Click to Play is mainly a security feature in browsers such as Firefox or Google Chrome that prevents plugin contents on websites to load automatically. Plugins are often used for media streaming, advertisement, or games, and while that does not sound too bad at first, they are also on the high priority list of malicious people who exploit vulnerabilities in them.
Click to Play itself does not distinguish between good or bad contents, it simply blocks them all and gives you the option to enable them, or leave them disabled.
Mozilla has been using Click to Play internally for some time to block known vulnerable plugin versions and unstable plugins from being run in Firefox. You still get an option to override that, but initially, you are safe from exploits this way.
Up until now, you had to enable click to play in the Firefox preferences. First integrated in Firefox 14 Nightly, it is now part of all Firefox versions. Unfortunately, it is still only configurable via the advanced configuration and not the options menu.
This was all you had to do in pre-Firefox 23 versions to enable Click to Play functionality. With Firefox 23 comes a change that may confuse some users.
Even if you have enabled Click to Play via the preference, you may notice that plugin contents get loaded automatically. Mozilla has changed the way the feature is handled.
Besides setting the preference to true, you need to change the state of plugins in the plugins manager. Once you have set the preference, and it is important to note that this is still the main requirement to enable the functionality, you need to open the Plugins section of the Add-ons Manager.
You will notice a menu next to each plugin that refers to the different states of a plugin.
Plugins can have three different activation states:
If you want to use Click to Play, you need to set all plugins that you want to use it with to Ask to Activate.
There you have it: if you have upgraded to Firefox 23 and noticed that Click to Play is not working anymore, you should open the plugins manager to check if plugins are not set to ask to activate here.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.