Disable Adobe Flash On Your PC & Why You Would Want To

If you haven’t done it already, you should be disabling Flash on your computer. Although it is run by the trusted Adobe , it is nevertheless an outdated and unsafe piece of software .

Adobe Flash is something which used to be absolutely essential for things like watching online videos (such as YouTube) and playing online games. But Steve Jobs famously hated Flash and when he removed support for it from all Apple products, Adobe Flash’s days were numbered.

Android then dropped support. Then HTML5 was born, stickingthe boot into Flash’s dying body, dooming it to irrelevance.

The rise of HTML5 has now made Flash totally pointless andthose who are still running it are opening themselves up to all kinds ofmalware attacks by nefarious individuals.

So in the interests of online safety, it is time to disableAdobe Flash once and for all. Trust me, it won’t affect your web browsing inthe slightest. And you will make yourself a lot safer in the process.

Two Methods ToDisable Adobe Flash

Notice I said disableand not uninstall. Although it isabsolutely possible to uninstall Flash, there really is no need. Just disableit and leave it be.

Although Flash is installed on your computer, the problem isactually the browser. That is the point where potential attackers can exploitvulnerabilities and plant malware.

So it is at the browser level where you must disable it, andthere are two ways to go about it. I am going to focus today on Chrome andFirefox. Safari users don’t need to do anything as Flash is disabled bydefault.

If you use Microsoft Edge, you can read my post on disabling Flash for Edge . However, you should consider switching from Edge because Microsoft will be replacing it soon with a version that will be based on Chromium.

Install a Flash Blocking Extension

If you want something quick and painless, then you can go theroute of installing an extension/plugin to do the job for you. Installingextensions is not always the best solution as they tend to slow the browserdown. But if you are conservative about your extension choices, or you don’tlike to get your hands dirty, this may end up being the best solution for you.

For Chrome, the most recommended is Flashcontrol . Once the plugin is installed, youwill see some web players which have not been updated to HTML5 not working,like so :

But since a lot of the web now runs on HTML5, this sort ofthing is actually not that common. But since you are only disabling Flash – andnot uninstalling it – you can theoretically enable it again if you want towatch a quick video that is otherwise not working. But obviously, you shouldavoid doing that.

For Firefox, you should check out Flash Block Plus .

Switch It Off In The Browser Settings

Although installing an extension is the quickest and easiestmethod, there really is no need. If you can find your way to the browsersettings, you can switch off Adobe Flash in…well, a flash.

In Chrome, type the following into the address bar (without http://)

chrome://settings/content/flash

That then brings up the Flash settings in Chrome.  It should look like this.

Slide that blue toggle to the left with your mouse and “Askfirst (recommended)” will change to :

Underneath is an optional blacklist and whitelist. So you caneither keep Flash running and just blacklist individual sites (which is rathertime-intensive and tedious), or you can block Flash completely and whitelistcertain trusted sites.

With Firefox, the newer versions of the browser has removedthe Flash browser plugin (although you can still apparently install it if youwant). But older versions of the browser will still have Flash. If you arerunning an older version (older than Version 52), you need to type into the URLaddress bar :

about:addons

Then click on the Plugins tab. Find Flash and disable it. A browser restart may be required.