreover, some highly irritating Flash elements auto-play audio. And even if they are quiet, Flash animations can be incredibly distracting. Finally, malicious Flash elements have been known to spread malware. Taken together, Flash is an irritating bandwidth hog and a security risk, to name just the most prominent issues.

On the other hand, Flash still delivers some of the most compelling content on the internet. Without Flash, sites like YouTube or Bandcamp would pretty much be dead. This is where Flash Block is a godsend. It provides a quick and easy way to instantly enable Flash on any website.

Also have a look at these articles:

What is your biggest issue with Flash?

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18 Comments -

0 votes

Anomaly

Flash block’s features are now built into Chrome so there is no need for it any more. Enable “click to play” in Chrome’s settings and it does the same thing as Flash Block but does it for all plugins not just Flash.

0 votes

Tina

Thank for the tip, Anomaly! Guess I should check Chrome native features more often.

In case anyone is wondering, the feature can be found here: Click wrench icon, then go to > Settings > Under The Hood > Content Settings (button in top left) and find the option > Click to play under > Plug-ins.

0 votes

Gourav Mittal

Flash Block may help up to block the ads, but even then the ad space is blank and of no use for us.
A better idea would be to replace the ad space on websites with some useful information such as our facebook or twitter updates, or local news and weather conditions etc.
A free extension called Adlesse does so and I’ve written about it at: http://www.techrav.com/block-replace-annoying-ads-with-facebook-twitter-updates/

The extension is equally easy to set up and works with most popular browsers as well.

0 votes

Greg

FlashBlock is known to be VERY buggy. Once you open the FlashBlock options page, as the author has shown in the screenshots, the entire extension will crash — it won’t work anymore, which I’m certain the author of this article noticed. Another oft-occurring issue is that FlashBlock will hide Flash without replacing it with a placeholder, so you never know it’s there.

And stay away from “click-to-play” as some people had suggested. It is known to cause tab crashes and can prevent you from interacting with the Flash content. There are many reports on crbug.com.

There are several alternative “FlashBlock”-type extensions in the Google WebStore that work great without all the issue getting in your way. You just have to do some digging.

0 votes

Tina

Greg,

Thank you for your feedback.

Being the author of this article, let me respond to your assumptions. I did not come across any bugs with FlashBlock when writing this article. Had I noticed any minor or major problems, I would definitely have pointed them out. In fact, had I found FlashBlock to be as bad as you make it sound, I would not have written about it in the first place.

I have been using FlashBlock for a long time and have not experienced any issues with it. I have dozens, if not hundreds of pages (mostly Bandcamp) on my White List and have been using click-to-play without difficulties. Just to be sure, I went through the functions documented in my article again and still have no issues to report.

This doesn’t mean that FlashBlock isn’t as buggy as you describe it. It may well cause problems when used with another browser, on another system, or in combination with other browser add-ons. I just want to make clear that I did not experience or notice any of the bugs you have mentioned.

0 votes

Tim Brookes

I’ve used FlashBlock (Chrome) for a long time now on multiple computers and never had a problem with it. If a site depends on Flash, I just whitelist it with Alt+Shift+F. From experience I have never have I had it crash on me.

I choose Flashblock because unlike AdBlock, Flashblock is way less harmful to a website’s revenue.

0 votes

Greg

Just to be clear, I’m talking about both Chrome and the “FlashBlock” extension talked about in this article.

FlashBlock is buggy and will crash once you open its options page, exactly as the author of this article has demonstrated — it is IMPOSSIBLE to miss; in fact, by opening the options page, it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to add anything to the whitelist!!

Read the article, follow the steps carefully, and then visit any site to see it for yourself…

0 votes

Tina

Greg,

Please stop discrediting my article by generalizing the issues you are having with FlashBlock!

To avoid any misunderstandings, I didn’t demonstrate that FlashBlock crashes, quite the opposite! In my daily experience with FlashBlock over the past year and more, FlashBlock isn’t buggy at all.

0 votes

Greg

FlashBlock [Chrome] crashes. Technically speaking, the extension’s dedicated process exits, taking with it the most important part where all the code is executed — the “renderer” process.

Try this : Install FlashBlock. Open Chrome’s task manager by pressing Shift+Esc. Notice the task “Extension: FlashBlock”? Now open FlashBlock’s options tab and then close the tab. Look back in the task manager. Poof… Gone. Go ahead, visit any site that has flash and you’ll see that it is never blocked.

What I think is funny about this article is that the author shows you screenshots of the options page opened up, but by that time the extension has already crashed.

The author’s bias is obvious. She’s a fanboy!

0 votes

Tina

This shall be my final response to you: http://www.screenr.com/v7z8

At MakeUseOf, we don’t write articles with a personal agenda. We care about our readers and don’t want them to install crappy software that causes issues. While we cannot test every possible setup and eventuality, we always do our best to review only software that works and adds value to your everyday experience.

0 votes

Greg

Tina’s very clever, sweet albeit clever.

Watch the video she has linked to and compare the two address bar menus you see at 0:58 and 1:55. Notice anything different? Only a reader with astute powers of observation will have seen Tina’s quick ninja skills.

0 votes

Tim Brookes

I’m sorry, what? If you’re going to make wild accusations, you’re going to have to explain them because I literally see nothing different there.

0 votes

Aibek Esengulov

Greg,

The extension clearly doesn’t crash for Tina. If it crashed for everyone as you claim it would never get that rating and nearly 2000 reviews on Google Play. The problem is in your setup!

0 votes

Ryan Dube

There are two people that have already said it works for them. All you’ve stated is that “…the entire extension will crash — it won’t work anymore.” Say what?

How does it crash, what crashes, what’s the error, what operating system are you running, what browser, what else are you running, etc….

To say what you’ve experienced here is happening to everyone else in the world is a bit presumptuous. Instead of blaming the app (which obviously others here have had no problem with), why don’t you take a look at your own setup?

Calling the author biased is a bit underhanded and flat-out rude.

0 votes

arcon

FlashBlock really does crash….. Obviously, the article’s author knows about it, but chooses not to say anything. Disappointing.

0 votes

Tina

As I have said before, I acknowledge that people with different setups may have issues with addons, including Flash Block. However, I do not have issues with Flash Block and can not reproduce what people describe. I can only write about what *I* have experienced and make my recommendations based on that.

Flash Block works flawlessly for me. That is, in a typical Chrome setup and using Chrome and Flash Block daily. Again, other people may have other experiences. If *I* had experienced any issues with Flash Block, I would have described them openly. Period.

Please do not confuse Flash Block with Flash. That’s a completely different plugin and a completely different story.

0 votes

Vijay Gopal

Poor review.

I’ve tested FlashBlock and it DOES NOT WORK; you can’t change any of its settings, and if you left-click the icon in the addressbar and select ‘options’, FlashBlock just dies (nothing works). Does not matter what your setup is, Windows, Linux Mac etc.

FlashBlock = CRAP

0 votes

Tina

Works perfectly fine for me, ever since I installed it and until this day. Chrome, Windows 7: http://www.screenr.com/v7z8