Firefox 24: Restore Click to Play per element

If you are already running Firefox Aurora or Nightly, which are version 24 and 25 of the Internet browser, you may have noticed that Click to Play has changed recently. Click to Play is a feature that blocks plugins from running automatic on websites. This improves the rendering speed of the website and also the browser's security as elements do not get loaded automatically anymore.

Now, Click to Play for the most part needs to be activated before it becomes available. This too has been made easier in recent versions. Previously, you had to change a value on Firefox's about:config page so that most users did not really know about the feature in first place.

To enable it there, you had to do the following:

  1. Type about:config in Firefox's address bar and hit the enter key.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if this is the first time opening the page.
  3. Search for plugins.click_to_play and set the value to true.

Mozilla automated part of that for security purposes in recent versions of Firefox, or announced plans that it would make changes. For security reasons, plugins that are blocked by Mozilla because of security or stability purposes, are set to click to play automatically.

click-to-play

Back in January, it announced that it would enable click to play for third party plugins automatically in Firefox.

With Firefox 24 comes another change, this time one that may not please everyone. It reduces the functionality of the feature quite a bit. Instead of giving users options to enable individual plugins in the browser, a single YouTube video for example or one game on an arcade site, it now enables that plugin on the whole site.

Why? Mozilla's research came to the conclusion that most users find per-element click to play too confusing.

The add-on Click to Play per-element comes to the rescue. It is only compatible with Firefox 24 and newer, and will re-introduce the original functionality back in the browser. Note that you need to have click to play enabled in about:config, and set the plugins to ask to activate in the add-ons manager for this to work.

Verdict

If you prefer to have more control over Firefox's click to play feature, then this extension is the best bet you have to achieve that goal. Firefox users who dislike the change when their version of the browser updates to 24 can install it to regain the functionality they have previously had.

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Responses to Firefox 24: Restore Click to Play per element

  1. zillla2 July 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Thanks for this, fixed a major annoyance for me. I don't know what Mozilla's been doing with Firefox lately, a lot of their ideas seem downright absurd.

  2. fokka July 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    i don't find click to play per element confusing, but it would be a pain in the arse with the boatloads of different videos i watch on a daily basis.

  3. Rodalpho July 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Stupid.

    If I have to use an addon anyway, why wouldn't I just continue using Flashblock, as I have for over a decade now?

  4. imu July 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    I think it's time to start looking for alternative browser besides I wonder who Mozilla is getting feedback from so they do what they do to Firefox...sad.

    • TG2 November 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      funny .. I was just thinking the same thing. Firefox pissed me off with the rapid release cycle that changed major version numbers, when all they really were, were minor changes. Yet every plug-in in the world was effected and FF basically said FU to them all.

      Then Firefox makes changes based on "confusion" but rather than add functionality, they stupify it by making it per site, and I wonder if that now means it makes it more insecure ...

      ie before you would allow or deny EACH element, or allow elements from X domain ... now if they do it per site.. and you don't realize the first site it asked for was the page you're on .. and the NEXT site the block asks you for is some ad BS site ... then you've inadvertantly turned on an ad site .. or worse ... turned on some cracked site that leaks hacked ads or other malicious content...

  5. Ron Green July 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Click-to-play per element is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I am a long term Firefox user and I will not be using a version of Firefox without CtP per element. If that means I have to stay at the current version, than I am going to do that. The plugin is no solution: It is not developed and supported by Mozilla and it is already broken in Firefox Nightly. Mozilla has completely lost it!

    • Orhin July 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Well, broken in nightly... that does not have much relevance, as usual it depends on the Add-On creator to keep his/her work updated.

      The real danger of moving useful features /browser core features" in add-on devs hands is if the developer is not interested in keeping the add-on updated, if he decides to switch to another browser or whatever....

      This alone should be a 1000% +1 valid reason to keep features like that and Core browser functions like basic customization - which Mozilla soon also is removing - in the browser and being maintained by the Browser Developers.

      Something like that you would not experience in a non modular browser System, but with Browsers like Firefox or Opera which DO have a modular system you can clearly see what happens if Devs decide that most functions - only excluding the "very basic Browser Function - to browse the web" should be put in add-on Devs hands: You are starting to walk on a very unstable road, not knowing if the features you love are still developed and being able to use in Future Versions to come.

      Modular Browser System IS useful, but Developers seriously should realize for what it SHOULD be used ;)

      • Dougle July 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

        'Well, broken in nightly... that does not have much relevance, as usual it depends on the Add-On creator to keep his/her work updated."

        Seems to be working fine for me in Nightly...

  6. nonqu September 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Good job ruining the browser, Mozilla. It would be nice if you could re-publish this article now that 24 is out of beta. I've spend a lot of time searching for solution.

  7. none_ September 19, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Thank you very much... You saved my day...:)

  8. tedych September 19, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Me too, I've spent a lot of time (days) searching for a solution to yet the next stupid decision, and fine-tuning it. And again, it's not 100% the same but it will do for now.
    I already have 6 or 7 addons just for the sake of fixing things that were there by default, and removed by stupid MOozillas during the last year or so!
    I spend hours with almost every new version to search for solutions to basic things removed by that crowd named Mozilla! insane. I feel outrageous!

  9. Roy September 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Firefox 24 has been released and the plugins.click_to_play setting does no longer work. There is a new obscure tristate setting called plugin.default.state with the values 0=disabled, 1=CtP, 2=enabled. Firefox 24 Mobile is shipped with CtP on, Firefox 24 Desktop with CtP off. There are additional per plugin settings like plugin.state.flash and plugin.state.java that can be created via add-on manager. Existing plugins.click_to_play settings are only migrated on Firefox Mobile and then only to switch CtP off.

    Long story short: You want plugin.default.state=1 in about:config.

    Thanks for nothing, Mozilla!

  10. justeen September 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Terrible change from Mozillla. Just terrible.

    What the hell are they thinking?!

  11. Serpentor September 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Firefox is just controlled opposition. they are owned and run by Google. This time around, Google has intentionally sabotaged the Firefox release to frustrate more people onto Chrome, It's that simple. I lost sound from the right speaker while online, and the large window option on Youtube. It won't be long before Firefox becomes so unuseable that everyone will be forced onto Chrome if they want a semi effective online experience. Thank the pure evil that is Google for yet another terrible product from Firefox.

  12. Nicolas B. November 1, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    But this add-on is in version 0.0.3.20130818 ! Is there a real solution is Firefox 25 ?

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