Selectively enable Flash in Chrome without an extension

January 08, 2012

Last week I wrote about the extensions I use in Chrome, and the number one question I got in response was, "You don't block Flash?!" Of course I block Flash. I've always blocked Flash. (In my 2009 discussion of the ClickToFlash Safari plugin I wrote briefly about the ways I've blocked it over the years.)

The thing is, with Chrome, you don't need a plugin or extension to ensure that Flash (or any other type of content that requires a plugin) is blocked by default, but easily enabled when needed; this sort of functionality is built into the browser.

To set it up, simply punch about:flags into the address bar and enable "Click to play." Then (and you may need to restart the browser before doing this) go to Preferences rarr; Under the Hood rarr; Content Settings rarr; Plug-ins, and choose "Click to play." That's it. (I'm not entirely sure this is currently available in the regular and beta channel builds, but it's been baked into the developer builds for a very long time, and so my hunch is that it has creeped into the other builds by now.)

(You might also want to check out my trick for restarting (Chrome or Safari's) Flash, without having to cycle your browser.)

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