Google will set Flash to Click-To-Play in Chrome this year

Martin Brinkmann
May 16, 2016
Google Chrome

Google announced last week that it plans to change the default state of the integrated Flash plugin of the Google Chrome browser to click-to-play.

The company plans to set Flash to click-to-play in the fourth quarter of 2016 in the Chrome browser, and to use a whitelist for high profile Flash sites for one year to improve the user experience on these sites.

The effect of the change is that Flash content won't load automatically anymore in Chrome for non-whitelisted sites, and that websites who rely on Flash won't even see that the browser supports the technology until the user allows Flash content to run on it.

Users get notifications in the browser that a site tried to load Flash content which allow them to enable the Flash plugin on a site by site basis.

chrome flash click-to-play

Google plans to ship Google Chrome with a whitelist of sites that are allowed to run Flash content right away.

These sites are the top ten sites that make use of Flash according to metrics that Google gathered from browser usage.

Sites that will be whitelisted: YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, VK, Live, Yandex,, Twitch, Amazon,

It will be interesting to see how Google plans to tackle the Flash issue on its own domains. While YouTube will be whitelisted in Chrome so that Flash runs automatically on the site, other Google properties such as Google Music rely on Flash as well currently.

The following happens in regards to Flash when a user visits a site:

  1. Chrome will default to HTML5 if possible.
  2. If a whitelisted site requests Flash content to be loaded, it is loaded.
  3. If a non-whitelisted site requests the same, it is blocked, and the user is informed about it by a prompt in the browser.
  4. The user can then allow the plugin for the session, or add the site to the whitelist so that it is allowed to run Flash on future visits without prompts.

Google plans to intercept redirects to Flash's download page on the Adobe website. Some sites redirect users when they detect that Flash is not available in the web browser.

Enterprise users will get a policy setting under Content Settings that allows them to enable "always run Flash content" which runs Flash on all sites that are not blocked automatically.

Chrome users can set all plugins currently supported by the browser to click-to-play already by loading chrome://settings/content in the browser's address bar and selecting let me choose when to run plugin content under plugins on the page.

chrome flash

Flash is dying, at least in its current form as a browser plugin. While the majority of browsers support Flash as a user-installed plugin or an integrated plugin, it is clear that this is going to change in the future.

A percentage of sites moved to HTML5 exclusively already, others are defaulting to HTML5 but use Flash as a backup in case technologies used are not supported by the browser, and a third kind of sites have not yet moved to HTML5 at all and require Flash for access.

Many gaming sites, Armorgames or Kongegrate, fall into the third category of sites that require Flash.

Google is not the only browser maker that plans to retire Flash. Mozilla announced last year that it plans to remove NPAPI support from Firefox, and while details in regards to Flash are a bit sketchy right now, it will lead to the end of Flash in the Firefox browser eventually.

Now You: do sites that you visit regularly still rely on Flash?

Google will set Flash to Click-To-Play in Chrome this year
Article Name
Google will set Flash to Click-To-Play in Chrome this year
Google announced last week that it plans to change the default state of the integrated Flash plugin of the Google Chrome browser to click-to-play.
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  1. wonton said on May 18, 2016 at 6:03 am

    this is great as in waterfox 46.0.1 the developer disabled click to play then made java always active by default maybe waterfox devs should take a page from google.

    still need flash on youtube for video editing

  2. Smile said on May 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Don’t you find it strange that almost half the sites proposed are Russian? Even though Russian speakers are only some 200 mln. of a world of almost 7,5 bln. No single site in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi or Spanish – all of which have many more speakers. QZone or Weibo alone have more users that all the top Russian sites listed above together. Some sort of political effort to court Russians or what?

  3. GhaX said on May 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Get rid of obnoxious Adobe Flash. Use HTML5 instead!

  4. GhaX said on May 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Get rid of obnoxious Adobe Flash. Use HTML instead!

    1. GhaX said on May 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Remove above (see below).

  5. rip said on May 16, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I guess soon RIP web games. HTML5 games are still too laggy and stop when switching tabs

  6. Maelish said on May 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I have never been happier as a web site owner to know my design doesn’t rely on flash.

    As an end-user, I am ecstatic. Nice article, I am racing out to change some plug-in settings.

    1. Andrew said on May 16, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      My dear god… your design was dependent on flash? So you were part of the problem in the first place.

      1. Andrew said on May 16, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        You’re right haha… I retract my original statement

      2. Maelish said on May 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        Nope, no flash at all. You misread my message.

  7. Thorky said on May 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Much better would be, Google releases the pepperflash.dll the same day, Adobe releases the flashplayer-updates. It’s dangerous to wait up to one week, till the chrome-flashplayer-update is ready!

    1. ilev said on May 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

      chrome-flashplayer-update is ready in the beta version before Adobe releases it’s update.
      Switch to beta.

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